AppleTV to external DAC?

Is there more than one way to get a digital signal out of the AppleTV to an external DAC?

On the surface of things, it appears to only have the toslink and HDMI outputs (one could conceivably use an HDMI Y-adapter to output to both the TV and something else, but I wouldn't know how to get that to SPDIF other than using one of these electronic splitters (HDMI -> DVI+SPDIF)

I would love for there to be an easy, high-quality solution, but at the moment, I don't see one...

Does that mean I am stuck using toslink?
I just ordered an Apple TV which should arrive next week and I share your confusion. My reading here on Audiogon leads me to believe that the optimum arrangement is USB out of Apple and USB in to your DAC. I don't yet have a USB DAC so I'm going to try coming straight out of the analog audio outs on the Apple TV to see if that will do.
A problem I find in reading these comments is the density of acronyms. I realize I just used some of them above so I'm not trying to be critical of anyone else's use. It's just that I don't have a dictionary for all of it.
Got my AppleTV last week. Finally hooked up now (all kinds of issues up to now). I can put in a toslink cable to the DAC, but would prefer a higher quality linkage. Wondering if something like a Monarchy DIP would do it...

Macrojack, my understanding is that the AppleTV's USB jack is only there for servicing, and is not configured for audio USB. HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is the jack to get the multimedia signal from your AppleTV to your HD TV - and by the way you'll likely need to get an HDMI cable because your AppleTV does not come with one. SPDIF stands for Sony/Philips Digital Interface, and it is one of the standard formats for transmitting digital information. Strictly speaking, toslink is one version of S/PDIF, the other being "coaxial digital". HDMI is effectively an electronically re-formatted version of component cables (the 3-color video cables and standard L+R cables for audio), and can be separated into video+audio (thus the DVI (Digital Video interface) and SPDIF).
T Bone - I already have component video cables snaked through the wall to my DVD player. I was planning to just switch them into the Apple TV and use a computer as a transport either wirelessly or via some digital connection like USB. What now?

I'm hoping this move creates a slicker, more compact and maybe better performing setup. I'm not really unhappy with what I have but I want to add internet radio to my system and I would like to be able to access all of the hard drives in the house wirelessly if possible. Am I on the right track?
Toslink to S/PDIF coax (or AES) and I2S, and memory-based reclocking:

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Macrojack, I don't speak fluent AppleTV yet but can suggest the following: If you don't already have a wireless network, you can create one, and the AppleTV can join it (just make sure it is not hidden). Your AppleTV will then be able to link to your iTunes. It becomes the hub by which you can download content from the iTunes store (movie rentals, etc), play your music off iTunes, etc. I do not know about internet radio unless you download it as a podcast (which will work). I expect you may need something else for the drives.

Steve, I was actually aware of your PaceCar, and find it an elegant solution to the problem. I wondered for a couple of years why someone did not make one (until you did). I was, however, hoping to spend less money on my solution until my network (using a multiple wireless router network to get to my stereo & TV) is more solidly together. However, this gives me an idea... could one run an AppleTV into a Behringer DEQ2496 (toslink in and out), to a PaceCar to a DAC and keep it clean, or would the AppleTV to Behringer leg mean that the Behringer was processing an already jittery signal?
First, let me say that I'm using the toslink and it sounds great. I I am using a Transparent Audio glass toslink cable,which may or may not help, but overall, you should try the toslink before dismissing it out of hand.

That being said, there are converters such as the Theta TLC that will convert from toslink to coax. If someone's tried using it, I'd love to hear their thoughts
You are right Darkj. It is cheap and I might get my eyes opened. After all, I am not trying to get it perfect yet.
T_bone - you can put locate the Pace-Car as far down the stream as you want. Right before the D/A is best.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Thanks Steve, would feeding a (probably jittery) optical toslink-carried signal into a (probably jittery) signal path in a DD processor (like the Behringer) change the signal irretrievably because the two signals in series are without a common clock? or how does that work?
The USB out on the apple tv is inactive. However, there are several how to's on the net about how to hack and install the full version of osx on the apple tv. Has anyone tried this? I would imagine if you could install osx you would be able to set the audio to output via usb which you could then connect to the dac. The process to hack the unit isn't all that simple but might be worth the time if we could connect the dac via usb.

There is also a company that can increase the hard drive to 250gb. I'm about to try that as my first gen 30gb model is stuffed to capacity and holds about a quarter of my music. Streaming directly from itunes works well but the computer has to be on for this to function.