I'm trying to configure an AppleTV (Gen4, HDMI out only) into an analog-only preamp. I've bought a converter
that goes from HDMI in, to HDMI plus three other outs: Digital, Toslink, and a 3.5mm "stereo" -- which I presume to be a small jack for analog signal. Now, as it turns out, I thought I had a combo digital and analog pre, but UPS manhandled it inbound, and two transformers were ripped off their moorings, so I'm back in the loop. I'm considering a Tom Evans Vibe pre, as I am simply over this search, and willing to throw budget to the winds to be done with this, picking what I think should be "more than enough, and done." But this is analog only inputs. Which brings me to the need to either reconfigure that converter to analog out, or find another solution.
So I guess my questions are these: --I understand there are no HDMI-to-analog splitter cables. So, I'm reduced (if I want this solution) to going through a converter. Most importantly, how bad am I going to be butchering up my signal, with a $43 converter? My prime listening will be CD (w/ analog out), but I really would like to do AirPlay for Internet radio, or Network attached storage. So I may experience some loss of quality in what may be some important sources, although I see no other alternatives.
--would this 3.5mm-to-RCA
be an acceptable solution to this converter-go-to-analog pre? Or would I be better served by looking for some sort of Digital out to RCA type of splitter?
--and for the Network attached storage, does anyone have an ideas how I might achieve a better system connection? I presume since there needs to be some way to select which songs are played, which reduces it to computer. So it would seem AirPlay is the only option. The goal here is to play some lossless type of stuff, but I may be significantly constraining it, particularly through a $43 converter. And Apple itself might be doing some proprietary signal compression to get it through their system.
--If anyone knows the Tom Evans pre, would you give this as a recommendation for my system? One that at least will not be the weak link? I'm alternately considering (again, knowing next to nothing about all of this) building the tube Bottlehead kit BeePre
And, as a perhaps separate question, I'm also hoping for HT passthrough. Would it be remotely possible to take an output-to-amp into a "Y" somehow, with preamp output going into one Y end, and HT output going into another, with the resulting single output then going to the amp? Or does such a suggestion significantly degrade the signal?