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Latest post 01-22-2009 11:56 AM by bayerische. 43 replies.
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  • 01-18-2009 2:21 PM

    Apple TV and Beo


    I have been more and more interested in getting a Apple TV.

    However, I have a few questions,

    How could I use the digital out from the Apple TV to feed the Beolab5 's? Is it even possible, or would it have to go trough the BS9000, and thus being analog?

    Is it possible to only use the Apple TV with the Beolab 5's, without any other equipment? (BS9000)

     

    The Apple TV has a optical digital out, and as you know the Beolab 5 has coaxial digital in, how to solve this? 

     

    Thanks

    Andreas 

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-18-2009 5:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    Or will the Mac Mini be a better solution sound quality wise?

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-18-2009 6:10 PM In reply to

    • Alex
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-16-2007
    • Bath & Cardiff, UK
    • Posts 2,990
    • Bronze Member

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    Either will perform equally well.

    You can use the ATV with the BeoLab 5s. A simple optical > coaxial digital converter will do the trick. They're cheap and don't degrade the sound in any way as the output is identical to the input.

    You will need to sync the BeoLab 5s together using the sync cable available from B&O. The BeoLab 5s should be in option 1. You'll switch them on using the RADIO button on a Beo 4 and the volume control on your Beo 4 would address the BeoLab 5s directly.

    Importantly however, I would only do this if you're storing your music in Lossless format. Any sort of lossy format (MP3, AAC etc...) would make this whole thing completely pointless.

     Weekly top artists:                   

  • 01-18-2009 9:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    I think there is a significant difference between both. The mini mac I would prefer in situations where you use it to house your main library. Yes there are tools that you can use to sync libraries across multiple computers buts that is an additional step. You will also need a keyboard every now and then, i.e. I used my Imac keyboard less and every now and then it would for example not lnk itself automatically into my WIFO network or some pop up message, i.e. a "software update pop up" would require action

    The ATV syncs itself automatically with Itunes, it is designed to be keyboard less but from a user interface prospective, it is more designed to be a shopping front end for Itunes rather then something to manage your own content. That is my biggest gripe with it, even though I like a lot that Apple gets some heat now with third party aps like booxee.tv.

    Both require a screen, however can be controlled from the Iphone or Ipod touch. If you have a B&O TV, Beo4 works too in many cases. If not, for the mini mac you can get IRED/IRTRANS to pick up Beo4 commands which might be interesting as well.

     If you ask me, to the point where I installed boxee I wasnt using my ATV at all. Now I use it to watch internet TV and movies from my NAS. For music I still use it every now and then, but generally prefer CD as I didnt rip my collection lossless or even close to that.

    If you use an Ipod as well, it might make sense to use a mini mac and maintain a separate library with the lossless  music, something I would not use on an IPOD or Iphone due to the size of the songs.

     

    Lots to think about. 

    Cheers

    JK 

    BS9000, BS2300, BC2, BL2500, BL3, Bl2, BS1, BV8, BC4, A8

  • 01-19-2009 1:45 AM In reply to

    • Alex
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-16-2007
    • Bath & Cardiff, UK
    • Posts 2,990
    • Bronze Member

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    I think bayerische was referring more to any performance differences between the two of which there will be none when using the digital output. Your post seems perfectly correct though so may also be a deciding factor!

     Weekly top artists:                   

  • 01-19-2009 3:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    Yes you are right Alex.

    Lossless would be the way to go, but is it possible to buy lossless audio from iTunes store? The iTunes "Plus" isn't lossless, right?

    I think I would go with a Mac mini, since it's a bit more versatile. I do have an iPhone, so I would use it as a remote. 

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 3:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    I already have a airport express, and I noticed that the mini jack, has also a toslink signal. Can simply the airport be used to transfer my music lossless?

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 3:54 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    The Apple TV outputs at 20-bit, while the Mac mini will output at the resolution of the connected soundcard. The in-built one delivers 24-bit. 

    You can buy lossless (CD-resolution) or higher over the internet, from a growing number of suppliers.

    I have both the mini and the ATV - like the latter for going to the thousands of free video and audio podcasts on the net, as well as YouTube, and buying content from Apple. Brilliant. Saw Appalloosa in HD this weekend, excellent quality and instantly downloaded.

    Am also using Boxee, for comparison purposes.There are many such media-aggregator solutions out there now, and they all show to the sheer impossibility of B&O managing to keep up with what such fast-moving small companies deliver via software. Boxee is very buggy so far, but they are honest about it, as the version available is a beta.

    If I had to choose between ATV and mini, I would go for the latter. It is a computer, it lets you surf the web, it will handle any resolution, it will handle all your content libraries, and with front-ends such as Boxee, you can make it aggregate from the net, depending upon what you have available where you live. My mini does excellent music playback, and I also use it to rip cd's/music dvd's to my server. Very happy with it - bought one of the Logitech diNovo bluetooth keyboards to operate it.

    ATV doesn't let you browse, and while there is some freedom to what you can access through podcasts, etc, it is a shop front-end for iTunes, but it's great. The combination of ATV and mini has my broadcast/cable viewing down to about 5% of my total.

    Here's an article about Boxee: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/17/technology/internet/17video.html

  • 01-19-2009 3:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    Thanks,

     

    So the mac mini will be a little better, since it can output 24 bits VS apple tv's 20bits?

     

    What about the different optical to coaxial konverters? What kind can you recommend? They seem to be pretty cheap. 

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 5:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    The sample rate output on the ATV is also locked, while the Mac mini will do whatever the associated soundcard is capable of.

    If you're using the internal soundcard, then you get 24-bit/192kHz with ease.

    If you use a stand-alone soundcard, you can get even higher rates, both for wordlength and sample rate. You might want to consider a sound card that accepts optical s/pdif and outputs to various formats, including coaxial, rather than just a simple converter. That way you would get better control.

    But as Alex says, in theory you should get a bit-perfect translation from optical to coaxial with an inexpensive converter, and you should then be able to have the sophisticated circuits in the BeoLab 5 process the digital signal properly, retiming it, etc.

    I'm sending my optical signal to a Cambridge Azur 840C, which then does the conversion to coax. I'll refrain from recommending any optical/coaxial stand-alone converters, as I haven't tried any. I know several members here use them to send a signal to their BV7s, etc. But haven't tried piping one direct to my BL5s.

  • 01-19-2009 6:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    Thanks Soundproof,

     

    I'm not shure how you mean different soundcard?

    The Mac mini don't have any exchangeable parts, right?

     

    BTW, the BS9000 is outputting a 16bit/44khz signal to the Beolab 5's, right? And then upsampling it to 24bit/192khz?

     

     

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 6:17 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo


    >You can use the ATV with the BeoLab 5s. A simple optical > coaxial digital converter will do the trick. They're cheap and don't degrade the sound in any
    >way as the output is identical to the input.
     
    sorry, I do not quite get it .. are you saying that one can connect a Beolab speaker directly to an ATV/MacMini without having a B&O stereo in between by using this optical/coaxial converter? Would this also work with Beolab 8000 or other active B&O speakers, or only with the Beolab 5s?
     
    Jesper 
  • 01-19-2009 6:25 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    Only the Beolab 5.

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 6:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    Only the Beolab 5.

     

    okay, but is this only the case for the solution you talk about or is this the case in general? .. or let me then put it differently .. say one has a pair of beolab 8000s .. is there anyway to connect them to an ATV/Mac mini without having the B&O stereo in between? or is the B&O stereo mandatory? I mean, the loudspeakers have their own amp, so shouldn't it be possible?

     

    jesper 

  • 01-19-2009 6:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    I'm not sure how one would deal with the on/off trigger and volume control...

     

    Perhaps someone else can answer your question? 

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 7:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    BTW, is the iTunes plus "256-Kbps AAC " equal to "Lossless"?

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 7:16 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    bayerische:

    Thanks Soundproof,

     

    I'm not shure how you mean different soundcard?

    The Mac mini don't have any exchangeable parts, right?

     

    BTW, the BS9000 is outputting a 16bit/44khz signal to the Beolab 5's, right? And then upsampling it to 24bit/192khz?

     

    Correct, your BS9000 outputs full resolution CD at 16/44.1, and your BL5s then upsample this as part of the processing chain.

    The Mac mini is a computer, with Firewire and USB out ports, which means that you can connect any stand-alone soundcard to it - you could connect a fully enabled sound studio processor to it, if you want. I have been having some fun with the tc.electronics Konnekt24 unit, for instance, connected via Firewire to my Mac mini, and delivering the coax out to the BL5s. But the Konnekt24 is not really a pure sound-card as it also can be used to perform processing of the input signal.

    The in-built soundcard in the Mac mini will do excellently, and the challenge is then one of converting that signal to a coax s/pdif that the BeoLab 5s understand correctly. 

    Here's a straight converter that I know some use.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042302&p_id=2948&seq=1&format=2

    I don't know how it performs, but people seem satisfied. I have used this one, which is bi-directional, and gives you more inputs/outputs:

    http://www.ramelectronics.net/audio-video/audio-converters-extenders/coax-s-pdif-to-from-optical-toslink/m-audio-co2-digital-audio-converter-9900-40746-00/prodMAU00001.html

     

  • 01-19-2009 7:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    As bayerische points out, the job is then to deal with the proper on-off and volume control. But I have used various DACs for that, with excellent results, connecting a B&O plug-to-RCA cable to the speakers, and then the RCA-jack to the DAC.

    I am presently using a Grace m902 DAC together with my BL3s, for instance, and controlling the volume with the DAC (which also has a remote control). You could connect this to any speakers.

    The trouble with connecting directly to the speakers from the minijack out from a computer, for instance, would be one of controlling the signal surge (and impedance "scratching" when connecting) to the speakers, and it's kind of cumbersome to have to unplug the speakers every time, to protect them.
    But if you can establish a dedicated circuit, then you can send a digital signal to the DAC, and then send the analog signal from that to any B&O speaker, while using the DAC to control volume, etc. And when you switch off the DAC, the speakers soon go into standby.

  • 01-19-2009 7:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    bayerische:
    BTW, is the iTunes plus "256-Kbps AAC " equal to "Lossless"?

    No, it's not. One distinguishes between lossy and lossless compression, and 256kbps is a lossy format.

    Lossy formats degrade the fidelity of the original signal by removing "inaudible" content; lossless formats preserve all the information on the original signal, even while reducing the size of the original file.

    You need to use Apple Lossless to achieve true lossless quality, i.e. the same information that was on the disk, but in a compressed format.

    256 kbps AAC is a nudge in the direction of 320kbps, which many claim you can not distinguish from CD-resolution with 99% of all the music you listen to.

    A lossless file will run from 480 - 900 kbps, where the original 16/44.1 runs at 1411.2 kbps.

    It is fair to note that Dave Moulton, here in the forum, has expressed strong satisfaction with the quality of the AAC compression algorithm from Apple. The bigger your file, the more processing it requires - and if you want to place music on an iPod, in addition to having it available on your server, you may have to create a lossless and a compressed library of the music. An iPod's battery will run down faster the more processing it has to do, and while lossless files will play on iPods, they do so at the cost of battery life.

  • 01-19-2009 7:48 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    I would have my portable computer as my iPhone music hub, and the Mac mini as a lossless hub for the Beolab 5's.

     

    But can I buy lossless via iTunes? Or is AAC the best currently available?

     

    Somewhere I read about somekind of "restriction" to the Apple TV, that it wouldn't really be able to output "lossless" quality...?

     

    The Apple TV is very interesting to me, but I don't want something that can't output lossless.

    I buy a lot of CD's, and the CD's I would physically buy, I would rip at lossless quality, I think I could live with the AAC from the "relatively few" CD I would buy directly of iTunes.

     

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 8:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    The ATV should be seen as a replacement for an STB - and as nothing else. It organizes content delivered through the internet, and from your local sources, and makes it available.

    You're right - it does downsample. If you have a 24bit/192kHz file, it would come out as 20-bit/44.1.

    But it does not degrade a lossless file from cd-resolution (16/44.1). That would be output as 20bit/44.1, without any conversion, just by adding sectors to the wordlength.

    If having to choose between the two, I would go for the Mac mini. I would use it in Frontrow most of the time, and have that program access all my media sources in the house. And when I needed to go to YouTube or something similar, I would just go to the desktop, pick a browser, and go - using a wireless keyboard with trackpad. (The Logitech diNovo Edge ones are brilliant for that).

  • 01-19-2009 8:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    I think I would only use it as a music player, and control it via my iPhone remote.

    Of course I would connect it to my plasma, but that just for the occasional setup and ripping of music...

     Andreas  

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 9:15 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    You'd be surprised at the excellent upscaling the mini does from DVD to an HD-screen. I have mine connected to an HD-ready screen. And with all the various content available over the net, I spend some time watching things through the mini, from net sources. (Hulu.com, etc.)

  • 01-19-2009 9:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    Oh, yeah, that's a good idea soundproof, using the mac mini as a DVD player aswell, connected to my Beolab 5's!

     

    Oh man o man, I'm sitting in my starting blocks to go out and buy a mac mini right away!

     

    So if I wanted to upgrade the hardrive to a bigger one, they come pretty small, is it as easy as opening the mac mini or should I get an external drive instead?

     

    Lossless was about 350mb a CD right? I have perhaps 600 CD's right now.

      

     

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 01-19-2009 10:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple TV and Beo

    The mini mac hasnt been updated in 500 days or so. It is expected soon, some rumors for march, but who knows maybe they come out with something else. It was already rumored for Jan and nothing happened.

     the 256 that you are getting in itunes are not lossless, 350gb file size is correct. If you have the iphone I would take the mini as well so that you can run a 2nd library without switching (single Itunes installation can handle multiple libraries). 

    I would recommend getting a cheap NAS with mirrored hard drives. You can access that wirelessly and that lets you sleep at night since the chance of loosing your data is very small. I am using a readynas duo which is not that expensive.

    BS9000, BS2300, BC2, BL2500, BL3, Bl2, BS1, BV8, BC4, A8

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