ATV4K for high res surround audio ? Yes. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-11-2019, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Lightbulb ATV4K for high res surround audio ? Yes.

Hi,

tl:dr - My ATV4K plays back high res surround sound files beautifully

My AVR (Denon s730h) and BDP (Sony X700) both claim to support High Res Audio but either one is worthless on it's own. Put a thumb drive in either and expect a gap between every song in stereo and forget about surround entirely.

I've been using a Mac mini with JRiver 23 to play back my high res surround sound files with fantastic results. The other day I tried keeping some of my Pink Floyd High Res stuff in the MKV format that it is presented in on the discs that I acquired it. I put the resulting MKVs in Plex and played them back through my ATV4K using Plex and infuse 6 pro.

The ATV4K down samples the surround to 48KHz. Technically speaking 48kHz should be well beyond the range of human hearing which tops out at 24ish kHz. Not technically speaking the files I tried sounded every bit as good as when played back through JRiver.

Now, I love JRiver indeed. The only reason I didn't keep upgrading it because it already did all that I wanted it to do back in version 23. I'm not suggesting JRiver isn't the key to media happiness because deep down I do believe that could be true.

In my own case I use the ATV4K for everything because that keeps it simple. If you have one maybe give surround sound high res audio a try and let me know what you think.

-Brian

p.s. In my case I use a projector so like to have it off when listening to music. If I tell the ATV4K to open plex (using Siri on the remote or my iPhone) then I can control plex remotely and it plays through the plex app on the ATV4K directly. (It's not actually casting... I get full surround output)
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Last edited by Brian Hampton; 09-11-2019 at 06:41 AM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-11-2019, 01:38 PM
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I don't understand anything you're talking about but I'm glad you found a good solution for your audio playback

I reject your reality and substitute my own.

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post #3 of 9 Old 09-11-2019, 06:26 PM
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Me neither. The title suggested hi Res audio through the ATV but it can’t do it so I’m a bit confused by the thread (avoiding the debate about hi Res audio)


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post #4 of 9 Old 09-12-2019, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airsculpture View Post
Me neither. The title suggested hi Res audio through the ATV but it can’t do it so I’m a bit confused by the thread (avoiding the debate about hi Res audio)


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But, ... it can.

I can play back my own high res surround sound files from my ATV4K.


LPCM is an uncompressed, lossless format which on the Apple TV supports up to 7.1 channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio.

My own surround sound files come from Blu Ray box sets where the content is available as PCM at 24/96 5.1. The ATV4K resamples this to 24/48 5.1.

The output from my Mac mini JRiver music server and from my ATV4k for these files sounds identical to me. Maybe because 48kHz sampling rate is double the limit of human hearing which is 24KHz under best laboratory conditions. Therefore I retired my music server (to simply my system) which I was only keeping for High Res Audio.


-Brian

Last edited by Brian Hampton; 09-12-2019 at 06:32 AM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-13-2019, 02:54 PM
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Ah my old ATV4 non 4K only outputs 16bit 48k as it samples everything to that so not hires


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post #6 of 9 Old 09-14-2019, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
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It's still not 24/96 which could be a better "definition" of high res.

High Res is officially defined as greater than 16/44 (better than CD) so it's not the high res I was "used to" with 24/96 played back un altered.

I don't know of an easy way to verify that it's not actually 16/48 but I read it can output 24/48 and the sound is identical to playing back the 24/96 version from either the Blu Ray or SACD. (I have Dark Side of the Moon on SACD and Blu Ray from immersion box set and the 5.1 mix is the same on both.)

Basically for me the ATV4K does everything I need so I was happy to find an easy way to have it do this also.

I was in the habit of making my High Res Audio into Flac files which are nice but when it comes to surround sound I have only a handful of albums that I prefer to listen to as complete albums. (Chapters still can make it easy to que up a particular song.)

Most of my listening to music is from Apple Music but I can listen to my high res stuff either this was or from my iPhone which can do stereo 24/96. On my iPhone I use Onkyo HF player (with High Res add on) through a Dragonfly DAC.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-14-2019, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post
... Basically for me the ATV4K does everything I need so I was happy to find an easy way to have it do this also.

I was in the habit of making my High Res Audio into Flac files which are nice but when it comes to surround sound I have only a handful of albums that I prefer to listen to as complete albums. (Chapters still can make it easy to que up a particular song.) ...
Brian, thanks for sharing this piece of good news!

So must they be MKV's, or can you play a multichannel FLAC in Plex?

I also have JRiver MC 24, and it runs on a dedicated HTPC in my main Theater and feeds my preamp via HDMI, but I also have a secondary Media Room with an ATV 4K and would love to play some of my multichannel music there as well.
Most of my DVD-A and SACD rips are in multichannel FLAC, as individual song files withing album folders.

Only a few recent music BluRays are in full BR disc file format, which I assume Plex can handle and send the bitstream via MAT to the receiver (so as to preserve true high-res and Atmos), is that a correct assumption?
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-14-2019, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonFo View Post
Brian, thanks for sharing this piece of good news!

So must they be MKV's, or can you play a multichannel FLAC in Plex?

I also have JRiver MC 24, and it runs on a dedicated HTPC in my main Theater and feeds my preamp via HDMI, but I also have a secondary Media Room with an ATV 4K and would love to play some of my multichannel music there as well.
Most of my DVD-A and SACD rips are in multichannel FLAC, as individual song files withing album folders.

Only a few recent music BluRays are in full BR disc file format, which I assume Plex can handle and send the bitstream via MAT to the receiver (so as to preserve true high-res and Atmos), is that a correct assumption?
I will have to test... I don't see any reason why Plex would do something wrong with the multi channel FLAC files. I know it can play them. I will go check now. This will be fun.

ALL of my surround is available from Blu Rays so MKV isn't any trouble. On the contrary I used DVD Audio Extractor to make my Flac files during a trail that is long over. So keeping them in MKV is actually a little more easy for me. The FLAC files are better in several ways though... You can name each one after the proper track for example.

I'll go look into this.


However,... assuming plex can bit stream Atmos is likely not going to work. From what I've read the ATV supports a type of ATMOS that isn't used on discs generally. And the ATV4K doesn't bit stream anything.



-Brian
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-14-2019, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

It could be a configuration issue but my tests show plex sends multi channel music from my ATV4K as stereo.

I don't know if it knows about surround sound music files or if there's a way I can let it know a to be on the look out for them.

-Brian
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