- Last Active
I would like to see an Apple TV with (optical) audio out. As it stands, it’s kind of awkward to use an Apple TV in conjunction with a stereo system and projector. I finally arrived at a decent solution, but it involves a 9-year-old DAC with HDMI pass-through (NAD M51) that I bought on eBay. It sounds great when I AirPlay music to my stereo, but doesn’t fully support current HDMI standards, so no HDR or 4K. There are other ways to solve this problem, but it becomes even more awkward, with more boxes and cables and plugs, or inferior sound (which I learned the hard way). With optical output on the Apple TV, I’d still use the DAC, because my other components are older and don’t otherwise have digital inputs at all, but at least I could run the video signal directly to my projector and wouldn’t lose anything in between. And anybody with a newer system that supports optical input could just plug it directly into their preamp/integrated amp/receiver, etc. Some people would probably just buy one to use as an AirPlay streaming device with their stereo, and not connect to a TV at all—it’s great for that.
I’m surprised how many people here think it won’t make a difference, and while I acknowledge that a lot of people don’t notice or care about audio quality, some people do. Those people know who they are, because they have probably already invested time and money in being able to hear music presented as well as possible, as their budgets allow. A lot of people also don’t understand why anyone would pay a premium for a Mac or iPhone instead of the cheapest thing available, and those people also think there’s no real difference. Because to them, there’s not.