HDMI to I2S extractor for Apple TV to DS

I’m starting to explore the Apple Music catalog more and more and to this point have used either a mobile device via Bluetooth to AirPods or the Apple TV to my AVR for Spatial Audio encoded tracks. I would like to try connecting ithe ATV to the second I2S input of my DS since it has an HDMI output, for the lossless ALAC 2 channel tracks. Has anyone tried a HDMI to I2S extractor for something like this and how well did it work? Thinking of one of those Allie Express ChiFi units.

I haven’t had any direct experience with an Apple TV but I think for some ‘smart’ TV devices you can configure the audio to be ‘split off’ from the HDMI output and ‘passed through’ to an alternative audio out connection, usually optical or coax, maybe USB. From there you could plug directly into the DS. But if you specifically want to use one of the DS’s I²S inputs, you could try a digital-to-digital converter (DDC) that has I²S output capability.

Thanks Mike, I appreciate your reply. I’m using the current generation (4K Gen. 3) ATV which only physically (not Bluetooth) outputs audio via the HDMI output and there’s only one of them. Apple did away with the optical output, IIRC maybe after the first generation. Anyway, an HDMI to I2S converter is indeed a DDC and I’m looking for feedback from someone with experience with one in if possible. Sometimes things seem to work in theory, but then don’t in reality, or come with unanticipated hassles and just don’t live up to expectations which is why I’m asking.

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If I understand you correctly then you can’t do this. I2s does not use the hdmi standard or protocol, they are very different. The only connection is they use the same cable/connector. Apologies if that is not what you are asking

I think it is what I’m asking. My understanding is that the HDMI to I2S extractor does take the digital audio stream from an HDMI input, extracts it and sends it out an I2S output. BUT, I’m no expert on this which is why I’m asking. Here is a link to one such product.


My 2 channel rigs (speakers and headphone) are separate from my A/V theater system and would like to stream music through my higher end 2 channel gear. Basically what I’m wanting to do is take the 24/48k ALAC digital files that are output from the ATV via HDMI into the DS via I2S for DAC. Of course I could add a computer with Apple Music and run it out through USB, but I already have the ATV and the extractor is cheap.

Looks like I’ll have to just give it a try then report back with what I find. Shipping from China, however, is going to take a while.

Well the unit arrived sooner than expected. I can confirm that it does indeed work with the I2S input on my DSD Mk. I. I have my ATV connected via HDMI to the extractor, then an HDMI cable connected to a monitor via the extractor’s HDMI out and the DSD via its I2S out. It worked perfectly and the DSD display confirmed 24 bit/48 kHz. This lets me stream Apple Music in 24/48 to my 2 channel system. A monitor is required for Apple TV to work and to access the menu.

Out of curiosity, I placed an HDMI splitter between the ATV and extractor so multichannel audio and video is sent to my AVR and everything still works. I can listen to multi channel Spatial Audio via my AVR in full Atmos rendering and lossless 24/48 via Direct Stream.

I haven’t had time to really listen too critically but the streaming audio sounds excellent to my ears. I did compare it with my SACD of Clandestine Amigos’ first Octave release played thru my DMP via I2S into the DS. Sonically it was pretty much what one would expect with the SACD superior to the 24/48, just as it is to a 16/44.1 rip. It is certainly excellent and allows me to listen to the Apple Music library natively through my 2 channel system without breaking the bank.


Well I may have spoken too soon. After the holidays I finally got a chance to sit down to do some critical listening. When I fired everything up, nothing but a buzzing static is coming through now. I have double checked every setting and connection, removed the HDMI splitter, changed I2S inputs on the DSD, power cycled every component and nothing changed. It just has static coming through. The ATV plays normally through my AVR when directly connected.

I assume the extractor unit is the culprit. I just have to decide it it’s worth reaching out to the company for troubleshooting or just toss it and chalk it up to experience.

There are multiple i2s audio output standards. PS audio one is unique to it . Most units i2s have dip switches that allow one to configure to specific i2s pin out to a particular manufacturer’s i2s DAC standard.

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Wonder if this is related to a setting on your Apple TV. Might have to change the audio setting to output stereo PCM. If it’s set to output Atmos, you may have a problem. Try selecting the auto or stereo options.

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I wondered too, however it was working then wasn’t with no changes made to settings. I did reach out to the company but haven’t heard back. I doubt I will until the next weekday, hopefully.