We all know that the VSSL amplifier is the best multi-zone audio amplifier on the market. Their simplistic approach to streaming music without the need for expensive remote control systems or priority apps and software, makes these amplifiers the most consumer friendly on the market.
But what are some of the hardware features of a VSSL amplifier? In this article we are going to explain different ways to connect a television to a VSSL amplifier, allowing you to enjoy your TV audio in one or multiple pairs of speakers.
Knowing your amplifier
Before we get into the how to connect your system, it would be good to know what connections we are going to use to achieve our goal. All three of the amplifiers have two types of hardwired inputs, optical (toslink) and RCA, where the A.1x also add a digital coax connection.
Next, you are going to want to look at the back of your audio source. What is our audio source? An audio source is what we are sending audio out of to the amplifier. Types of audio sources would be a cable or satellite box, a streaming box like a Roku, or the television itself.
Not to get ahead of ourselves, but if you are streaming all of your programming with an Apple TV, you can wirelessly send the audio to any zone and no cables will be needed. But we will get into this more further down in the article.
Click on an amplifier below to get a larger image.
How to connect our TV
Now that we have all of our connections understood, let’s get into how we are going to connect our TV to our VSSL amplifier.
RCA cables are the original source to send audio from one component to another. The two plugs represent the left and right speakers (stereo). If your television has an RCA output, you can connect the audio out of the TV and into the corresponding zone input on the back of your amplifier.
A headphone output will operate similar to an RCA output and you can buy an adapter to go from headphone to RCA.
In this case, your TV may have a “Variable” audio output option. If so, as you regulate the volume up and down with your TV remote control, the audio through your amplifier-connected speakers will go up and down at the same time. Otherwise, you will want to utilize the IR input on the back of the amplifier.
Optical cables are a true digital connection and will have the best overall audio quality. You will want to be careful when handling an optical cable. We suggest not allowing any crimps or breaks in the line since it is fiberoptic wire and could easily break.
When you use an optical wire, we suggest connecting up the IR blaster in addition to the cable since the variable audio output will likely not be an option on your source using an optical output.
Apple TV (Airplay 2)
An Apple TV is a streaming media device that connects up to your television and provides you with tons of streaming content (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, etc.). Apple TVs have the ability to stream all of its audio content wirelessly to any Airplay 2 device. Therefore, you can send your streaming content to one, multiple, or all of your VSSL amplifier zones!
Programming your VSSL Amplifier
A very useful tool in the VSSL app is the ability to prioritize audio streaming for each zone. With this option, you can select whether you want the local input (TV) to be a priority or streaming (music from a wireless device).
Our kitchen TV audio is connected via RCA to our “Kitchen Speakers” zone. If we set the option on that zone to “Local First”, as soon as I turn on my TV the TV audio will automatically turn on, even if I was streaming music before I turned on the TV. The opposite is true as well. If we had “Stream First” selected, and I turned on the TV, the streaming music would continue to play and I would have to go into the VSSL app to tell it to go over to the TV volume.
To wrap everything up, the VSSL amplifiers are extremely versatile components that not only have multi-zone streaming built-in but also have the hardware to back them up. I have seen a lot of competition out there that has the streaming but not the hardware, or visa-versa. VSSL has built a line of amplifiers that can be stacked and expanded upon, work with other Airplay 2 and Chromecast compatible components, and do not require proprietary software to run outside of the initial set-up.
Please feel free to contact us any time to get some more information or if you need further assistance in the design and implementation of your system.