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5.1 audio via USB from Synology NAS to AVR?

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windhoek

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My NAS doesn't have an HDMI output. It turns out I can stream mch files to my Sony BDP, although for some reason it won't play mch DSD converted to FLAC. Oh, and it doesn't play gapless either, but that's not a big surprise.
 

marpow

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Derek, I just read all the posts on this thread, and based on all the questions and answers, and my own experience, it seems like the Intel Nuc, Windows 10, with a player as suggested above, I have JRiver, not familiar with KODI, Foobar looks the coolest, would solve your problem. HDMI out from the NUC to your AVR and your player of choice would be synced with your NAS under the players import settings.
The NUC's are very tiny. I use a program called SplashTop from my PC that I can remote access the NUC, others like LUV have wireless keyboard, etc direct to NUC.
JRiver in April is bringing out there new version MC25, not sure what the difference will be from the current MC24 that I own.
 

DuncanS

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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.
The USB bus can only have a single bus 'master', so when you plug-in a USB stick the device it is connected to is the master, so can read the files off the USB stick - which is a slave device on the bus. In general I would expect an AVR to be a bus master, and the NAS to also be a bus master, so they would not be able to 'talk' to each other. So the external stereo/multi DAC connected to the NAS is seen a USB slave device. Some USB devices (all processor based) are USB On-The-Go and can be either a bus master or a slave on the bus, this uses the USB ID pin on the socket to determine which it is, so cable and software dependent. Again I would not expect either an AVR or NAS to be able to do USB On-The-Go. (NB: I did a couple of circuit designs last year with USB so I had to figure this out). So the way to go is via a NAS and an Ethernet(best)/Wi-Fi connected PC/media player (I'm looking at getting an Intel NUC) and connect via HDMI to the AVR.
 

HomerJAU

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Derek. A NUC is only 100mm (4”) square. You can hide it as it can be controlled via your network’s wifi from smartphones or tablets or an RF remote. (As long as you can still access it’s ‘on’ button.

Your current AVR will play MCH via HDMI from the NUC. This is probably cheaper than buying a new AVR.
 

windhoek

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The USB bus can only have a single bus 'master', so when you plug-in a USB stick the device it is connected to is the master, so can read the files off the USB stick - which is a slave device on the bus. In general I would expect an AVR to be a bus master, and the NAS to also be a bus master, so they would not be able to 'talk' to each other. So the external stereo/multi DAC connected to the NAS is seen a USB slave device. Some USB devices (all processor based) are USB On-The-Go and can be either a bus master or a slave on the bus, this uses the USB ID pin on the socket to determine which it is, so cable and software dependent. Again I would not expect either an AVR or NAS to be able to do USB On-The-Go. (NB: I did a couple of circuit designs last year with USB so I had to figure this out). So the way to go is via a NAS and an Ethernet(best)/Wi-Fi connected PC/media player (I'm looking at getting an Intel NUC) and connect via HDMI to the AVR.
I wonder whether that's where asynchronous USB connections come in - maybe these sort of connections somehow tells one end that the other is the true master - the big boss, as it were - and the other is, well, the slave. My NAS is connected to a Rega DAC-R via asynchronous USB and it works just fine, so it seems there's some way of sorting out which device is the master o or perhaps, that both agree to be master and slave at the same time, like some weird quantum mechanics thing.
 

windhoek

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Derek. A NUC is only 100mm (4”) square. You can hide it as it can be controlled via your network’s wifi from smartphones or tablets or an RF remote. (As long as you can still access it’s ‘on’ button.

Your current AVR will play MCH via HDMI from the NUC. This is probably cheaper than buying a new AVR.
If I go for a dedicated streaming gadget, I might try something like this as apparently, it does DTSHD-MA and Dolby Tru HD etc. No DSD support, but it claims do gapless among other things and the reviews all seem to be positive. It even comes with a 5-year warranty. Oh, it's tiny as well: 122 x 127 x 111 mm.

 

HomerJAU

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I started with a Medi8er but was quite slow and crappy UI compared to Kodi and JRiver. Also slow to do updates. The last update on their website is 2016. I wouldn’t recommend it.
 

windhoek

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I'm currently using my Sony blu ray player to stream and it's not as bad as I thought it would be. I mean, I'd tried it before and the interface is pants compared to the slick interface you get when using Netflix, Plex etc, but apart from the fact it doesn't do gapless and the UI is almost like an 8-bit GUI, it's adequate. What I need to do though is figure out why it won't stream mch DSD that's been converted to FLAC - it plays DVD-A and blu ray mch FLAC files so I don't understand why it won't work. Some head scratching to do...
 

LuvMyQuad

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I'm currently using my Sony blu ray player to stream and it's not as bad as I thought it would be. I mean, I'd tried it before and the interface is pants compared to the slick interface you get when using Netflix, Plex etc, but apart from the fact it doesn't do gapless and the UI is almost like an 8-bit GUI, it's adequate. What I need to do though is figure out why it won't stream mch DSD that's been converted to FLAC - it plays DVD-A and blu ray mch FLAC files so I don't understand why it won't work. Some head scratching to do...
What is the bit depth and sample rate of the FLAC converted from DSD? It may not be compatible with your BRD because of an odd bit rate. Blue ray and DVDA typically convert to 24/96 or 24/48. DSD typically converts to 24/88.2 unless the conversion is specified differently.
 

windhoek

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What is the bit depth and sample rate of the FLAC converted from DSD? It may not be compatible with your BRD because of an odd bit rate. Blue ray and DVDA typically convert to 24/96 or 24/48. DSD typically converts to 24/88.2 unless the conversion is specified differently.
Ah, now that's worth looking into - of I goes...

Jackpot! The sample rate is 252.8Khz and I'd be amazed if my player supports anything above 192 although probably more like 96Khz. It's getting late so I'll leave further experimentation till tomorrow but I'm pretty sure I know what I have to do :)
 

windhoek

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I just converted a mch FLAC file from 352.8 to 96Khz (I know, 88.2 would have been a better match) to test whether downsampling would work and I'm pleased to say it does. Not getting it right the first time was sloppy on my part - I really should have seen that coming as multichannel playback of those sorts of sample rates is hardly ubiquitous. Oh well, you never lose when you learn :)
 

DuncanS

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I wonder whether that's where asynchronous USB connections come in - maybe these sort of connections somehow tells one end that the other is the true master - the big boss, as it were - and the other is, well, the slave. My NAS is connected to a Rega DAC-R via asynchronous USB and it works just fine, so it seems there's some way of sorting out which device is the master o or perhaps, that both agree to be master and slave at the same time, like some weird quantum mechanics thing.
I believe what is called Asynchronous USB is where the external device has its own clock and takes the data from the host (the master) device using the host's clock and then uses its own clock to clock the data through the DAC for example. It is done a lot in telecommunications circuits to move data from one clock domain to another (or to move between different clock speeds), using a FIFO (First In First Out) data buffer where one clock puts the data in, and another totally separate clock moves the data out. I'm off on a business trip on Friday so might well look into Async USB as I'll be stuck in an hotel for a week as no 5.1 to listen to!
 

LuvMyQuad

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I just converted a mch FLAC file from 352.8 to 96Khz (I know, 88.2 would have been a better match) to test whether downsampling would work and I'm pleased to say it does. Not getting it right the first time was sloppy on my part - I really should have seen that coming as multichannel playback of those sorts of sample rates is hardly ubiquitous. Oh well, you never lose when you learn :)
Nice.

Have a look at this little box. I think Homer was playing with one of these a while back, I'm not positive how that evaluation turned out, but I think he verified it works for hi res MCH. Maybe he'll give us a final judgment. You certainly can't beat the tiny size or the low price.
 

winopener

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Have myself a Synololgy NAS and i gave up years ago trying to use the audio station app, no gapless and no cuesheet support (at least up to 6.x), the small intermediate headless NUC is a good solution and cheaper than everything else, with Foobar as player and a cheap tablet with remote desktop.
 
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