Where is the degradation in the signal path and how do I know
Oct 9, 2015 at 8:31 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Jun 20, 2011
So I have this setup:
MacBook PRO streaming FLAC to AppleTV
AppleTV is connected via HDMI to TV
TV is connected via Optical cable to Musical Fidelity M1 DAC
DAC is connected via analog cable to Marantz PM8005
Is it a fully digital transmission from MBP to DAC? Or is there some D/A / A/D conversion going on elsewhere in the chain?
If it is fully digital, are there bitrate/bit depth restriction applicable?
So basically, if I stream a 192/24 flac, what exactly enters my DAC?
And the follow up question: how can I come to this answer myself?
Oct 9, 2015 at 2:48 PM Post #2 of 2
It is *likely* fully digital, unless the TV is doing something wonky (unlikely though). However whether or not SRC is happening - that's tough to say. What's the AppleTV outputting? What's the TV receiving and does it perform SRC on its output? You aren't likely getting 24/192 via TOSlink, but it may be sending that out via HDMI. Or maybe not. The TV may also be applying DSP effects to the signal (I know mine can, and will by default, but it can be defeated in the audio options menu).

All of that said, whether or not this amounts to audible signal degradation is another question entirely. Easiest solution there is to plug the MBP directly into the PM8005 (or the M1 DAC) and compare back and forth to the Apple TV -> TV -> M1 chain. If it sounds audibly different, something is going on, if not - no worries. :)

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