Newbie Q: AppleTV to analog only preamp

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?

Bump. Can anyone answer this question: If I'm looking for HT passthrough, how possible is it to simply have a "Y" connector coming out of the preamp, with the HT portion being plugged into the other half of the "Y" -- both then terminating in the single line that goes to amp?

Or does the Y cable screw with the sonic quality?

It is presumed that only one of the units will be on at one time; either preamp, or HT device.

Buy a used budget DAC with coax input and feed it signal via your converter. 
Or does the Y cable screw with the sonic quality?

It is presumed that only one of the units will be on at one time; either preamp, or HT device.
The y-adapter itself won’t significantly affect sonics, but what stands a good chance of having major adverse effects is that the unknown and uncontrolled output impedance which the component that is not being used has when it is turned off will load down the signal being sent to the amp by the other component. And if either of the components incorporates a muting relay at its output, the signal provided by the other component may even be shorted to ground through that relay.

Also, you would be injecting the signal provided by that other component into the unpowered output stage of the component that is not being used, which depending on its specific design could conceivably result in premature failure of that output stage, eventually if not sooner.

In most circumstances connecting two outputs together is not a good idea.

I can’t comment knowledgeably on your other questions, but FWIW my guess is that the suggestion Mesch provided would most likely result in significantly better sonics than using the DAC in the converter you mentioned.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al

P.S:  If the preamp you choose doesn't provide HT passthrough, a good approach would be to connect the output of the HT device to one of the preamp's inputs, then determine a suitable setting of the preamp's volume control that you would always return to for HT purposes, and then control the HT volume on the HT device.

-- Al
What I think would be helpful for you is to search for an HDMI multichannel analog converter. This device can be found easily online using that search term. I found some with many different outputs, coax, toslink, analog RCA outs for surround channels, and pass through.

Good luck
I would suggest downgrading to an Apple TV 3rd gen which has a toslink output, which can connect straight to a dac.
Great answers, all. Thanks much. Received a real education and clarity. Based on this, I'm looking at this device. For sure, this is a future upgrade; but at least I have a clear upgrade path for when that time comes. Old $90 Blu-ray would have eventually been in line for upgrade anyway, and this one seems to do everything I've expressed that I'm looking for -- and you've suggested: direct connect Network-type lossless files, AppleTV (even Gen4); even HT, with 5.1/7.1. 

The only question I have on this is why the dual-L/R outputs? For the time being (I'm not 5.1 yet, only 2) I would simply use the two main L/R outs. But when that time comes, how are the 7.1 L/R outs used? Would this be for an entirely separate system, including different L/R speakers and amp? Would I simply ignore the first two (7.1) L/R plugs?