Wire free home theater with ATV, Airplay, and Projector

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by coopersmith, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. coopersmith macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2013
    Let me start with my current setup - a MBP in my office, running Plex, which streams my movie/tv collection (on a harddrive) to my iPad via the Plex iOS device. I then Airplay this to my Apple TV (henceforth, ATV), which is plugged into my Flatscreen television, which then outputs audio to my speaker system.

    (For what its worth, this setup works flawlessly, so if you're considering something similar, I can attest to it working great)

    However, I'm interested in swapping out my flatscreen television for a projector. This complicates things because the projector needs to go behind my couch, while the stereo must remain in front.

    My proposed solution is to keep my ATV near my projector and plugged in via HDMI. Then, utilizing the new 5.2 update to ATV, airplay the audio to my speakers via an Airport Express.

    Has anybody had any luck with this? I have several concerns. 1) I'm worried that the audio over airport express and the video will not sync up correctly (ie, the audio will be milliseconds behind the video). 2) I'm worried that I'm overloading my wifi network with Plex to iPad to Apple Tv to Airplay Speakers. Is there any sort of smart daisy chaining I can do, given that I'll have a second Airport Express? 3) Degradation of quality of the 1080p video signal, and secondary, the degradation of quality in the audio signal 4) This pretty much locks me into the AppleTV being my only source of content, given that I'd have no way to get audio out of my xBox360 or HD Antenna (cut the cable cord a while ago)

    Appreciate any experience / insights with this setup
  2. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    I have had a projector (PJ) for about a decade. My advice is that you have to change your whole thinking. You have been making your TV part of your A/V hub, a PJ cannot be that. It is a one-ended video appliance, almost like a low-end computer monitor, treat it as such.

    IOW, make sure you have the right location for the PJ, then find a way to permanently run wires to there from your hub. (hint: inside walls) That hub is probably your audio system area, but that might need new planning, too. With the wires in place, you can swap out equipment on each end whenever you want in the future.

    As for the Airplay stuff, leaving the ATV in the hub with your audio should work better, it has an optical output. HDMI goes to the PJ. I think those sync up ok, should certainly be better than a series of other devices.
  3. crhendo macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2009
    I do this now with two projectors and two ATV3's running sound to two Airplay speakers. One speaker is a Libratone Lounge and the other is an ORB satellite and subwoofer connected to a Griffin Twenty.

    Yes it all works however:-

    1. The Airplay Speaker option in the ATV's does not support a surround signal (yet!)
    2. I am an "all Apple" user who hasn't played with Plex for ages
    3. While their is a delay (about 10 seconds) before starting video content that is streamed from the iPad to the ATV (presumably to ensure that a video AND audio stream are suitably buffered) the result is a perfectly synced audio output
    4. I use two 5th Gen Airport Extremes with the ATV's and the Libratone Lounge connected wirelessly. The Airport Express on the Griffin Twenty is hardwired
    5. Sound is only in sync for "streamed material" ie purely mirrored content (like some games) will have the audio out of sync
    6. I only started using this system about two weeks ago.

    All that aside, I am very impressed with the result particularly when you consider that the "select Airplay speaker" option on the ATV is on its first release.
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    If you are serious about movie watching and have a capable Full HD projector with true 24p support, please ditch the ATV. It ruins its quality.
  5. PM-Performance macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2012
    Not entirely true. If you are using 1080P rips, honestly I can hardly notice the difference from a true Bluray.
    Where I notice more of the difference is sound since the ATV will not do full DTS.
    Visually though, its about as good as BD quality if you look for quality content.

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