Kindra was very excited when her Brother in Law decided he was going to help her and her husband install a Home Theater in Los Angeles. She was excited because he ran a Home Theater Installation Company in Dallas, and she would get the benefit of all of his expertise for free. He sold all the A/V Components to them, installed everything and programmed the Universal Remote just in time for a Valentine’s Day bash she was throwing the next night. About an hour before party-time, she turned on her Home Theater System, chose Apple TV, started a playlist and turned on the speakers in the rest of the house. Unfortunately for Kindra, no sound was coming out of any speakers except her Home Theater. In a panic, Kindra called her brother in law to diagnose the problem. Unfortunately, neither Kindra or her Brother in Law could solve the issue in time, and Kindra’s party was a music-less disappointment.
At Technospeak, we see this issue happen all too often. At $99, the second generation Apple TV seems like a very attractive product to stream your audio and video to your Home Theater system. However, if you are wanting to send that same audio to multiple pairs of speakers outside your Home Theater, there are a couple of more devices you will need to make that happen.
The first piece you will need is a good quality Digital Audio to Analog Audio Converter. This is because the second generation Apple TV will only output Digital Audio, having only an HDMI and Optical Audio Output. These outputs are fine for a Home Theater Receiver, however the second zone of any Home Theater Receiver or any Distributed Audio Amplifier/Matrix can only receive Analog Audio as an input. Thus the audio from the Apple TV needs to be converted to Analog Audio before you will hear it in the rest of the house. These devices typically retail for $70.
The second piece of equipment you will need is an HDMI EDID Recorder. If you wanted to listen to music all day long, you probably don’t want your TV on that whole time, especially if it’s a Plasma TV (subject to burn in over prolonged viewing of stationary images). Once you have found the playlist you want to play, there is no more need for the TV to be on. However, you will find that if you turn your TV off, your playlist will stop. This issue occurs because of the HDMI connection that exists between the Apple TV and the TV. Because all HDMI connections from source (Apple TV) to display (TV) are encrypted, data flowing through these HDMI connections will stop when no display is found. With the display off, this is the same as having no display at all. This is not an Apple TV issue, but rather an HDMI Issue. An HDMI EDID recorder will trick the Apple TV into thinking that the TV is still on even though it may not be, and uninterrupted music from the Apple TV will result. These devices typically retail for $180.
As you can see from our discussion thus far, the cost of the peripheral devices to get your Apple TV to play music all over the house are much more than the Apple TV itself. Ironically enough, at a total cost of $349, the second generation of Apple TV is more expensive to send all over the house than the first generation Apple TV (the larger white one), which was able to do all Kindra wanted all by itself.
Thus, when you are building your budget for your Home Theater in Los Angeles this year and an Apple TV is on your list, make sure you factor in much more than the $99 price tag.
Not sure you can setup all this equipment on your own, or interested in listening to your Apple TV in the rest of your house? Give Technospeak a call today at (855) 832-4775 Toll Free or (310) 410-8771 Locally and we will make sure your next party doesn’t end up like Kindra’s.