I've taken it upon me to re import all my music into iTunes using Apple Lossless Audio vs. the 128 kbps I stored my entire library with previously. Currently I have a little NAS with all my music I use to stream to Sonos for the whole house and a 720p Apple TV in my reference system. My system includes a Denon AVR 4306 Sonos Faber Concertino speakers and a Pioneer BDP 51FD.
After reading that sources don't really matter as long as it's the same bitrate etc., I decided to test if it makes a difference whether the file is lossless and stored on a NAS and streamed to an Apple TV or if it's on a CD. In blind testing, there was a difference. Apple TV sounded slightly flatter and not as dynamic as the CD in addition to a slight volume difference.
Now, why is that happening? The Pioneer is hooked up via HDMI, in theory the AVR would do the decoding of the CD files and the Apple TV would be as a "wireless" transport for the files. I took some suggestions from other users and removed all equalizers with no change. In theory there should be no difference in sound or if it is, it shouldn't be audible to the extent I am hearing. I desperately wish the sound quality would be the same, is there some setting I am forgetting or something I might have omitted? Perhaps there is more of an explanation, for example, the way Apple TV streams/converts the lossless files.
Any help, input, or experiences would be great!\