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5.1 audio via USB from Synology NAS to AVR?

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windhoek

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My Synology DS416Play NAS can output stereo (up to 24/192) via USB when 'USB Speakers' is selected as the output when running DS Audio Station. But what I'd like to know is whether it can output multichannel audio via USB to a device that supports 5.1 audio via 'printer-type' USB input such as an AV Receiver, albeit it'll probably only be a feature in high-end AVRs. Fwiw, I know my NAS can play these files, but seeing as I've only got a stereo DAC connected to the NAS the files are downmixed on the fly to stereo, so I don't know whether it can or will pass 5.1 audio unmolested via USB to a suitable device. Fwiw, my Fire TV running Plex within Kodi can stream these files but it sounds sort of crappy, so multichannel audio via asynchronous USB would be a better option.
 

windhoek

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It would even be good to know whether any device that supports 5.1 audio via asynchronous USB input works with a Synology NAS in this way as it might well be that no AVR does but something like the Exasound E38 does... and who knows, maybe one of those cheap external sound cards that can handle multichannel audio via asynchronous USB will work! I just need to find out what are my options.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I just purchased this AVR as a Christmas gift for my son. In my mind, its a fantastic deal. And after looking at the spec sheets, I do believe it will accept 5.1 FLAC through the USB ports. I will know for sure when I set it up and test it later this week. The idea is to allow 5.1 hi res playback through the front panel using thumb drives.

If that doesn't work I will buy him one of these. I know for a fact that this WILL play 5.1 FLAC through the front panel USB port. The reason being my brother has one and I have seen it perform.

It is difficult to tell when looking at a spec sheet whether any given unit will support MCH files, as it is seldom stated clearly. Many AVRs wont even play stereo FLAC, but if they do play FLAC they usually only list the resolutions supported. Although I have noticed that the units that do not play MCH generally say they are limited to stereo at XXX resolution.

To be honest, with the AVR above, you could simply stream hi res 5.1 right over the network if desired. Is there some reason you need to go the USB route?

Did this answer your question?
 

dr. simple

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1. Regarding USB: I could be wrong, but I think the difference is in whether the USB is moving the file or the audio bitstream. I never thought USB could deliver 5.1 audio, but it can certainly deliver a flac file to a unit that will decode it. So it seems to me that if the NAS is doing the decoding, the USB will not carry it to the AVR.

1. Regarding Plex: I don't find the sound of Plex streaming from my NUC to be crappy. Now, I stream via Plex to a family room that is fun for watching movies but not optimal for listening, and it's not hi-res, but it doesn't sound bad. For that room, it sounds pretty good. I don't use Plex in my main listening room.

Paul
 

antoine555

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I have a VSX 827 AVR (I bought it in 2011 or 2012).

From a mac it will play 5.1 PCM via HDMI (without adapter upto to 192 KHz/24 bits, with a mini-DVI to HDMI I have to limit to 48 KHz/24 bits)

I didn't test playing via USB (with a usb key), but I'm pretty sure it will only play stereo files. The Flac format is supported.

UPNP is stereo only too, and no support for DSD SACD...
 

windhoek

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I had a good look around for answers on the web before I had to go to work and I'm almost sure no AVR supports multichannel audio via asynchronous USB so it looks like my hope to play multichannel music on my NAS with a USB connection to an AVR is a non-starter. I guess I need to think about investing in a better streamer than my Fire TV running Plex within Kodi - whether that's a new AVR that can stream multichannel audio or a streaming gadget like an Nvidia Shield remains to be seen.

thanks for your input :)
 

HomerJAU

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I had a good look around for answers on the web before I had to go to work and I'm almost sure no AVR supports multichannel audio via asynchronous USB so it looks like my hope to play multichannel music on my NAS with a USB connection to an AVR is a non-starter. I guess I need to think about investing in a better streamer than my Fire TV running Plex within Kodi - whether that's a new AVR that can stream multichannel audio or a streaming gadget like an Nvidia Shield remains to be seen.

thanks for your input :)
How about a media player with HDMI to your AVR? Does your current AVR have HDMI?

The latest Intel NUCs are very fast and support hi res mch audio and video. Take a look at the Multichannel Media Player sub forum here on QQ.
 

windhoek

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windhoek

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How about a media player with HDMI to your AVR? Does your current AVR have HDMI?

The latest Intel NUCs are very fast and support hi res mch audio and video. Take a look at the Multichannel Media Player sub forum here on QQ.
My AVR does have HDMI inputs. I've got a mac mini I can use as a mch media player but now that I've got a NAS I'd prefer to find a simple way of steaming mch audio that involves as few boxes as possible. The music programme on my NAS is pretty decent and better than using my Fire TV and my AVR, well it can't stream mch audio, just stereo. It might well be new AVRs are much better at streaming and if the streaming can be controlled via an app then all the better. Like I say, there's no rush to come up with a permanent solution - my mch files aren't going anywhere :)
 

HomerJAU

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All the AVRs I’ve seen have pretty ordinary user interfaces for both playback and metadata/images etc. And slow.

A media player with Kodi or JRiver can be play music using a smart phone or tablet as a remote and allow you to create play lists etc. much better experience. Select next song while current is playing etc.
 
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LuvMyQuad

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My AVR does have HDMI inputs. I've got a mac mini I can use as a mch media player but now that I've got a NAS I'd prefer to find a simple way of steaming mch audio that involves as few boxes as possible. The music programme on my NAS is pretty decent and better than using my Fire TV and my AVR, well it can't stream mch audio, just stereo. It might well be new AVRs are much better at streaming and if the streaming can be controlled via an app then all the better. Like I say, there's no rush to come up with a permanent solution - my mch files aren't going anywhere :)
I guess I don't understand. Why do you need to have an asynchronous USB input?

Your music tracks are already saved on your NAS. Yes?

A network ready AVR can access that same network, and hence those files. Yes?

The AVR has the necessary decoders and DACs to turn the digital stream into an analog signal.

What am I missing?

And yes, as Homer points out, an intermediate software step like Kodi enhances the process.

EDIT: OK I get it I think. yOU WANT TO USE THE USER INTERFACE FROM THE NAS....
 
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windhoek

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All the AVRs I’ve seen have pretty ordinary user interfaces for both playback and metadata/images etc. And slow.

A media player with Kodi or JRiver can be play music using a smart phone or tablet as a remote and allow you to create play lists etc. much better experience. Select next song while current is playing etc.
Yeah, when it comes to navigating and selecting media AVR interfaces are poor compared the sort of interface you get with Kodi, JRiver etc.

I guess I don't understand. Why do you need to have an asynchronous USB input?

Your music tracks are already saved on your NAS. Yes?

A network ready AVR can access that same network, and hence those files. Yes?

The AVR has the necessary decoders and DACs to turn the digital stream into an analog signal.

What am I missing?

And yes, as Homer points out, an intermediate software step like Kodi enhances the process.

EDIT: OK I get it I think. yOU WANT TO USE THE USER INTERFACE FROM THE NAS....
Yeah, using the interface on my NAS is a lot better than using my AVR (a Marantz NR-1504 which I don't think supports multichannel audio via DNLA anyway) and also if I could connect an AVR to my NAS via asynchronous USB that would allow the incoming data to be re-clocked to reduce/remove jitter and sound better than using my Fire TV, which I think can only output medium-res Dolby Digital.

Going forward, I think I'll have to bite the bullet and either buy a modern AVR that supports multichannel hi-res audio via network - preferably with an accompanying app for browsing and selecting media - and/or a better streaming device that can do likewise.
 

HomerJAU

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Just use your existing AVR with a media player with Kodi or JRiver. If you use LibreElec (Linux build with Kodi) it free and fully functional for mch audio and music video etc. just use your NAS for media storage and downloading etc
 

windhoek

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I just tried to stream mch music via my AVR and, as I suspected, it can't do 5.1 over network: only front left and right channels are being streamed. My AVR is four or five years old so it might well be a modern receiver will do the job... a quick look at newer Marantz AVRs suggests they can stream mch over network - there's even a Marantz app for navigating and selecting media, so updating my AVR is probably the simplest method going forward as I really don't want to add another box as shelf space is fully occupied as it is.
 

windhoek

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It looks like I spoke too soon about Marantz AVRs supporting mch audio via network - digging deeper into the manuals tells me they support stereo only over a network. That's a pity as I prefer using slim AVRs due to space restriction on my rack but I guess if I want to use an AVR to stream mch audio I'm going to have go for one of the big box AVRs. I'll start looking again and see what turns up...
 

quicksrt

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The AVR that accepts all file types, everything not only from HDMI but USB as well, is the future replacemt for the Oppo models we love.

It's the 5-chan analogue output that is not coming back.
 

Kal Rubinson

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My Synology DS416Play NAS can output stereo (up to 24/192) via USB when 'USB Speakers' is selected as the output when running DS Audio Station. But what I'd like to know is whether it can output multichannel audio via USB to a device that supports 5.1 audio via 'printer-type' USB input such as an AV Receiver, albeit it'll probably only be a feature in high-end AVRs. Fwiw, I know my NAS can play these files, but seeing as I've only got a stereo DAC connected to the NAS the files are downmixed on the fly to stereo, so I don't know whether it can or will pass 5.1 audio unmolested via USB to a suitable device. Fwiw, my Fire TV running Plex within Kodi can stream these files but it sounds sort of crappy, so multichannel audio via asynchronous USB would be a better option.
So, I ask you again if your Synology NAS has an HDMI output? That would do the job.
 
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