Using AppleTV For Audio Only

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by gfod, May 1, 2013.

  1. gfod macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2013
    Hi, just wondering if someone could confirm a few things for me.

    I'm looking for a solution on how to wirelessly play ALL audio from my MBP using external speakers. I've looked at pairing AirPort Express and Airfoil but this isn't suitable due to the audio delay on video. Hence why I'm now looking at ATV.

    The majority of the time, the ATV won't actually be connected to a TV, only the optical cable to external speakers. Can I use this setup to ALWAYS have audio playing through the ATV unless I change the output settings?

    I've read reports that by mirroring the screen (even though there will be no HDMI cable connected) it will play the audio through the attached external speakers. Is this correct?

  2. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    I play audio only all the time from my iPad and iPhone. I haven't tried it from the computer but the controls look the same. At the right of the volume control is a rectangle with a black, solid triangle at the bottom pointing up. Click this and you'll see the options for Apple TV and any Express devices on the network.

    I have our ATV connected to a TV but it is usually turned off when I listen to music or podcasts.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
    in doing a quick test, playing a video in VLC, and using airplay mirroring to an aTV, the audio and video were in sync on the aTV, but was out of sync with the video on the macbook screen. (no audio coming out of the macbook speakers).
    It's not as bad as airfoil, probably less than a 1/2 second, but still would be unwatchable in my book.
    same result using quicktime player

    retina macbook pro - strong 802.11n 5GHz wireless, all up to date.
    aTV3 - wired ethernet, latest software

    also i've seen people have issues if they don't have a display connected to the aTV, you will need one at least for setup, but doesn't have to be on, just connected, for everyday use.

    also you can change your audio output to an airplay device, but ...
    --if it's an aTV, it will switch to airplay mirroring if you launch a video player, and you will run in to the same problem with it being slightly out of sync. (stops mirroring when you close the player)
    --if it's an audio only device, the audio will be 2 seconds late.

    very different thing you are doing, when you are doing that, your iOS device (or your computer) will delay the interface to match the output. plus you don't have to have perfect sync for music like you do when watching videos.
    all audio only airplay (including airfoil) has about a 2 second buffer built in.
    you can see this if you skip tracks, do it while listening locally, and again using airplay, locally starts the new track almost immediately, airplay will pause for a moment.
  4. gfod thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2013
    Alright cheers for the replies I guess that rules out ATV as an option.
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Since you are using VLC, have you tried messing around with any of the delays?

    Tools -> Track Synchronization

    Adjust the delay +/- so that the video would play a little later and that might help the sync issues.

    If the audio is 2 seconds late, set the audio track synchronization to "-2.000" (Hasten), which will play the audio early, thereby offsetting the delay introduced.
  6. gfod thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2013
    I was meaning to mention that myself actually as a way to get around it, but still leaves the issues with video on safari, etc.

    As ATV doesn't seem suitable, does anyone know a method of getting all audio through external speakers wirelessly? I currently have a bluetooth receiver in use but it is ridiculously unreliable, even to the point that if i am over about 2 metres away there is constant interruption.

    Not too sure if this is really the place to ask though, sorry if not.

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