Re-use of an Apple TV 3


Here’s maybe a crazy idea. Can I use an old Apple TV 3rd gen as a source, through an optical DAC to a headphone amp? I know, Apple music, blah blah, but seriously, how is the output from the optical port?


Seems plausible enough, but I have limited Apple experience to yay or nay. But if you have it laying around just try and see.


Not great.

And has forced ASRC to 16/48 kHz, regardless of the source rate.


@torq, from the Nyquist discussion, I had the feeling that 16/48 was at or above human perception of dynamic range. No?


That’s not the issue.

It’s that feeding an Apple TV a 16/44.1 source file will result in it being forcibly converted to 16/48, which is a non-integer sample rate conversion.

To do that well requires a filter which is more sophisticated than the Apple TV (or typical mobile devices) implements.

The combination of not-great optical output with ASRC may result in audible artifacts … depending on the precise chain, how critically you listen and so on.

It’s a great convenience solution, but otherwise it less then ideal.


Ah… that makes sense. Most of my source material is Apple Music but something to consider. I ordered a little Fiio DAC and I’m going to give it a go. The ATV is collecting dust right now.