How To Hook Up Apple TV To A Stereo Receiver Using RCA Cables

This post is part review and part how to.  I love Apple TV for streaming movies and television shows.  But maybe the greatest feature is the ability to stream media from one device, like an Iphone, to any device that can be hooked up to an Apple TV.  Recently I connected a new Apple TV to a stereo.  How I did it is detailed below.

Using the Airplay feature on the Iphone and having Home sharing enabled on your devices, you can stream music to any stereo in your house, assuming that you can connect your Apple TV to a stereo.

This was my problem.  You see, Apple TV hooks up to a television or media center through either a HDMI or Optical Audio connection.  I wanted to connect Apple TV a stereo in my kitchen that plays music through ceiling speakers and patio speakers so that i could be on my patio and play music from Rhapsody or my Itunes using my Iphone.  My stereo is not old but it does not have an HDMI input nor does it have an optical audio input.  The only way to connect anything to my stereo receiver is through RCA Cables.  But the issue is not just the cables, for me it was changing the digital Apple TV signal to an analog one.  I figured out how to do it, and share the steps below.

How To Use RCA Cables To Hook Up Apple TV To A Stereo

First, let me say that it is easy to hook up your Apple TV to a stereo.  I did it last week in under 10 minutes.  Now I can stream music to my stereo using my Iphone and Ipad with no loss of sound quality as far as I can tell.  To connect Apple TV to a stereo, that has only RCA inputs you will need these things.

What You NeedStuff You Need To Hook Apple TV To A Stereo Receiver

1)  Apple TV: Duh!

2) A Digital To Analog Audio Converter:  The audio signal from the Apple TV is digital and using a cable to connect the digital signal to an analog receiver will not work.  You need to change the digital signal to analog.  I use the FiiO D3 Digital to Analog Audio Converter which can be found on Amazon.com.  The Fiio is simple to hook up and simple to use and it works.  The FiiO is the key to success when connecting an Apple TV to a stereo or when connecting the Apple TV to any analog device, including analog televisions.

Click here to reviews of the FiiO D3 and to learn about its many uses.

3) An Optical Audio Cable:  Apple TV (at least the base model) does not come with any cable. except for a power cable.  You will need an Optical Audio cable to connect the Apple TV to the FiiO D3 Digital to Analog Audio Converter.  I used the AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Cable, 6 Feet, which can also be found on Amazon.com

4) RCA Cables:  The Apple TV to FiiO requires a digital cable like an Optical Audio cable.  But once the signal has been converted to analog, you need RCA cables from the FiiO to the receiver.

What You Need To Do To Connect Apple TV To A Stereo

Once you have the proper tools, the process is simple.

1)  Connect Apple TV up to a television first.  Once that is done, you will need to enter the information for your Wi-Fi network and your Apple ID.  You should name the Apple TV so you can tell the difference on your phones Airplay options (especially necessary if you have more than on Apple TV in the house).  Mine is called Apple TV Kitchen, because that is where the receiver is.

2) Once your Apple TV has been set up, unplug it from your TV, take it to the location where How To Connect The Apple TV To A Stereo Receiverthe stereo receiver is and begin hooking up the Apple TV, digital analog converter and stereo like this.

  • Plug the Apple TV into the FiiO D3 using the optical audio cable.
  • Plug the FiiO D3 into the stereo using the RCA cables.  You can likely use any available input on your stereo.  I use the SAT input on my receiver.
  • Plug the power in to the Fiio and the power in to the Apple TV.

That is is.  You have now hooked your digital Apple TV up to an analog stereo receiver.  When you want to stream music from your iPhone, iPad or laptop, select airplay and pick your Apple TV  from the list.  make sure your stereo input is set on the input you chose to plug the apple TV into.

It really could not have been easier for me to do. The key is having the right products. I planned to have problems with sound or figuring things out, but it worked on the first try.  It is very easy. I have links to what you need below from Amazon.com.  Good luck!