How best to connect Apple TV or Roku and a video disc player to DSD DAC?

My DLP projector of 20 years(!) finally died and I’m replacing it with a projector capable of quasi-4k HDR. With it, I’m upgrading my video source which is also 20 years old(!?). I need an Apple TV or Roku device for the Criterion Channel and to watch (and hear) Met Opera Live in HD, but the Apple TV 4K and Roku Ultra offer only HDMI out. For discs, I’ve purchased a Panasonic UB420 player, which offers optical out, so I’d be OK there provided I can take care of the Roku with another input (probably coax) on the DSD DAC. I’m wondering how best to configure this equipment to work with my DSD DAC.

I’m apprehensive that such a good DAC is being fed by such mass market devices, with their inevitable design tradeoffs, but the Panny gets good reviews for video and I’m too late to the party to buy an OPPO. Since I need a Roku or Apple streamer, I’m giving the Roku Ultra a shot.

What product(s) do you use to connect your HDMI-output-only video devices to your DAC?

Does anyone use an HDMI switch with an audio extractor? Which one? For sound, do you prefer SPDIF over Coax to SPDIF over TOSLINK, or is the difference not significant? Has anyone tried the iFi SPDIF iPurifier2 to reclock a SPDIF-over-coax signal?

My thought has been to find an HDMI switch that extracts audio to SPDIF over coax and to then feed the SPDIF output through a reclocker like the iFi. Unfortunately, I can’t find a decent-looking box that offers all those capabilities along with HDMI 4K HDR video signal passthrough. I’m thinking of settling for an HDMI switch offering SPDIF over TOSLINK and foregoing the reclocker. Those products seem a little better, but still kind of iffy. One poster here recommended the XOLORspace 23421. The J-Tech SWE 31 looks like a decent candidate and I’ve had success with Cable Matters cables and they sell a Cable Matters 4-in 2-out Switch, which they claim offers 16/24bit 192KHz out of the optical TOSLINK, which would be nice to have if it works.

Then again, maybe I’d be better giving up the switch idea entirely and routing the Panny directly to the DSD DAC with optical and getting a simple HDMI splitter with a coax output for the Roku. I haven’t found many decent options there, but the Gofanco Prophecy 4K looks competent. That would give me the option of trying a reclocker on the Roku, at least.

Any recommendations or thoughts? I’d appreciate them!

I have a similar setup to yours, using an Apple TV and an Oppo 103. Since the Oppo has a HDMI IN, I use it as a “splitter”, going to the TV from the HDMI OUT and opto cable for audio to the DSD.

I also looked initially for external splitters, but I don’t trust them to do a better job than the Oppo. Cheap electronics can do so much harm to the quality. So if your Panasonic has that capability, it is the way to go.

(Only drawback, or inconveniance, is that I need to switch input source on the Oppo when I want to use the Apple TV… but I can live with that :slight_smile:

Had a look at the spec for the Panasonic and it seems not to have any HDMI input, so that leaves you with an external box.

My HDMI devices are all connected to my TV, and its Toslink output to my DS DAC. For music I go Toslink (192kHz) to iFi SPDIF purifier and into the coax input on the DAC.
How are you planning to switch inputs to the projector? It’s probably the best point for you to focus on getting your digital audio out.

My Apple TV is HDMI connected closed to my LASER projector with a DVDO ISCAN MINI. This tiny box is surprisingly good to upsample video. It’s toslink output is connected to the DS with a long cable. Long toslink cable is quite cheap (more than HDMI), discreete and immune to many interferences. Ted Smith said that the Toslink input of the DS was his preferred entry. I’m quite happy with the sound (i use Matrix I2S/Rendu for music). I have to try to power the Iscan Mini with a LPS.

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I highly recommend this device. It is US made. Reliable also has ARC. I feed it Apple TV 4K use the Toslink 2 Channel. to DS DAC. I use Wire world SS7 HDMI and PSHDMI 7 for multi channel into my McIntosh HT processor

If you toss the wall wart SMPS and power it with a 5v Zerozove LPS it further improves sound and picture which is still very good without. My cable company spectrum has Apple TV App is great for video and audio streaming in just two channel. The picture is not harmed for multi channel and LOS to this device gives better sound than Apple TV straight in.

CALRAD also sells pro AV equipment most stuff is US made. Way better splitters than a Chinese model I used previous.

Welcome! There are some good products linked here that will likely work well in the setup. I’m wondering though why you wouldn’t want to get a good quality HT pre-pro instead. Some of the offerings from Emotiva, Denon, Marantz, you name it, will do really well, and you’ll avoid any need for converters or audio extractors. The DSD does damn well with whatever you throw at it including audio for HT stuff, but I argue it really shines when listening to music. I’m just not certain it’s worth the compromises presented by these extractors just do you can send the audio for video through to the DSD.

The DS does way better than internal DACs of HT for two channel. It sounds more natural, relaxed an you can then upscale it to more channels if the processor does the job well.

I certainly can’t disagree with ya there. The DSD is going to sound far superior to the DACs used in pre pros. I’ve been using a Marantz pre pro in my HT setup for a few years now and it does darn well. That system doesn’t even come close to my two channel system, but for movies, I’m more than pleased. The simplicity and lack of converters is nice.

Thank you all for your great suggestions, they were very helpful! In case anyone’s interested, here’s the path I’m down:

Since this decision is only about two-channel sound to accompany my video I think I can pass on Jamesh’s suggestion of a HT pre-pro. And I’m not sure I’d benefit from an upscaler like ralberge has because my projector should be pretty good.

I’ve decided to give up on the idea of using an HDMI switch. The product choices aren’t reassuring and this decision simplifies my video signal path. My projector accepts two HDMI cables, so the video feed from the disc player will be direct, while the feed from the Roku will have to make a hop.

I purchased the Calrad HDMI extractor on Vmax’s suggestion ($91 delivered after shopping around). I like that it’s made in the US and that Calrad sells pro AV equipment. I have a spare LPS that I can use to power it.

Dvorak’s post helped me realize that the iFi SPDIF iPurifier2 offers TOSLINK and coax on both inputs and outputs. I had missed that, but this means I can reclock the SPDIF of both sources if it’s worth it. I’ve ordered one and I’ll play around with it. I wrote iFi today asking if their reclocker can be configured with two source inputs, since I’ll be using only one source at a time. We’ll see what they say, but I’m guessing not. In which case I can buy a second one if it’s worth it.

And thank you jamesh for your welcome! I’m new to this forum, but I’m not new to PS Audio. I bought my first PS Audio product, a PS IV-a phono stage, with money from one of my first paychecks after college, forty years ago this year. Yikes!

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Thanks for keeping us posted Dodo. :smile: I’m glad there were some useful posts in here. Once you get everything going, let us know what you think!

Sorry, very humiliating the whole forum. I guess I will not post anymore. I wish you healthy days.
@jamesh @tedsmith @Paul