Will a DAC make a marked difference in audio quality?

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shipworm-archaism-recede

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2021
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I installed the DacMagic 100. DTV broadcast audio does transmit via optical from TV to DAC, but it doesn't when the HDMI input source from the Apple TV is selected (even though the sample rate LED is lit on the DAC). :mad: Might this might be down to copy protection as discussed here? If so, it seems that my expectation of getting Apple TV audio from the TV via optical out was misguided.

Can anyone suggest a way around this or something else to try please?

My concern is that there might not be any way to get the Apple TV's video and audio into separate devices, so my only option will be a very expensive new TV.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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Hi,
The only reference to sound in the Apple TV HD 3rd gen menu is :

If there’s noise coming from your TV speakers
ÂIf your TV or speakers support Dolby Digital audio, make sure the Dolby Digital
Out setting is correct for the TV and speakers. On Apple TV, choose Settings >
Audio & Video > Dolby Digital, and select On or Off.

So, the default may be Dolby 5.1, and the TV does not convert this.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

shipworm-archaism-recede

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2021
58
28
70
Hi,
The only reference to sound in the Apple TV HD 3rd gen menu is :

If there’s noise coming from your TV speakers
ÂIf your TV or speakers support Dolby Digital audio, make sure the Dolby Digital
Out setting is correct for the TV and speakers. On Apple TV, choose Settings >
Audio & Video > Dolby Digital, and select On or Off.

So, the default may be Dolby 5.1, and the TV does not convert this.

Regards,
Shadders.
Thanks Shadders, I already tried that to no avail.
 

shipworm-archaism-recede

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2021
58
28
70
Thank you nads.

Before I go down that route, would the sound coming from the digital TV source be sufficiently high resolution to evaluate the comparison between TV and the DacMagic? (not sure if resolution is the right word to use, but I hope you get what I mean)
 

nads

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2007
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19,070
Thank you nads.

Before I go down that route, would the sound coming from the digital TV source be sufficiently high resolution to evaluate the comparison between TV and the DacMagic? (not sure if resolution is the right word to use, but I hope you get what I mean)
No idea. it seems that the screen controller is stereo only and there is no specs given. I would expect the optical output from the splitter to be higher. Just check it does 2 channel or the DAC can do multi channel.

it is not the way I would go myself but it seems it will allow you to do what you are trying to do.
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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I installed the DacMagic 100. DTV broadcast audio does transmit via optical from TV to DAC, but it doesn't when the HDMI input source from the Apple TV is selected (even though the sample rate LED is lit on the DAC). :mad: Might this might be down to copy protection as discussed here? If so, it seems that my expectation of getting Apple TV audio from the TV via optical out was misguided.

Can anyone suggest a way around this or something else to try please?

My concern is that there might not be any way to get the Apple TV's video and audio into separate devices, so my only option will be a very expensive new TV.
It should work...my son does exactly this with his Apple TV 4K into his TV and then optical into his Marantz digital input. Check the TV isn't changing the digital optical output to bitstream when you change to the HDMI input...you want PCM.
 
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nads

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Nov 29, 2007
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It should work...my son does exactly this with his Apple TV 4K into his TV and then optical into his Marantz digital input. Check the TV isn't changing the digital optical output to bitstream when you change to the HDMI input...you want PCM.
But his is not a TV it is an old screen controller box with limited output formats.
 
D

Deleted member 108165

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Back in the day my cd player had twin Wolfson DAC,s and I still thought the dacmagic made it sound better.
To your ears, maybe. It's all very much a personal choice isn't it... as with everything hi-fi related.
 
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shipworm-archaism-recede

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2021
58
28
70
It should work...my son does exactly this with his Apple TV 4K into his TV and then optical into his Marantz digital input. Check the TV isn't changing the digital optical output to bitstream when you change to the HDMI input...you want PCM.
Thanks again for trying to help.

I've searched through the pdf manual and browsed around the menus. The only menu setting I can find is available when you have DTV selected as an input source. You can then choose between Dolby and PCM. Interestingly, that doesn't affect whether or not the DAC plays the sound.

I think I'm about to give up on this idea of adding a separate DAC to my TV setup. I reckon the TV is just so old that it doesn't do what I hoped. It doesn't really matter why at this stage, but knowing it works for your son means it probably isn't a systemic problem with TV and Apple TV.

I think that I'm just going to have to remain content with the TV's DAC for ATV streaming until I decide to replace the TV. I'll also try the DAC with my iPad on some Apple Music and see if it is worth keeping it.

Thanks again everyone.
 

nads

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2007
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Like I have sugested you will need to strip the audio out before your TV set up. There are ones that will need a DAC, like the one I linked, but there are others that will give you twin RCA outs for stereo sound. I think trying to get sound out of your optical just ain’t working unless it is from the tv. I had a similar thing in the early 00s but I can get 5.1 out of my new TV OPTICAL out that is coming from my 4k Apple TV. But if I put it through my receiver first I can get 7.1 ………
 

shipworm-archaism-recede

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2021
58
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I've spent some time listening to some familiar music simultaneously playing through the DAC via USB and via the Apple TV over AirPlay from my computer. That made it easy to get someone to flip between the inputs on the amp for me to blindly compare them.

I do notice the difference. It's not astonishing, but noticeable to me and others in my family. The DAC makes the sound fuller, clearer and reveals a few bits of subtle detail that are missing when the Pioneer does the conversion, especially on some live jazz recordings l like with wide harmonic range and the sounds of the instruments being handled by the players. It's sufficient improvement for me to want to keep the DAC anyway, although I'm now wondering if the 200M would be even better.:rolleyes:

Shame I can't make the Pioneer do the optical audio out from the Apple TV. :(

The unintended consequence of this experiment is that now I'm contemplating a new TV sooner than I anticipated. A whole new level of indecision and research. :LOL:
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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I do notice the difference. It's not astonishing, but noticeable to me and others in my family. The DAC makes the sound fuller, clearer and reveals a few bits of subtle detail that are missing when the Pioneer does the conversion, especially on some live jazz recordings l like with wide harmonic range and the sounds of the instruments being handled by the players. It's sufficient improvement for me to want to keep the DAC anyway, although I'm now wondering if the 200M would be even better.:rolleyes:
Congratulations... you are now officially an 'audiophile'! 😂
 

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