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thxtheater

Digital to analog for multiple sources

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Greetings all,

 

I need a sounding board and some help. I have an Anthem preamp and I use multiple digital sources (AppleTV, Bluray, iTunes via Musical Fidelity USB to S/PDIF, Roku, Cable, etc.) I have a problem I'm trying to figure out when I want to play multiple sources to zones 2 and 3. The Anthem only has it's high-end DACs on the MAIN zone for digital sources. You can copy digital audio to Zone 2 and Zone 3 but it must be the same source as MAIN. Otherwise, if you are playing digital source X in MAIN, then only an analog source will play in Zone 2 or Zone 3. This is fine for my Bluray player and Cable, which have analog outs. However, for my AppleTV and iTunes, I have a bi of a problem as I only have Toslink and S/PDIF connection to utilize.

 

My goal is to try and find an easy-to-use, low-cost solution that will allow me to continue to utilize the high-end DACs in the Anthem for all my digital sources and still allow me to get analog for the two sources (AppleTV and iTunes) that do not have analog out currently in my setup. My priority between the AppleTV and the iTunes library is the Mac with the iTunes library.

 

Most things that I can think of require me to purchase new DACs for each of those sources and I don't want to do that. I don't want to impair the internal Anthem DACs for my main listening.

 

Some questions and directions that I have been pursuing are:

 

1) Is it possible on the Mac (I'm running iTunes on an older G4 tower) to have both the 1/8 phones and the Musical Fidelity USB to S/PDIF as simultaneous audio out sources? If I could do this, it would basically solve my problem.

 

2) Is there any sort of Toslink repeater and converter combo that would convert the TOSLINK signal to analog and also allow the stream to pass on? This too would solve my problem. Every solution I've seen here only coverts TOSLINK to analog and doesn't repeat the signal on.

 

3) Resurrect a generation 1 Apple TV. Since this has both HDMI and analog audio out, I could share out the iTunes library from the Mac and then load it from the Gen1 AppleTV and play that to Zones 2 and 3 via the Gen1 AppleTV analog out ports.

 

My gut tells me that option 3, to resurrect the old AppleTV will be the best solution, but I'm looking for some other insights and directions that won't break the bank. Option 1 would also be ideal but I don't know how to do that. THANKS!

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