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Apple Music Atmos to an AVR, but no Apple TV, how?

Jazz

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Other than an Apple TV, how do you play Apple Music Atmos/Spatial Audio music to an AVR*, which has HDMI ports?
There must be some kind of second option.

*Yamaha TSR-700 7.2 Channel AV Receiver with Dolby Atmos DTS - the USB port on it is still, sadly, only for thumb drives!
 

voodooless

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Looks like AppltrTV is the only option. Although it seems you can get 7.1 LPCM decoded Atmos from a MacBook as well.
 
OP
Jazz

Jazz

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I gave up and bought a 2021 ATV 4K 64GB on sale for $114.
 

Tom C

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That’s not too bad. I feel the AppleTV is a good, or at least reasonable, value. It’s my understanding that the memory is only for adding apps. The unit doesn’t actually store media on board. So unless you want to add lots of apps, you don’t miss anything by buying the cheaper, less memory model.
 
OP
Jazz

Jazz

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If only this article had been out a year ago! Explains Atmos music.
https://apple.news/A7ZpbkmYSRnyg5YxZ4A4tDw
“When I connected the box to my… receiver via HDMI cable, I got the Dolby Atmos logo immediately when listening to Dolby Atmos tracks on Apple Music or in TIDAL. So the Apple TV is currently the best streaming box to buy if you’re interested in playing back Dolby Atmos music tracks over your home speaker system from both Apple Music and TIDAL.”
“At the moment, Amazon’s implementation of Dolby Atmos is the most restrictive. If you want to play back songs in Dolby Atmos from Amazon Music over speakers, you either need to use the Amazon Echo Studio speaker (which is a one-piece speaker that bounces sound in all directions to simulate Dolby Atmos) or you can use the Sonos ARC, Sonos Arc XL or Sonos Beam (Gen 2) sound bars. That’s it.”
 
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OP
Jazz

Jazz

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That’s not too bad. I feel the AppleTV is a good, or at least reasonable, value. It’s my understanding that the memory is only for adding apps. The unit doesn’t actually store media on board. So unless you want to add lots of apps, you don’t miss anything by buying the cheaper, less memory model.
I could have saved a few bucks but went 64 as I likly will use for streaming apps too. New, the 64 was not worth the mark up. With both marked way down, the difference was better. Much better.
 

Neddy

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I just realized my old Oppo 105 is Atmos compatible (when set to bitstream). Will try that with my ATV soon!!
(I'm using that as my HT/streaming HDMI->analog decoder, which is then ADC'd to USB and thence to the PC/OktoDAC :eek::)
Thanks for the links. I thought I might have to (groan) buy Yet Another Horrible AVR!
Huh.
 
OP
Jazz

Jazz

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I just realized my old Oppo 105 is Atmos compatible (when set to bitstream). Will try that with my ATV soon!!
(I'm using that as my HT/streaming HDMI->analog decoder, which is then ADC'd to USB and thence to the PC/OktoDAC :eek::)
Thanks for the links. I thought I might have to (groan) buy Yet Another Horrible AVR!
Huh.
I am not familiar with that “105”. But it looks like you'll still need an HDMI 5.1 AVR with Atmos (most are 7.1 and higher) for ATV to generate true Atmos music from Apple Music on the ATV or Tidal, on the ATV.
AVRs have gotten quite good and provide the most bang for the buck. The good ones are at least a relaxed panther, or better. Also, keep in mind, Atmos is compressed. But it's unique way of instrument seperation and other tricks, make up for that by letting the performance environment sound real and instruments have the unique live quality a stereo mix cannot fully replicate.
 

Neddy

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Whoops. You are very correct - got too excited and didn't read the rest of the detail! !!
My bad.
And, yes, the combo of HDMI - Analog decoder (Oppo) and ADC are likely no better than the 'better' AVRs today (but sounds fantastic with movies), but I have less than $500 invested in all of that, and don't need any of the bulk and cost of a AVR w/amps.
If someone gets around to making a new Pre/Pro with all the HDMI decoding tricks but with just analog outs, preferrably in a sleek package, I might get interested again.
Not holding my breath, but would like to try out someday.
Thanks!!
 

abdo123

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I pre-ordered the 3rd gen today, i've been holding back for a long time but with a new product cycle i couldn't resist.
 

sarumbear

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I pre-ordered the 3rd gen today, i've been holding back for a long time but with a new product cycle i couldn't resist.
Is that the 4K 3rd gen or the HD 3rd gen? Apple makes model numbers difficult to understand.
 

Tom C

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Anyone see any point in upgrading from the current generation? I don’t have any problems with lag or slowness. Features seem to be about the same. Would I gain anything?
 

sarumbear

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Anyone see any point in upgrading from the current generation? I don’t have any problems with lag or slowness. Features seem to be about the same. Would I gain anything?
What version you mean by current?
 

sarumbear

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4K 3rd gen. It's getting released on Nov 4th.
Good choice. I find it it pays to buy the latest Apple device as it stays valid longer and hence better value on the long run.

Enjoy :)
 

Tom C

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What version you mean by current?
The latest version begins to ship in early November 2022. I have the version that you would get if you walked into the store today and bought one off the shelf.
 

Axo1989

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I just realized my old Oppo 105 is Atmos compatible (when set to bitstream). Will try that with my ATV soon!!
(I'm using that as my HT/streaming HDMI->analog decoder, which is then ADC'd to USB and thence to the PC/OktoDAC :eek::)

Thanks for the links. I thought I might have to (groan) buy Yet Another Horrible AVR!
Huh.

It's either simple or tricky to avoid the AVR, depending where you are coming from. If you have (or want) a Mac, then HDMI to the TV alongside USB to the DAC will work. TV.app on Mac is functionally equivalent to the Apple TV hardware box (and you can do higher bitrates).

Depending on your Mac model two ports (plus power, so maybe three) or Apple's Digital AV adaptor (which has USB-C for power in, USB-A for audio out and HDMI for video so only needs one port) will do it.
An M1/M2 Mac will also work as an AirPlay target.

Dirac and Sonarworks offer multi-channel DSP on macOS as well (but they charge for it, and charge more for multi-channel). And you can aggregate DACs (using one device clock to control the others) if you need more that 8 channels (Apple does up to 7.1.4 currently iirc).

After that it's amp channels and speakers to suit.
 

Neddy

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It's either simple or tricky to avoid the AVR, depending where you are coming from. If you have (or want) a Mac, then HDMI to the TV alongside USB to the DAC will work. TV.app on Mac is functionally equivalent to the Apple TV hardware box (and you can do higher bitrates).

Depending on your Mac model two ports (plus power, so maybe three) or Apple's Digital AV adaptor (which has USB-C for power in, USB-A for audio out and HDMI for video so only needs one port) will do it.
An M1/M2 Mac will also work as an AirPlay target.

Dirac and Sonarworks offer multi-channel DSP on macOS as well (but they charge for it, and charge more for multi-channel). And you can aggregate DACs (using one device clock to control the others) if you need more that 8 channels (Apple does up to 7.1.4 currently iirc).

After that it's amp channels and speakers to suit.
How much of that would apply to Mac Mini ? (New to IOS here; also have AppleTV (also using homekit for lighting, etc) (last years model).)
and
What are the improvements for the upcoming AppleTV over one shipped about this time last year?
Seems hard to get detailed info on their new products - I saw something about Thread only available on 64G models - figured that out thanks to Giigle:oops:, but wonder what other features only 'sneak' in on higher upcoming end models.

I'm not looking necesarily to upgrade from NUC8 (audo/HT only), but am planning on getting a new TV someday soon and may use it occasionally instead of my older projector.
Also highly unhappy with JRiver, so looking at Roon.
If any of the (affordable) apple gear would play better with AV HT use that'd be nice to know.
 

Axo1989

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How much of that would apply to Mac Mini ? (New to IOS here; also have AppleTV (also using homekit for lighting, etc) (last years model).

Mac Mini is quite good for home theatre etc. the M1 SoC (system on chip, so CPU, GPU etc) particularly being cool-running, energy-efficient and quiet. And they have HDMI out so no need for adaptors. As noted above, you can run HDMI to AVP/AVR if you like that sort of thing, or just HDMI to TV and USB to DAC for a roll-your-own multichannel setup.

Running macOS (instead of Apple TV box running tvOS) gives you more flexibility with software, so you can run Roon core, various DSP etc. The latter being why I ultimately prefer an M1/M2 Mac to an AppleTV. The tvOS interface is easier to use from a distance though, not everyone likes to run their entertainment from a desktop OS. But for casual use/visitors etc new Macs work as AirPlay targets so people can just play from their phone.

Note that Mini is due for an M2 refresh sometime soon-ish.

What are the improvements for the upcoming AppleTV over one shipped about this time last year?
Seems hard to get detailed info on their new products - I saw something about Thread only available on 64G models - figured that out thanks to Giigle:oops:, but wonder what other features only 'sneak' in on higher upcoming end models.

This time the two new AppleTV models are pretty close with the same A15 SoC (system on chip, so CPU, GPU etc). Differences are 64 vs 128 GB storage and Thread support and Ethernet port on higher-priced model only. If you are likely to do network stuff get the top model, the price difference is inconsequential.

The outgoing 4K models had A12 so a bit slower and less energy-efficient (~30% they reckon) and had a fan which the new one doesn't need (new one is half the weight and a bit less height). Also outgoing was HDR10 (vs HDR10+ on the new one). Old remote charged via Lightning (new is the same design but USB-C). Both 2021 models had ethernet and Thread support I think. And 32/64 GB (vs 64/128 new). Finally, WiFi 6 was MIMO (vs 2x2 MIMO new).

I'm not looking necesarily to upgrade from NUC8 (audo/HT only), but am planning on getting a new TV someday soon and may use it occasionally instead of my older projector.
Also highly unhappy with JRiver, so looking at Roon.
If any of the (affordable) apple gear would play better with AV HT use that'd be nice to know.

For Roon, I think you need to run Roon core on something else and use Apple TV as an endpoint, but I'm really not up on that. You can run Roon core on a Mini of course.
 

Neddy

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Thank you - thats very helpful!
I'm still trying to figure out if my ATV has thread or not (not that it makes a huge difference now, but might allow some more devices in future).
Will probably have to resort to digging thru the setup menu or worse yet :eek:, the manual, such as it is.
The newer smaller more efficient ATV might be worth it - the thing is essentially on all the time.
Lots of considerations in all this. Thanks!
 
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