2 Replies Latest reply: Mar 27, 2011 10:09 AM by Tim Krynicki
Tim Krynicki Level 1 (30 points)
Hey all,

Quick question here. Using the Apple TV 2 hooked up to my TV and audio receiver.

I have had a few glitches with the audio.

I connected the ATV through HDMI to my TV, which the TV has a SPDIF (RCA) output, which I connected to my audio receiver.

With the TV SPDIF passing through audio to my receiver, when I scroll through the ATV menu, the sounds it makes when selecting and navigating are about 20% correct sounding, the other 80% sound low, not at all and just odd, like totally different noises. Also, one movie I started playing the sound did not come on at all. I had to start the movie over to get sound from it.

Now when I setup the ATV using a SPDIF cable, I used a coax cable used for TV tuners (the type with nuts on the end you use to connect your TV to a cable box), and I had a couple RCA screw in adapters that converted the cable to use as a high quality RCA cable, the AWG being 18. I thought maybe through this cable, I am getting signal loss or degradation (even though most spdif cables are similar in awg, but the adapters could make it vulnerable to emi).

I bought an optical cable to see if that does the trick. I haven't had the issue with the movies not having sound yet, but the noises the navigating of the ATV and selecting are still whack, the same as if using the TV as a pass through for spdif.

So I am curious, should I exchange the optical cable for a true SPDIF cable, or am I wasting my time with my concerns and this is just inherent glitcheness of digital audio I have to deal with? Or maybe my audio receiver has a poor digital receiving unit (normal analog audio sounds great through it, but the ATV does not have analog out)?

Any opinions or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
  • Alley_Cat Level 6 (19,015 points)
    Many TVs with digital out will not transfer all audio kinds e.g. only outputting stereo not relaying dolby digital - that alone if your TV is like this (check manual) would be enough to make a direct connection via optical/Toslink to the receiver a better option.

    Certainly for troubleshooting cut the TV out of the equation and use optical to the receiver.

    If menu navigation sounds odd, via optical, then it's either a problem with the AppleTV/Settings or your receiver or it's settings.

    Check your receiever isn't trying to apply some kind of surround effect to the stereo audio which menu actions would produce.

    I would set the receiver to automatically detect the kind of feed (linear PCM for stereo, DD 5.1 etc) and also turn off any DSP effects.

    You may want to try unplugging AppleTV and restarting to see if that helps.

    As a last resort before concluding AppleTV might be faulty, I would restore the AppleTV using a micro USB lead in iTunes.
  • Tim Krynicki Level 1 (30 points)
    Im leaning toward the receiver is the cause of this.

    I have thought about a new receiver but I don't think it is in my budget right now. This one does work most of the time, so maybe I can push it till it really becomes a problem.

    I look into the surround effects settings and I get the same results on any mode. I usually leave it in Dolby Digital PLII Movie, Music or Emulation, which sounds great when I use analog sources, but continually gives me the glitchy noise on any digital source.

    The receiver takes PCM and DD, so I assume everything is compatible. The TV also puts out RAW or PCM (assume RAW is DD).

    I think this receiver is decent, but amazing. It has lasted me for quite sometime, but the digital processor may be frtizing on me.

    Thank you for the in depth reply!