12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2012 3:48 PM by jon8979
ilikesailing Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi,

 

I'm running ATV input an amp using the optical output.  When I stream music, nothing happens until I turn the TV on, and then the optical output then starts to work and music plays out over the optical output.

 

Is this by design, or is this an issue thats being addressed?

 

Jeff.


AppleTV 2
  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (84,605 points)

    Welcome to the Apple Community.

     

    Different software versions have worked different ways, some have allowed audio only others have required the TV to be on.

     

    Apple doesn't claim the Apple TV will work without a TV and indeed the specifications for use include a TV, so it's not entirely clear whether you should expect it to work without a TV or not.

  • hualon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    And where does it say that, exactly?

     

    I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that a hole on the back of a device labeled "audio" should actually, you know, output some audio.

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (84,605 points)

    Where does it say what exactly.

     

    I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that a hole on the back of a device labeled "audio" should actually, you know, output some audio.

    That's rather a spurious statement is it not, I assume you would not expect it to output audio without a power lead connected between the Apple TV and a wall outlet which is switched on, therefore you clearly understand getting audio out of the audio output is a conditional event.

  • hualon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You said "the specifications for use include a TV".   Where does it say that?  I must have missed it.

     

     

    Winston Churchill wrote:

     

    That's rather a spurious statement is it not, I assume you would not expect it to output audio without a power lead connected between the Apple TV and a wall outlet which is switched on, therefore you clearly understand getting audio out of the audio output is a conditional event.

     

    Of course it's not a spurious statement.  Why even bring up this ridiculous power lead statement?  I propose to you that not even a moron would expect anything to work were the device not plugged in.  Of course.  Making such a fatuous statement should embarass you.

     

    Audio coming out of the audio output is most certainly a conditional event.  It is conditional upon the device playing some media that features an audio portion (and yes, being plugged in).  The device is playing sound?  It should come out of the sound hole.  If it's playing video then I expect it to come out of the HDMI port.

     

    Why else would the smegging hole be there?

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (84,605 points)

    hualon wrote:

     

    You said "the specifications for use include a TV".   Where does it say that?  I must have missed it.

    What you quite clearly seemed to have missed is the manual.

     

    Try page 10.

     

    For someone who hasn't even read the manual and as yet has not offered to produce any documentation from Apple supporting your point of view, you make your assumptions about the Apple TV's functionality rather forcefully.

     

    Upon taking the time to read the manual you will undoubtedly note those items that are optional are clearly noted as so. Any logical implication from not denoting the TV as optional is that it isn't optional.

     

    As I clearly said hereinbefore, it's not entirely clearly whether audio only functionality should be expected or not. Indeed in certain software updates Apple has stated in its accompanying documentation that audio only functionality has been restored, this does not however logically imply it is a feature that can be expected in future software releases.

     

    Whether you believe it's a feature of the Apple TV is somewhat irrelevant to providing an answer to the OP in this thread, personally I don't see why it should not be a feature either, but that is also quite irrelevant. The fact is Apple have made no claims it is to date and until such time as they do it shouldn't be expected.

     

    If I were representing you in a claim against Apple because it's Apple TV did not fulfill its expected functionality, I would tell you to go home, lick your wounds and save your money because you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. I'd likely consider two points before telling you this, advertised functionality and reasonable expectation of functionality. On the first point you fail to leave the starting line, Apple have not advertised this as a feature. On the second point, you may have a reasonable expectation if it was not clearly stated that a TV is a requirement, but it is.

     

    If it's any consolation, I believe Apple are wrong for allowing this apparent uncertainty to continue, however that being said your expectations have no basis and any comments you have about the matter should form suggestions for improvement and not complaint about undelivered advertised features.

  • Paul Sparkman Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I am beginning to suspect that this lack of optical audio output is not an Apple TV issue at all, but rather a bug in iTunes or Airplay. 

     

    My ATV2 (4.4.4) streamed audio from my iMac to my Technics stereo receiver reliably for months, first time, every time. Whether or not my Sharp Aquos HDTV was on...or the HDMI cable was connected (it was)...was irrelevant.  But last fall, I started experiencing the same problems that many other forum participants have been describing.  (1) No audio streaming via optical digital port and (2) inability to select ATV as a multiple speaker.  All other ATV capabilities worked as advertised.  The only solution that occasionally restored audio streaming via the optical digital port was restarting my iMac...but as of today, even that is not working. 

     

    Rather than try downgrading my ATV software, I thought I would try hooking up an old Airport Express that I had used to stream audio for MANY years prior to buying the ATV2.  The AEX is connected to my home network, Airplay is enabled (via Airport Utility), AEX is connected to receiver, the AEX is selected in iTunes as a multiple speaker AND I isolated the ATV2 from my network...and alas, no audio is streaming to my receiver via the AEX. 

     

    I've submitted a bug report to Apple.  Would be curious to know if there are any users out there who use the optical digital port and are NOT having any problems.  Hope this gets fixed soon...this capability worked flawlessly for many years...and has been an integral component of my home entertainment system.  Would hate to have to dig my CD player out of the closet...

  • jon8979 Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    hualon wrote:

     

    Audio coming out of the audio output is most certainly a conditional event.  It is conditional upon the device playing some media that features an audio portion (and yes, being plugged in).  The device is playing sound?  It should come out of the sound hole.  If it's playing video then I expect it to come out of the HDMI port.

     

    Why else would the smegging hole be there?

    Winston believes he's serving some kind of useful purpose by arguing nonsense in threads on the 4.4.x audio issue, when all he's doing is diluting them and hindering people who are looking for solutions. I've pointed out to him multiple times that the documentation doesn't say anything about electrical extension cords, so by his "reasoning", you can't expect them to work, either. He's never acknowledged the silliness of that line of "thinking". The main thing he doesn't understand is that the documentation for the ATV is not a NASA specification or something, and it is not surprising it does not try to exhaustively describe everything relevant to its use in thousands of mind-numbing pages. Documentation is always supplemented by things like support documents (e.g. the Apple documents that mention fixing the audio output bug when the TV is off, and the use of DVI, his other nonsense issue I'm aware of) and user experience based on sensible expectations. I would have been surprised if Apple had documented the TV-less use of the ATV even in the specifications, because then they'd have to document that you still need a TV to set it up and make configuration changes as necessary, because it doesn't provide a browser interface. It's just easier to ignore the capability, because its availability is implicit in the design of any device that provides the digital audio port in addition to the HDMI port, and people who want to use the ATV without a TV can figure it out for themselves. It would be beyond stupid for it not to work, because that would mean you couldn't use the ATV for audio with a stereo system that lacks HDMI inputs, without always having a TV connected and turned on. The ATV is documented as an Airplay device for streaming iTunes audio from devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and PCs, and for that, there's no reason to have a TV connected and turned on. It's a common sense expectation that it should work with the TV off or without a TV. It goes without saying.

     

    FYI, Winston also believes that using the ATV with a DVI device can't be expected to work even when the DVI device supports HDCP and 720p, because the ATV manual doesn't mention DVI. He will assert this wrong thing every time someone asks about it, and he will reject refutation via Apple support documentation and the hdmi.org FAQ every time it's presented to him. He will imply that HDMI to HDMI is guaranteed because it's documented, ignoring the hundreds of messages written by people with HDMI problems. He seems to be incapable of understanding that the jack on the target device is irrelevant to how well the ATV and the device follow HDMI and HDCP standards, which is the factor which determines whether or not they work together. I must have explained this to him a dozen times over the last few months, and the audio issue, too, but nothing has ever penetrated.

     

    Anyway, I hope you've found this Winston documentation useful. It's a waste of time trying to talk with him on the audio and DVI subjects, and you can refer to my posts over the last few months for numerous examples of the futility.

  • jon8979 Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    To Paul Sparkman, have you found anyone else complaining that the Airport Express is no longer working with the version of iTunes you're using? If not, I'd suspect problems with your receiver, network, firewall, computer, etc. I stream from my iPod Touch to my ATV, and the 4.4 "update" killed the optical output from it as well as iTunes. Reverting to 4.3 restored this functionality, along with eliminating the Airplay two-step bug, another bug introduced by 4.4 and apparently unfixed to this day. One of the 4.4.x updates was supposed to fix the optical bug, but the Airplay 2-step bug could be mistaken for it, if you don't try switching back and forth between target devices, which will temporariliy reactivate the optical output on an ATV afflicted by the 4.4.x "update" series.

  • ilikesailing Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi thanks for taking and interest in this, there are some very useful responses here.

     

    Hopefully Apple will take note, be able to reproduce the error and fix it.

     

    An audio output should output audio!?

     

    Jeff.

  • Paul Sparkman Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I was about the spend the upcoming weekend trouble-shooting optical cables, my receiver, my iMac, my Airport Extreme network, etc.  But after reading a few posts by jon8979, I tried something this morning that I had never done before (never really had a reason to with my home computer/entertainment network setup).  I used Airplay on my iPhone 4 and then my iPad (now you know why my wife has me on an annual technology budget)...which successfully streamed to my receiver via both my optical port on my ATV2 and the audio output port on my AEX-G.  And after that, I was able to stream from iTunes on my iMac to the ATV2's optical port and/or the AEX.  I was not familiar with the "Airplay 2-step bug" but if I understand the anomaly correctly, it sounds like that is what I may have been experiencing versus problems with my hardware or network.  jon8979, does this match (somewhat) what you have been describing?

  • glenfromnyc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Winston Churchill wrote:

     

    That's rather a spurious statement is it not, I assume you would not expect it to output audio without a power lead connected between the Apple TV and a wall outlet which is switched on, therefore you clearly understand getting audio out of the audio output is a conditional event.

     

    You've got to be kidding. "Spurious statement"??  What exactly would be the point in having a separate audio out if you require the TV, connected via HDMI which includes audio, also be on?

     

    Think of this: Apple TV has internet radio built in. It would be incredibly desirable to send the optical out to your audio system, then turn off the TV once you've chosen your station. i just ordered an optical cable to accomplish exactly that. If the audio winks out when I turn off the TV, I'm gonna be quite ******.

  • jon8979 Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    Hi Paul, I only have experience with the Airplay 2-step bug relative to my iPod Touch, and I can't test it further as I restored my ATV to 4.3. I don't think it would be very surprising though if it spanned devices as you described. Hopefully flipping back and forth between devices will continue to be a workaround for you.