Forum Question: Is the Apple TV a Wireless DAC?

In my bedroom I have my iMac, an A/V receiver, television and Apple TV. I sometimes ‘broadcast’ my music collection via Airplay to my Apple TV, which plays through my A/V receiver.

When using iTunes, Airplay and the Apple TV in this manner where does the Digital/Analogue conversion take place? In my iMac or in the Apple TV?

Or am I missing some fundamental understanding of how this all works?

If it is within the Apple TV, how good of a DAC is it for music? Is it as good as..say…a Schiit Modi 2 (about the same price as the last gen Apple TV)?
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Mark Alfson (aka forkboy1965)

Comments: One Response to “Is the Apple TV a Wireless DAC?”

    1/22/16 @ 8:20 pm

    You’ll want to ask an audio engineer for details on this. But I think we can make some educated guesses based on the connections. If your Apple TV is connected to your A/V receiver using HDMI, then we know that Apple TV sends out a digital signal from there since HDMI is digital. So the receiver must be converting to analog, right? Likewise, if you are using the optical audio port to connect, that is also digital. So Apple TV is sending out digital either way. That means it is up to your receiver to do a good job at turning digital into actual sound.

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