Apple TV 48kbps Upsampling vs AE 44.1

I use Tidal HiFi at home to stream CD quality music to the 2-channel setup. I've been using the apple TV for this but realize that it upsamples all audio to 48kbps. I also have an Airport Express which has an optical output and uses the standard 16bit/44.1kbps output. I did a quick test and didn't hear a noticeable difference but I'm curious what anyone else thinks about using the Apple TV for CD quality streaming, it would be convenient to only have one apple device in the rig. Do you think the upsampling to 48kbps would be detrimental to a noticeable degree?
2 Channel - Polk SDA-2BTL full upgrades, Carver TFM-35, Peachtree iDAC, Chromecast Audio (optical), Bugle II phono pre, Technics SL-1500 w/ M97XE

Comments

  • I use a fire tv that upsamples my audio via the plex app to 48khz and to my ears it sounds quite a bit better than letting my AVR decode the flac files directly. I don't know whether it is the upsampling (i doubt) or just my AVR does better with PCM. In any case trust your ears.
    Oh, Listen here mister. We got no way of understandin' this world. But we got as much sense of this bird flyin in the sky. Now there is a lot that bird don't know, but it don't change the fact that the world is happening to him all the same. What I am tryin to say is, is that the course of your life, well its changing, and you don't even see it- Forest Bondurant
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,280
    edited January 2015
    You kinda answered your own question there pal, you said you couldn't hear a difference. Doesn't matter what we think.

    For simply streaming cd quality, imho it won't matter much. Trust your ears bro.
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  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,054
    My experience is that, at least on cheaper DAC's, the native format sounds better. The differences are subtle, but I always have preferred native. Jeremy, are you sure you are getting full on FLAC instead of a downsampled version? I used Plex for a short period and the SQ was horrendous. It could've been that I didn't play around with enough settings though.
  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,717
    I've said this before and will repeat it again here, I do not like the Apple TV for audio performance. It's a damn shame because we like the interface but audio performance isn't great.

    Unfortunately you can't correct this, even with a DAC because the audio has already been resampled.

    The airport express sounds much better to my ears. If you have the older gen like I do they even have a halfway decent DAC and on many systems you're good with just the aex without a DAC.

    IMO, the airport express by itself will still sound better than the Apple TV with a high dollar DAC attached.
  • DSkip wrote: »
    Jeremy, are you sure you are getting full on FLAC instead of a downsampled version? I used Plex for a short period and the SQ was horrendous. It could've been that I didn't play around with enough settings though.

    Nope, I have no idea what I'm getting, but I know I like it. My avr shows 48khz pcm, and my Music files are all flac stored on my pc. I don't know what Plex is doing, but I did set it up for max sound quality "make my cpu hurt" is the option iirc. My Aventage 1010 can decode flac on its own but whatever the fire tv/ plex app is doing is adding more flavor. Much more dynamic and clearer vocals than what the Avr offered on its own. I was surprised by this because I typically have found pcm over HDMI with my previous Onkyo's to sound lifeless and unrevealing. I would prefer to use the AVR alone because it doesn't require the use of the TV to see the menus. Although after adding the plex app to my smartphone I can play DJ without the TV.
    Oh, Listen here mister. We got no way of understandin' this world. But we got as much sense of this bird flyin in the sky. Now there is a lot that bird don't know, but it don't change the fact that the world is happening to him all the same. What I am tryin to say is, is that the course of your life, well its changing, and you don't even see it- Forest Bondurant
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,054
    I'll have to look closer at Plex to ensure I was doing it wrong. I dropped it before jumping into settings because it wasn't compatible with Jremote, which I think is the best remote interface out there. I do know that Jriver initially sets up all DLNA devices to stream MP3 to save bandwidth. Adjusting those settings made a world of difference, but also cost me a higher investment due to needing a beefier router.
  • Yes, I also had to adjust the setting in Jriver so that my AVR would receive the FLAC files instead of the mp3 converted files. I wish I knew what Plex was doing, but I do know that it will convert the audio in other devices that are not compatible. I have access to the Plex server on the Ps3 and can play my music, but I know that the Ps3 isn't flac compatible. On the other hand if I access my music via the Plex server (instead of Jriver) on the 1010, the info on the AVR will show that it is still getting the native flac file. So the Plex server itself is capable of sending flac files over DLNA, but I have no idea what the Fire TV is actually doing. I really like the Plex interface as well, like Jriver, I can control the music from the laptop or my smartphone, but the plex apps are easier imo. As you may know the Plex software is free or the PC and Fire TV, but the smartphone app is a couple bucks. As long as I have the Plex server running and have an internet connection to my smartphone I can also access all of the media on my PC no matter where I am. So I do not have to store much music on the phone as long as I have an internet connection. Maybe Jriver will do this as well, but I thought it was limited to the home network only. My appox. 7 year old router handles everything fairly well. The only issue I have had is when my Wife and my Daughter were watching to different Netflix movies on different sets (obviously) while I was trying to steam audio. I kept getting dropouts every 15 seconds or so, but the issue was resolved by closing one of the Netflix apps. I guess my router has it's limits but for the most part its been a good performer (At&t Uverse Motorola Router).
    Oh, Listen here mister. We got no way of understandin' this world. But we got as much sense of this bird flyin in the sky. Now there is a lot that bird don't know, but it don't change the fact that the world is happening to him all the same. What I am tryin to say is, is that the course of your life, well its changing, and you don't even see it- Forest Bondurant
  • DSkip wrote: »
    I'll have to look closer at Plex to ensure I was doing it wrong. I dropped it before jumping into settings because it wasn't compatible with Jremote, which I think is the best remote interface out there. I do know that Jriver initially sets up all DLNA devices to stream MP3 to save bandwidth. Adjusting those settings made a world of difference, but also cost me a higher investment due to needing a beefier router.

    You know after trying the DLNA PRO app you mentioned in another thread I can no longer recommend plex as an alternative. Plex sounds really good, but after comparing it to your recommendation plex sounds slightly compressed in comparison. It's still world's better than the flac decoder in my AVR, but it isn't as good as the PRO app, so thanks for the tip.

    Oh, Listen here mister. We got no way of understandin' this world. But we got as much sense of this bird flyin in the sky. Now there is a lot that bird don't know, but it don't change the fact that the world is happening to him all the same. What I am tryin to say is, is that the course of your life, well its changing, and you don't even see it- Forest Bondurant
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