AppleTV X - I am playing with something new

Ampman

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Perhaps he connects the Apple TV X to flat panel by HDMI and then uses the spdif output from flat panel to DAC.
But will this preserve the signal integrity better with lower noise compared to a higher quality breakout box?
Not sure this is too great either?
 

Zeotrope

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Perhaps he connects the Apple TV X to flat panel by HDMI and then uses the spdif output from flat panel to DAC.
But will this preserve the signal integrity better with lower noise compared to a higher quality breakout box?
Not sure this is too great either?
For sure it will, at least for the video since the signal is going straight into the display; but yeah the audio could be degraded.
Come to think of it, the Lumagen 5348 is probably the best bet, as Jim has done a lot of work to min jitter and noise for both audio and video. But it’s expensive.

Chris, how about a Gen 2 ATVX with dual HDMI outputs!
 

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For sure it will, at least for the video since the signal is going straight into the display; but yeah the audio could be degraded.
Come to think of it, the Lumagen 5348 is probably the best bet, as Jim has done a lot of work to min jitter and noise for both audio and video. But it’s expensive.

Chris, how about a Gen 2 ATVX with dual HDMI outputs!
I would not purchase a lumagen because its output is 4K and my new projector (Dreamvision based on JVC NZ9) is 8K with true 8K input (48Gbits), so If I were to purchase a processor it would be the Madvr Envy mk2 which has 8K output, but the Madvr does not have a digital audio output. So far, the only high quality digital audio extration from HDMI seems to be the Audiphraise VanityPro HDMI audio extractor (which is not cheap). So, for me, an ATVX version with digital audio out would be most welcome.
 

Zeotrope

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I would not purchase a lumagen because its output is 4K and my new projector (Dreamvision based on JVC NZ9) is 8K with true 8K input (48Gbits), so If I were to purchase a processor it would be the Madvr Envy mk2 which has 8K output, but the Madvr does not have a digital audio output. So far, the only high quality digital audio extration from HDMI seems to be the Audiphraise VanityPro HDMI audio extractor (which is not cheap). So, for me, an ATVX version with digital audio out would be most welcome.
I haven’t heard about the Dreamvision, will check it out! I have an NZ9 25LTD and it’s awesome. JVC is so far ahead of Sony it’s not even close (and I had a Sony 995ES). Anyway… may I ask why 8K input is so important? There are no 8K sources and it’s not a native/true 8K projector anyway.
 
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VPN

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I haven’t heard about the Dreamvision, will check it out! I have an NZ9 25LTD and it’s awesome. JVC is so far ahead of Sony it’s not even close (and I had a Sony 995ES). Anyway… may I ask why 8K input is so important? There are no 8K sources and it’s not a native/true 8K projector anyway.
It's the dreamvision EOS Signature L 2023 (a modified JVC NZ9). My understanding is that the NZ9 is true 8K (while not 8K native panels). Even though each of the three panels is 4K, with the new eshift it able to uniquely address each pixel of the 8K 48Gbit input to a true 8K image. Since the NZ9 can create an 8K image, I would want a high end external processor that can do the upsampling of 4K to 8K and pass 8K to the projector, instead of leaving the upsampling to the NZ9. As far as I know, the only one that does upsampling to 8K and passes 8K 48Gbit is the Madvr Envy Mk2, but it does not have a digital audio out.
 

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VPN I believe the Vanity Pro is quite serious but not cheap...an Apple TV X with digital spdif out would be much better .
Ampman, thank you! I didn't know about the Vanity Pro. I agree it looks quite serious, but not cheap, and that an AppleTV X with digital audio out would be much better.
 
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Zeotrope

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It's the dreamvision EOS Signature L 2023 (a modified JVC NZ9). My understanding is that the NZ9 is true 8K (while not 8K native panels). Even though each of the three panels is 4K, with the new eshift it able to uniquely address each pixel of the 8K 48Gbit input to a true 8K image. Since the NZ9 can create an 8K image, I would want a high end external processor that can do the upsampling of 4K to 8K and pass 8K to the projector, instead of leaving the upsampling to the NZ9. As far as I know, the only one that does upsampling to 8K and passes 8K 48Gbit is the Madvr Envy Mk2, but it does not have a digital audio out.
It’s not true 8K. The display panels are 4K. The e-shift vibrates the panels in two directions to create the illusion of 8K. This is all clearly documented in the JVC site, but they do put a marketing spin on it ;).
It’s a great feature as it does improve sharpness but it’s definitely not true 8K.
There won’t be a benefit to upscaling to 8K externally since the JVC will essentially downscale to 4K anyway. Yes, the projector accepts 8K but the display panel is 4K.
You’re going to get better results with 4K into the JVC. This was tested by Kris Deering (although there is no real 8K content anyway).
Hope this helps.
 

Bulldogger

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Ampman, thank you! I didn't know about the Vanity Pro. I agree it looks quite serious, but not cheap, and that an AppleTV X with digital audio out would be much better.
I have the VanityPro. It's remarkable the improvement it makes to the audio quality of the HDMI audio. It's not that Audiopraise "broke new ground" with signal quality. What they did is put HDMI on equal footing with AES/EBU which is my first experience with an HDMI originated signal being equal. There are linear power supplies to both the audio side and the HDMI side. The audio is reclocked and there is word clock and super clock outs of the device.

What I have not seen mentioned in reviews of the VanityPRo is the improvements to video quality I see. Running my newest AppleTV through it adds similar improvements to the video as the AppleTV X but not to the level of the reports that device brings. Looks like great work, the AppleTV X! I am intrigued.
 

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I have the VanityPro. It's remarkable the improvement it makes to the audio quality of the HDMI audio. It's not that Audiopraise "broke new ground" with signal quality. What they did is put HDMI on equal footing with AES/EBU which is my first experience with an HDMI originated signal being equal. There are linear power supplies to both the audio side and the HDMI side. The audio is reclocked and there is word clock and super clock outs of the device.

What I have not seen mentioned in reviews of the VanityPRo is the improvements to video quality I see. Running my newest AppleTV through it adds similar improvements to the video as the AppleTV X but not to the level of the reports that device brings. Looks like great work, the AppleTV X! I am intrigued.
Bulldogger, thank you for your report. I guess I will have to buy a VanityPro for my Appletv X.
 

Zeotrope

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I have the VanityPro. It's remarkable the improvement it makes to the audio quality of the HDMI audio. It's not that Audiopraise "broke new ground" with signal quality. What they did is put HDMI on equal footing with AES/EBU which is my first experience with an HDMI originated signal being equal. There are linear power supplies to both the audio side and the HDMI side. The audio is reclocked and there is word clock and super clock outs of the device.

What I have not seen mentioned in reviews of the VanityPRo is the improvements to video quality I see. Running my newest AppleTV through it adds similar improvements to the video as the AppleTV X but not to the level of the reports that device brings. Looks like great work, the AppleTV X! I am intrigued.
The problem with VanityPro is it cannot pass through Dolby Atmos or DTS high res codecs in Bitstream. It converts everything to PCM. That’s not good. You’re taking away much of the benefit of the ATV X. And it's a stereo (2 ch) output, not multi-channel.

Also, I’m not seeing any jitter reduction specs. Lumagen publishes their jitter reduction:

Power supplies are dual but not linear. I guess you can use two optional linear supplies that you buy yourself. But now you are close to the price of a Lumagen, and that provides a wealth of video processing capabilities and also extracts audio over HDMI (without molesting it!)

Ask Chris at ATVX what he thinks, I think he will agree.
 
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Bulldogger

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The problem with VanityPro is it cannot pass through Dolby Atmos or DTS high res codecs in Bitstream. It converts everything to PCM. That’s not good. You’re taking away much of the benefit of the ATV X. And it's a stereo (2 ch) output, not multi-channel.

Also, I’m not seeing any jitter reduction specs. Lumagen publishes their jitter reduction:

Power supplies are dual but not linear. I guess you can use two optional linear supplies that you buy yourself. But now you are close to the price of a Lumagen, and that provides a wealth of video processing capabilities and also extracts audio over HDMI (without molesting it!)

Ask Chris at ATVX what he thinks, I think he will agree.
Power supplies are not included. I chose linear. The Vanity Pro does not convert Dolby Atmos or DTS to PCM. It has no DTS or DD decoder. It accepts LPCM from the Apple or other devices. Audio jitter is 11 picoseconds for measurements I saw. It does pass bitstream as of the latest 5.2 firmware. Are you saying the bitstream it passes isn't DD Atmos or DTS capable. I'll check.

I'm not trying to pit one product against another. Innovation like the ATVX is where solutions to the problems the big companies create are solved. But that's the same that Audiopraise has done but with a different implementation. Personally, I don't see the two products as competitors.
 

Joe Whip

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If it has a pass through option, like the Kodi app I use on the Nvidia Shield you should be ok to send Atmos to whatever you have that can decode it.
 

Ampman

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Fundamental question still stands for me.

ATVX definitely does amazing and important things to the visual side of the ATV. I want to buy it.

But is it also technically possible to modify the Audio side to significantly improve that as well preferably in the shape of a high quality digital output?

Then additional expensive add ons would not even be necessary and I would place an order tomorrow...
 
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VPN

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Fundamental question still stands for me.

ATVX definitely does amazing and important things to the visual side of the ATV. I want to buy it.

But is it also technically possible to modify the Audio side to significantly improve that as well preferably in the shape of a high quality digital output?

Then additional expensive add ons would not even be necessary and I would place an order tomorrow...
Or even perhaps a second version of the AppleTV X (maybe AppleTV X+), more expensive, but with a high quality digital audio out. So only the people who need the high quality digital out would pay for it, I would.
 

BKDad

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I'm using a DIY version of the Apple TV X, somewhat as discussed earlier in this thread. None of the real secret sauce, alas.

Anyway, is it safe now to upgrade to tvOS 17? I am always fearful of what might get broken along the way. It's bad enough how some apps (I'm looking at you, Mr. Peacock...) are less than stable. But, sometimes performance gets compromised in tvOS in favor of fancy new features. I want to avoid that, but the nagging is getting really annoying.

Thanks!
 

Xymox

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OK And of course I am so terribly happy happy with the Appletvx as is.

One more experiment I did recently. For a few weeks I set up the Appletvx to turn off completely including the entire system video and audio at the conclusion of every session. After awhile, I noted a clear drop off in video quality. Back to leaving it on even when not in use and presto, the magic video is back!
Yes,, there are clear technical reasons for this. Temp drift of parts. Its important for any lab grade kind of gear to warm up at least 30 mins before use. This is improtant. Yes ALWAYS leave it on all the time. Well,,, most likely after months of use, like any modern device, it might need a power cycle because of some Apple bug. I go like 3 months and then things seem to get wierd and it needs the old off/on. This has varied with firmware versions. The most recent 17.2 might be a bit more buggy I have read. I have not seen any issue tho myself.
 

Xymox

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I'm using a DIY version of the Apple TV X, somewhat as discussed earlier in this thread. None of the real secret sauce, alas.

Anyway, is it safe now to upgrade to tvOS 17? I am always fearful of what might get broken along the way. It's bad enough how some apps (I'm looking at you, Mr. Peacock...) are less than stable. But, sometimes performance gets compromised in tvOS in favor of fancy new features. I want to avoid that, but the nagging is getting really annoying.

Thanks!

DIY is fun ! It still gets you a big jump. Of course its quite the project and its a tiny space. Its worth it tho.

WELL.. Pic/sound seem the same. I dont think I have any bugs I know of..

The IMPORTANT thing about ANY firmware upgrade is to make sure you NEED something in the update. There needs to be a REASON to risk new firmware. I run betas looking for any issues in advance in case something gets funky I can already clients. I DO NOT RECOMMEND BETA.. Beta can brick any device, there are risks.

The new 17.x changed some functionality that some people dont like that i read in the ATV forums. For me, things seem the same. But I just stream video. Music stuff changed in the GUI aspects I think.

SO its important to have a mindset with ALL devices.. Newer firmware/software is DANGEROUS. If you have something that works, dont break it. So ALWAYS check a firmware update and see if there is a REASON to risk a update.

I dont know of anything really necessary in updating. BUT. Good to look and make your own decisions.
 

Xymox

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The issue with anything between the ATVX and the video and audio DAC is that jitter and noise will be added to the HDMI signal. All the work Chris has done, or almost all, will be for nought.
Now I recall that I believe Chris connects directly to a flat panel display that has an HDMI audio output.
Yes.. What you said...

BUT.. Its SURPRIZING how well the clarity and stuff gets thru. The source HDMI device has a lot of affect on devices downstream. There are a number of clients using various ways to pick off audio. Here in my lab area I have a Oppo that is highly modded and it has a HDMI in. So I pass the HDMI thru it and pick off the SPDIF audio and give that to a highly modded Levinson 40. Its just a 2 channel setup just for basic testing and QC but wowee. The sound is killer. In this kinda lab space I just use a Panasonic last gen plasma that is 1080. The reason i use this is it has zero picture processing. I can see the actual picture in a more native way. Of course I also have a Sony OLED handy and can go be serious with a super high end room with a GTZ380 if I want to.

The Oppo passthru has limitations. I just pull 1080 thru it and it works fine for that. This setup with the insanely modded Oppo and crazy modded Levinson 40 provides me a better sound evaul then even a $10M super crazy room.

I know some people using a Key Digital KD-Pro4x1X to get SPDIF. They seem happy with it. My oppo/Levinson 40 rig sounds a lot better, but, its highly modded..

A number of clients are quite happy plugging the optical from the Sony OLED into a nice DAC. This can be a bit tricky in settings to get working fully, but it does.

Its a good question. What is the best way to pick off SPDIF for 2 channel uses that has the least affect on HDMI and the best sound.

I played with a ATVX hooked to a whole house Crestrom DM distribution system. The house had a bunch of Sony OLEDs. The wire runs were 60-100 feet and then converted back to HDMI. Surprizingly, the ATVX looked stunning. Like WOWEE.. It was day and night when doing a AB with a std ATV. So the source device can have big affects on all the devices down stream. Like a Lumagen or a MadVR.
 
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Xymox

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Or even perhaps a second version of the AppleTV X (maybe AppleTV X+), more expensive, but with a high quality digital audio out. So only the people who need the high quality digital out would pay for it, I would.
There is no way to do this. That signal does not exist on the board. You cant add a chip for it with out doing something in firmware and I can't/wouldn't do that.

It sure would be awesome. But a external HDMI device like the Key Digital or a Oppo is the best way. Unless someone could somehow break APples encrytion and make thier own firmware. That would be really dicey as updates would no longer work and APple could always bork the box later..
 
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Ampman

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There is no way to do this. That signal does not exist on the board. You cant add a chip for it with out doing something in firmware and I can't/wouldn't do that.

It sure would be awesome. But a external HDMI device like the Key Digital or a Oppo is the best way. Unless someone could somehow break APples encrytion and make thier own firmware. That would be really dicey as updates would no longer work and APple could always bork the box later..
Ok, Xymox
Thanks for the confirmation - no way to create a separate high quality digital output.
For someone who cannot mod my only option therefore is a high quality breakout box to split the HDMI signal.
 

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