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ATV Audio decoding

Posted: 03 Apr 2018, 11:10
by azriel84
So, I have a question that troubles me for some time. I am currently using a Shield TV with Kodi 17.6 and audio passthrough to my Yamaha RX-V485 receiver. Sometime, inevitably, I will move to ATV, for the better UI, faster and smoother speed and better image quality (still waiting for the Android O update in Shield and looks like it will not come anytime soon).

But, and here's the big but. ATV does not and will not (we are talking about Apple and its restrictions here...) audio passthrough. All audio formats from simple stereo to DD True HD or DTS HD MA (don't care about Atmos or DTS:X) can be decoded in ATV or MrMC and be sent as a simple LPCM or PCM 5.1 - 7.1 stream to the receiver. And my question is the following: does this affect quality? Is it the same thing? I find it hard to believe that a 200€ TV Box can handle the decoding the same way like a 700€ Denon or Marantz receiver. Am I wrong on that matter or not? I would appreciate your replies and views on this matter, could affect greatly my pocket when the time comes to upgrade.

Re: ATV Audio decoding

Posted: 03 Apr 2018, 12:32
by timstephens24
azriel84 wrote:
03 Apr 2018, 11:10
does this affect quality? Is it the same thing? I find it hard to believe that a 200€ TV Box can handle the decoding the same way like a 700€ Denon or Marantz receiver. Am I wrong on that matter or not?
It doesn't affect quality at all; it's the same thing. It's not a hard or CPU intensive process, even a Raspberry Pi can do it, and it's a $35 box.

Re: ATV Audio decoding

Posted: 03 Apr 2018, 13:00
by azriel84
Thank you for your answer! So basically, soundwise, we let ATV do all the job with no audio difference at all from an AVR and we don't need a ton of money for an expensive AVR if I don't need the extra goodies an AVR might bring. Thanks again!

Re: ATV Audio decoding

Posted: 03 Apr 2018, 13:28
by cosmoxl
azriel84 wrote:
03 Apr 2018, 13:00
Thank you for your answer! Then, if it is such a simple process, why bother with expensive AVRs soundwise?
High quality amplifiers/DAC/components in AVR are expensive. Driving your speakers well is what matters. But even cheap AVR can decode DTS-HD, etc.

PCM is no loss of quality but, remember, you can't get DTS:X or Atmos without being able to passthrough. So, that's a con of the apple tv.

I tried to look up your receiver to see what it supported but couldn't find it. Maybe a typo in the model number?

Re: ATV Audio decoding

Posted: 03 Apr 2018, 15:29
by azriel84
Yes my bad, it's RX-V475, DD TrueHD and DTS HD MA capable, not Atmos so I don't care...

So, there is no loss in sound quality as far as DD TrueHD and DTS HD are concerned, question answered. Thank you all!