9 thoughts on “Playing Around With Surround Part II

  • August 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm
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    Just as a quick note from my experience with USB delivery of digital audio files. Although the Oppo is an exception, I would venture to say most Blu-ray players and A/V receivers that are more than a few years old do not use a sufficient USB specification (or chose not to support) delivery 6 channels of 96kHz/24bit audio. For instance, my Yamaha Blu-ray BD-A1010 and Aventage RX-A3000 receiver either completely refuses to playback or stutters while playing flac or wav files. Stereo 96kHz/24bit audio is ok. As a workaround, I use the kdLinks HD680 to deliver the digital files via HDMI directly to my AV receiver (DAC).

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    • August 8, 2014 at 9:30 am
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      Interesting…I don’t have a lot of options around the studio to confirm this but I guess it makes sense. Too bad.

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  • August 7, 2014 at 8:17 pm
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    The USB stick option works if you’re playing only a few pieces of music.

    The use of a local area network and a fast large external hard drive on a PC to stream the original files via DLNA or UPnP directly to an Oppo, as I outlined in my post yesterday, makes your whole collection available at once – and at multiple locations – allowing much greater flexibility and spontaneity. I’ve found that my 7200 RPM drive can stream different music to two locations at the same time!

    While you could mount the collection on a hard drive directly onto a player via USB, you would lose the ability to play your collection from other devices on your network and remotely over the internet (as I described yesterday, by using a second server to access the same collection of tracks). That’s why I consider a LAN connection the most flexible approach.

    I feed my BDP-93’s 5.1 analog output over a three-foot bundle of RCA cables into my Yamaha AVR’s “multichannel” input, which was designed to get lossless analog from DVD-Audio and SACD players in the days when “digital” meant optical or coaxial SPDIF, which can only send surround audio as DVD-style lossy Dolby or DTS.

    I follow the AV Science Forum threads on the Oppo players, and HDMI audio users – particularly those who send undecoded audio from movie disks to their AVRs (“bitstream” being the term) – are frequently tripped up by the ever-escalating disk programming war between the movie publishers and the pirates. Having the player decode the audio sidesteps that whole mess, which is why the common recommendation for “problem disks” is to have the player decode the audio and then re-encode it as LPCM for the HDMI cable. Bah! Oppo made its bones with great audio, so why not just cable its decoded audio to your amplifier and listen to it?

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    • August 8, 2014 at 9:33 am
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      A 32 or 64 gig USB stick is a quick an easy way to play 5.1 surround but ultimately you’ll want to move to the next step…which is a hard drive connected to the Oppo. Of course, network serving of the data stream to multiple devices is another more complicated option but a great solution for those techies ready for a DIY project.

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    • August 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm
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      Hi Phil
      Is your PC/music server connected to your network by Wireless? Due to distance limitations this is the setup I have. I’m using N600 protocol, with a full Wireless signal to router but this still doesn’t provide enough bandwidth to stream MCH 96/24. I have to go wired connection to prevent stuttering and sound dropout. I’m wondering if the fancy new Account Wireless protocol will work? Stereo files are no problem of course and I definitely vote for the DLNA-based setup.

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      • August 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm
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        Todd, I use an 802.11ac wireless bridge to support MCH 96/24 5.1 and 7.1 audio and video with no problems. For example, the equipment rack for my home theater includes a Netgear R6300 configured as a bridge. All equipment in the rack that requires an ethernet connection, including an OPPO BDP-103D, is connected by wired gigabit ethernet to the R6300 bridge. The R6300 bridge is 802.11ac wirelessly connected to another R6300 that is configured as a router/AP. The media server is wired gigabit connected to the R6300 router/AP.

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      • August 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm
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        Todd –

        Ok, here’s where it can get geeky. My cable modem and main PC (with the music files) are in my second-floor apartment, while my theater, with my Oppo (and my Roku for internet radio and Amazon Prime), is in the basement. Wireless won’t cut it, so I had two choices: run an ethernet cable outside my house down to my basement – the most reliable but most difficult approach – or piggyback my network on the house’s cable tv wiring. You’ve probably heard of “Powerline networking,” which puts a radio-frequency carrier onto the house’s AC wiring, but that’s subject to noise from the motors in all your appliances.

        Doing the same thing over the cable tv wiring is much better, since it’s a quieter medium. It’s called MoCA – “multimedia over coax.” There’s a whole thread at the AVScience Forum devoted to setting up and trouble-shooting MoCA, which is usually done using second-hand Verizon Fios boxes, which also contain 4 port routers and wifi base stationsl. Here’s the first page of that thread http://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-home-v-distribution/1145636-actiontec-mi424wr-cheap-moca-bridge-all.html

        One thing to be aware of is that this may not work if you’re using satellite TV, as MoCA puts its signal on the cable in the region right above 1 Gigahertz. Cable TV companies put all their services below 1 GHz, so there’s no conflict, but satellite TV companies use the same band as MoCA, so it may or may not be possible to put them on different frequencies within that band.

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        • August 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm
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          Hey guys, thanks for suggestions. The R6300 pair is simple, but MoCA idea is creative and cost effective, hadn’t heard of this before.

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  • August 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm
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    My setup is pretty basic, MacMini / HDMI -> Yamaha receiver / NAS storage. I use DLNA for a really simple setup that’s controlled by the iPhone app from Yamaha. For perfect playback, I use the HDMI output and JRiver Media Center. I would love to use the analog outputs from my Oppo BDP-83SE but it is seriously interface challenged. I wish Oppo would do some firmware updates to that unit. I would love to have the BDP-105 but it’s hard to justify $1200 for the features that I would gain. For me, I love the discs, but I don’t use them very much!

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