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Airplay/Apple TV Optical Output?

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  1. #1
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    Airplay/Apple TV Optical Output?

    I thought that it would be nice to play music from the iPad iPod app via Airplay and Apple TV to my sound system without having to turn on my TV.

    I purchased an optical cable and optical to RCA converter (my amplifier is quite old) all of which works BUT...

    The only way to initiate output to the optical port seems to be to start things off with the TV on then turn it off, pretty much defeating what I was trying to achieve. I could deal with this but I would even attempt to explain the procedure to my wife.

    Is this a bug that will hopefully get fixed? Any ideas?

    I must say that I am quite disappointed with the ATV/AirPlay/iPad combination. I think that it delivers much less than you have reason to expect. ATV itself is quite disappointing.

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  3. #2
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    I'm waiting to get a demonstration on the new Marantz Melody Media at the next audio show. It supports Airplay with a software extension.

    You should look into acquiring a preamplifier with optical input instead of a cable...

    I love the features Airplay provide. For example, two days ago my wife and I had a Holiday dinner party for her family. I rigged a high definition tv on the dining room wall hooked up to a trusty audiophile system. This setup allowed me to display a slide presentation of our thirty-two year old family relation from pictures on my computer to the tune of specially selected Christmas music. All controlled from the iPad. After which I showed family videos of years past from the iPad via AirPlay. There were no awkward moments only wide eyes and smiles.
    I'm planning the same thing on Thursday as we eat with my family... I'm converting old super8 reels from the fifties for the occasion.

    Of course, if quality Airplay speakers were available it would be less of a challenge to set up entertainment. They're due this quarter, I hear...
    Not white, not black just passionate shades of grey...

    Yuno Wataï Minh

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by iVan View Post
    You should look into acquiring a preamplifier with optical input instead of a cable...
    Thanks, I assume that you mean "instead of a converter".

    I assume that the ATV doesn't "see" an output device when only the optical link (to the conveyer) is active. Do you think that the optical converter is passive and that a preamp would provide some sort of handshake to tell ATV that it is there?

  5. #4
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    Is your converter passive or does it have a source of power?
    Not white, not black just passionate shades of grey...

    Yuno Wataï Minh

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by iVan View Post
    Is your converter passive or does it have a source of power?
    No it's not completely passive, there is a power supply, a doubt that it is possible for an optical to RCA converter to operate without external power. This is URL to the device Jaycar Electronics - Search results toslink. I am using the AC1603.

    I am going to try leaving the iPod app running in the background, not playing music. It remains to be seen whether this affects battery life. I have to remember to divert output back to the iPad so that I get sound.
    Last edited by RAC; 12-28-2010 at 02:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iVan View Post
    Is your converter passive or does it have a source of power?
    No it's not completely passive, there is a power supply, a doubt that it is possible for an optical to RCA converter to operate without external power. This is URL to the device Jaycar Electronics - Search results toslink. I am using the AC1603.

    I am going to try leaving the iPod app running in the background, not playing music. It remains to be seen whether this affects battery life. I have to remember to divert output back to the iPad so that I get sound.
    Leaving the iPod app running (but idle) seems to work. I will interested to see whether this has any effect on battery life.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAC View Post
    Leaving the iPod app running (but idle) seems to work. I will interested to see whether this has any effect on battery life.
    I spoke too soon, after a few hours it was up to it's old tricks. Very disappointing.

    I was hoping to get my wife using the iPad to play music from the iPad on our sound system but unreliability such as this would quickly turn her off the idea.


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