What I have:
MacMini (2011), iTunes library on attached external drive
MacBook Pro (2009)
Apple TV 3
Airport Base Station
Luxman LV-105 (stereo integrated amp) (really nice old tube amp)
Luxman F-106 (surround sound amp) (been sitting in a box)
Audio Engine desktop speakers
Dragonfly USB DAC
Boston Accoustics speakers
How I used to use it:
MacMini headphone jack output to a y-splitter, into the Luxman Amp component input
Luxman to four speakers
All sound went through the Luxman amp and it worked great - wonderful sound for my content.
Currently I have the Dragonfly USB DAC on the MacMini and the AudioEngine desktop speakers off of it - also sounds pretty good.
What I want to get/do:
Get a new HDMI Plasma TV (probably a Panasonic)
Connect the Apple TV (3) to the Cable Modem Router -> Airport Base Station
MacMini is connected to the Apple TV over the home WiFi network
I want to stream my iTunes content over Apple TV 3 to the new HDTV (via Airplay)
I want the TV to be connected to the Luxman Amp and my older, bigger speakers
If I could use the Surround Sound Amp and get 5.1 (possible? I think so...) then I would, but never tried it, not sure about 5.1 from the Apple TV 3
I want to be able to stream my iTunes music from the MacMini through the Luxman Amp, too
(I would also keep the AudioEngine speakers connected to the MacMini for when I'm sitting in the study, too)
Is there a way to do this setup so I can stream iTunes video contect over Airplay to the ATV/TV and get the sound through the Luxman amp while also being able to stream iTunes audio content through the Luxman amp without needing the TV to be on? I suspect I'd need to connect the ATV to the TV over HDMI and then go from the TV to the Luxman Amp via component cables (no HDMI inputs on the Luxman).
For when I'm out on the patio or in another room, I often play my iTunes content from the MacMini on my MacBook Pro over iTunes Home Sharing network, using some tiny iHome speakers for sound. But if there's a way, I'd love to get some other speakers, perhaps wireless Airplay capable or a Sonos system hookup, for when I'm watching the MacBook screen.
Also, when I'm on an iPhone or an iPad and want to listen/watch to a podcast/iTunes U episode, I'd love to have the ability to stream the sound through the Apple TV and Luxman Amp while I pace around the house.
Is this all making sense? Soliciting thoughts on the hookups you might utilize.