By Jim Rossman
Iíve got an Apple TV in my media cabinet that Iíd like to hook up to my home theater receiver. The Apple TV has an audio out port, but my receiver is too old to have that port. Is there a cable I can use to connect the two?
The Apple TV has an optical audio output thatís also called Toslink. The connection to this port is via a Toslink cable thatís made from optical fiber. Itís a way to digitally send audio from one device to another. Older receivers donít have Toslink. They generally have analog audio inputs that use RCA jacks. Toslink, by the way, originated as Toshiba Link, as Toshiba was the creator of the technology.
What you need is a Toslink-to-analog audio converter. An online search will yield plenty to choose from, but one of my favorite places to shop is Monoprice.com. It is my go-to place for any type of cable, switch or converter box. Monopriceís stuff is high-quality and inexpensive. The Monoprice product ID for this device is 6884, which should help you find it on the site. It sells for $25.60. Similar devices on Amazon.com cost between $50 and $60. Donít forget that youíll also need two cables to make this work ó a Toslink cable and the appropriate analog cable with red/white RCA jacks.
Some might wonder why you need the Toslink connection when the Apple TVís HDMI port already carries the sound signal to your TV. Many people want to drive all their audio through their receiver for surround sound reasons. Others want to use their Apple TV to stream music from their computer or iOS device to their home theater speakers. If you use the Apple TVís optical audio output, you can listen to your music without having to turn on the TV.
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