Recommendations requested

I use apple tv to stream music, and i have apple tv and fire tv and dvd player for video. EVERYTHING connects to the Sony Bravia TV.

I use the Bravia’s analogy audio out (3.5mm headhone jack) straight into my NAD C268 amp.

This is a convenient setup since everything goes through my television and I get a single out to the amplifier. Convenient though it may be, I’m wondering if the sound is as good as it can be since I am using the Bravia’s DAC to convert the Apple TV’s music data.

My first thought was to buy an AV processor and run it in “stereo mode” essentially making it a 2 channel preamp. The beauty in this solution is the ability to send the apple tv, fire tv, and DVD player all into the AV processor via HDMI. But I wondered whether the sound quality would be as good as a 2 channel preamp dedicated to playing music. And so, hoping to better the quality of sound, I just purchased a Stellar DAC. I intend to plug the Bravia’s optical out into the Stellar DAC.

Am I on the right track? Is the Stellar DAC a viable solution for my needs? Is there a better solution out there that I am missing given that I definitely want to use Apple TV for playing music?

Thank you for any thoughts.

Perfect solution, the tv optical output plugged into my DIrectstream works like a charm :wink:

Thank you, that’s what I was hoping to hear!

Do you have any thoughts on whether, given my setup, I should consider any of PS’ power products? Thank you.

If you happen to find a used P10 that would be great value for money.

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Thanks again

Like this one. No connection to seller just wanted you to know one is up now.

I started out like you. Found after market HDMI splitters are better. Just feed video to the TV. The tvs add lots of digital noise. Use linear powe supplies to feed the splitters and take an optical or coax out to your DAC. .

Tv output should be fine, I would recommend Lifatec Toslink. This works great on my system LG OLED to Strata.

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I’m not sure I understand your suggestion. Are you suggesting using optical from the TV? Thanks.

Yes that is one way. There are aftermarket HDMI splitter take audio out only send video to TV. This one with after market LPS is what i use on my Apple TV to PS Audio DSD is way better than letting TV do it Even with wall wart power. much Quieter. You can also send a full non extracted signal to a HT processor. Hands down PSA DSD DaC slays Mcintosh HT MX150 processor with two channel from apple TV. McIntosh MX150 is best 5 or 7 channel experience. A dedicated music streamer out does both.

Very nice solution. Thank you.

Since those toslink cables are expensive, let me ask, do you recommend those cables to overcome insufficiencies related to the TV handling the optical or do you recommend them regardless? Thanks.

@JBMB This is a multi variable issue.

Using anything HDMI is a big compromise in many cases. HDMI is awful with jitter and noise… this comes from the clock for audio being embedded in the video stream.

I do not recommend spending $100 on an HDMI extractor and then using a cheap Toslink that adds a bunch of jitter. I would lean towards an SPDIF Purifier2 if you want to improve the signal from TV. Although this may be entirely unnecessary.

The Lifatec is highly recommended on this site and it’s a great bang for the buck. To me it has a lifelike sound.

You could try the Lifatec, order an Extractor, compare… that may be the only way to tell. Lifatec has 30 day return policy.

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After what you wrote, I’m wondering whether I should return my new apple tv and go on ebay and get an older one with optical out. Problem solved, right?

The old one is a few generations back so that may not be the best. You’re not gonna get the newest 4k/HDR etc…

There are just a ton of variables, noise and jitter varying everywhere.

I would start simple… get a good Toslink like the Lifatec and see how it sounds. Then consider adding things on top. You’re going to want a good Toslink regardless.

What model TV is the Bravia?

The Bravia is a KD-50X690E. Going back to Vmax’ suggestion of an hdmi extractor, the reality is that the Bravia has an extractor itself. It takes the apple tv hdmi input and separates (extracts) the audio and the video, converts the audio to an optical signal and then sends it to the toslink port. So when you look at it that way, an extractor is not avoidable in my case (apple tv for music via hdmi), and Vmax’ suggestion might be the better choice IF the calrad extractor is as good as the Bravia’s. My reasoning is that with the calrad extractor, you save the length of toslink (and probably cheap cable at that) that runs inside the Bravia between the point where the hdmi audio is converted to optical and the external toslink port on the Bravia’s external casing.

I have a Sony Bravia and old model Apple tv with optical output (and Android Minix with Kodi etc.) and use a 39.4 feet Audioquest Forest toslink optical cable to the DS. Tried toslink straight from apple tv to DS vs running from Bravia, Minix and cable tv set top box. In my experience there is no difference in sound whatsoever so went from Bravia to DS with the extra benefit that everything i’m throwing at the tv (apple-, minix- and cable signals) can be handled by the DS instantly.

That’s interesting and good to know. Based on all the responses, I am concluding that my present set up (new apple tv -> bravia’s hdmi -> bravia’s optical out -> stellar dac) is not likely to be bettered from either a sound quality or convenience perspective, adding a quality toslink cable aside. I have been using the Bravia’s analog out (headphone 3.5mm port) and the sound quality has been good. It will be interesting to see whether using the Bravia’s optical out coupled with a Stellar DAC (as opposed to the Bravia’s extractor and DAC) makes a noticeable difference. Thank you everyone for all the very helpful responses.

I have a TCL 6 series connected to the Optical Input of the Stellar DAC for TV - it sounds great. The Apple TV and cable boxes are connected to the HDMI inputs on the TCL . Using this arrangement I can enjoy all cable tv, streaming services via Optical while also listening to music from my Aurender N100H/Matrix SPDIF/LPS stack via the DACs superior I2S input. I did notice a small improvement on TV when I upgraded to a Optical cable from Analysis Plus that was on closeout. Hope this helps