Optical or Airplay Speaker Recommendations

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by urmother8mydog, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. urmother8mydog macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    #1
    Hi

    I have an ATV3 but my TV only has DVI / AVI / Component inputs (no HDMI). Following a failed attempt using a HDMI to component converter box I've decided to get some external speakers and use a HDMI to DVI lead for the video. So the options I understand I have are to use Airplay or a system with an optical input.

    I'm looking for very discrete looking systems - a single unit or 2 speakers max. I'm not looking to set up a full on cinema experience, just something suitable to be able to replace the speakers in the TV.

    I have strayed away from the Airplay option thinking that there could be sync issues with the video being transferred quicker via the DVI lead than the audio can be through Airplay - is that likely?

    With the optical systems the only two I have come across that appear to meet, or nearly meet what i need are the Audyssey Lower East Media Speakers but they lack a remote volume control which I think will start to get annoying, and the ZVOX 220 but I cannot for the life of me find anyone that retails this in the UK.

    I have looked at some sound bars but they appear to be mostly pretty huge.

    Can anyone offer any advice before I take the plunge with one of the above?

    On a side note and relating back to my failed attempt at getting it to work using a HDMI to component converter, I purchased this http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00622MA6W/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00 and it initially just displayed wavey lines for the first few attempts and then stopped displaying anything at all. I don't have a 5 coloured end AV component lead so was using some standard ACA composite leads and matchng up the colours but as I understand it that should have worked? I also checked using an old WDTV (and the same leads) which had the same effect so figured that maybe the converter itself was bust?

    Cheers
     
  2. orestes1984, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    Australia
    #2
    Not sure why they sell this junk :confused: it won't work because the HDMI signal is HDCP encoded on 90% of content that goes through HDMI unless you circumvent it. You CAN do digital to analogue but you need a more expensive cable with a Digital Audio Convertor that is HDMI compliant and then you won't get sound anyway. Your sound source needs to be digital, so you could use the optical port on the Apple TV but again its a two step process, or you can go for a conversion box that is the right type.

    It's the opposite, Air Play can carry more data than bluetooth or optical, neither Bluetooth or optical will handle HD Audio, Airplay has the capability to transfer much more data than both including video signals. The only limitation Air Play is your network bandwidth, it will work best on an 802.11n network, but will also work on g and b standard wireless networks, it is Wifi.

    You can do HDMI to RCA but you need a conversion box that is HDMI to RCA. What you have is HDMI to component. What you've got is the wrong thing, so you're not getting all the signals through. It is no wonder why its not displaying things properly, it's a different system, component ≠ RCA, that component box you have separates out all the colors into channels and gives you sound in stereo to left/right channels you are not sending it all the signals it needs.RCA as is on your TV mixes the video into one channel and gives you stereo outputs for your left and right audio channels on two other channels. The box you purchased was not broken when you bought it you've just managed to hook it up to the wrong source, you need a box more like this one with the 3 plugs or a TV with component inputs.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Composite-S...9?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1349173289&sr=1-9

    As for an amp, or speakers, for what you want to do I'd suggest Behringer MS20's if you just want powered speakers and no receiver.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Behringer-M...1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1349172229&sr=1-1-catcorr

    But I'd suggest if you can, returning what you've bought and buying the right conversion box such as the one above.
     
  3. urmother8mydog thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. That's irritating about the converter box - it said on the Amazon page in the feature list "Compliant with HDMI 1.3 and HDCP 1.2". So is that just a lie / misleading info?

    Regarding the airplay Vs optical delay, you're saying that I'm likely to see more delay via a wired optical connection to a speaker/amp coupled with DVI than a wireless airplay connection coupled with DVI?

    Thank you for the recommendation on the speakers, but they are a little too large. I'm really looking for something a bit smaller than that.
     
  4. orestes1984, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #4
    No, it will do what it states if you hook it up to the correct source, component is not RCA, the plugs are interchangeable but the source is not.

    Airplay has the potential to carry more data depending on the signal strength and many other factors. Optical audio will not play HD audio but then the Apple TV isn't capable of HD audio so for a cabled solution you can use an optical cable if you've got an optical source already.

    You won't need to though if you buy the right box that is RCA and not component.

    Just buy a HDMI to RCA conversion box and use your televisions speakers/remote. If you get the correct thing it will work.
     
  5. urmother8mydog thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2012
    #5
    I just realised that the link in my original email to the box I bought was broken, and your reply seems to be referring me to a product that is essentially the same as the one I have but converts to RCA instead of component.

    Your recommendation: Here

    What i already have: Here

    So just to clarify, I didn't buy one of those HDMI to Component cables, I bought a converter box. My TV is supposed to be HD but was purchased way back before the HDMI input was standardised so I only have the 5 component inputs.

    With that in mind is there any reason that the box I already have shouldnt work?
     
  6. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    Australia
    #6
    So you have component video? So long as your matching up all the cables to the right colours I don't see any reason why the box you have shouldn't work other than the fact that you may have the wrong source selected in your TVs menu system. If that doesn't fix it, send it back for a replacement.

    Just as a quick question though, what sources does your TV have for inputs besides component? Does it have VGA? I am running one of these with no hassles what so ever to a VGA input.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cable-Matte...9?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1349174927&sr=1-9

    You won't get sound though so you would need speakers.
     
  7. urmother8mydog thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2012
    #7
    Yeah I do - 2 of them in fact. The TV as DVI, AVI 2x Component, RCA and Scart connections. I have a spare HDMI to DVI lead which i've used to check the actual ATV unit is working (which it is) hence why I figured I'd just couple that with some external airplay or optical speakers. I assumed the box I had purchased was just the wrong thing to have purchased or the leads used were incorrect.

    I think i may start looking at Airplay speakers again then if there isn't likely to be any delay. I don't have any optical in speakers/amp at the moment so whatever happens I have to buy everything required.

    Thanks again for your reply.
     
  8. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Airplay should be fine so long as you've got decent signal strength. For best results use a DVI to HDMI converter, it will manage the HDCP copy protection on the digital signal and the Apple TV will handle the audio signal.

    You will only see an issue if you have a weak Wifi signal, which you can check out first in the Apple TVs menu under settings, general, network.
     
  9. urmother8mydog thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2012
    #9
    OK right, i'll check the connection strength.

    Someone elsewhere has told me that you cannot use Airport audio streaming from the ATV3 as well as video - i.e. you can stream audio, say via iTunes to the ATV and then have the audio come out through airport connected speakers but as soon as you try to watch video (i.e. Netflix) you cannot then use the Airport system to stream the audio from the film. Can anyone confirm if that is true? I tried calling Apple support and they advised me that the software doesn't support being able to stream ANY audio from the apple TV via airplay to airplay enabled speakers - is that's true then i'm fully confused.
     
  10. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #10
    I don't think you can stream the audio from a video source, so the AirPlay option is probably not an option for your purposes.

    You probably would have mentioned it if it did, but does your TV happen to have an optical audio input? While we're at it, what model TV do you have?

    ----------

    Here you go. You need something like this:

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10423&cs_id=1042302&p_id=6884&seq=1&format=2

    This should take the optical audio from your ATV and convert it to LR stereo ouputs. You can then connect that to virtually any set of powered speakers that you want.

    Monoprice wins again.
     

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