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Author Topic: New system question. Ditching the AVR.  (Read 6138 times)

geronimo1958

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New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« on: September 15, 2018, 11:27:01 pm »

I am planning a new system.  I would like to completely ditch the AVR.  Want to use the miniDSP U-DIO8 with three Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus DAC's and a multichannel amp (something like the NAD M27) powering a 5.1 set of speakers.  This setup would be fed by a HTPC running JRiver and Dirac Live.  The primary, but not only source is my audio / video files on the Freenas server.

The HTPC will need to accept the additional audio inputs:

- digital audio (either coaxial or optical) from DirectTV

- digital audio via USB from a PS Audio phono preamp
https://www.psaudio.com/nuwave-phono-converter/

and pass the audio to the miniDSP U-DIO8.


From my browsing of this and other computer audio forums I cannot tell if this is possible??
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mattkhan

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 04:10:55 am »

Input options are asio line in (which requires an audio driver for your device) or the wdm driver which plays system audio through JRiver.

If one of these works for your setup then you can get the audio processing going.

You then need to do manual scripting to choose sources as JRiver has no ability to associate these inputs with particular devices. Example 3rd party app that use mcws plus some custom scripting - https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=114198.0

So possible yes, easy no.
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kr4

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 07:21:01 am »

I have not tried this but the U-DIO8 also adds 4 s/pdif or 4 aes/ebu inputs to the toolkit.

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Kal Rubinson
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Fitzcaraldo215

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2018, 11:05:31 am »

I am planning a new system.  I would like to completely ditch the AVR.  Want to use the miniDSP U-DIO8 with three Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus DAC's and a multichannel amp (something like the NAD M27) powering a 5.1 set of speakers.  This setup would be fed by a HTPC running JRiver and Dirac Live.  The primary, but not only source is my audio / video files on the Freenas server.

The HTPC will need to accept the additional audio inputs:

- digital audio (either coaxial or optical) from DirectTV

- digital audio via USB from a PS Audio phono preamp
https://www.psaudio.com/nuwave-phono-converter/

and pass the audio to the miniDSP U-DIO8.


From my browsing of this and other computer audio forums I cannot tell if this is possible??

It seems possible.  I have used JRiver for over 4years as the core of my Media PC, eliminating the old prepro, separate player and cable box from my playback system.

My outputs are USB to an Exasound E28 DAC, amps and sub plus HDMI to my TV monitor.  For inputs, I use only files on my 52TB NAS and optical CD/DVD/BD drives on my PC, except for USB input of my Dirac calibration mic and for file transfers. SACDs must first be ripped (networked Oppo 103 used for no other purpose) to my NAS for playback due to DRM.  A networked HD Homerun Prime with FIOS cable-card provides TV.

JRiver has all the essential control features formerly provided by the prepro, including bass management.  Sound and video quality is excellent, far superior to my prepro and separate player days.

Integration required learning of many software capabilities that were new to me.  So, it took a little time to learn and iron out the wrinkles.  Software is potentially flakier than dedicated hardware was, especially on an ever shifting Windows platform.  But, one learns how to deal with this.  And, the results have been fairly stable for me for some time.  Also, cablecard TV is somewhat limited in features, like on demand and premium channels, but those are not at all important to me. 

My wife or others cannot operate it, but only because they will not sit still for a 5-minute training session with wireless keyboard and iPad. They still prefer to live in the world of buttons, dials and IR remotes.

I have no particular interest in supporting multiple networked clients around my home.  So, just the PC/server.  That keeps system complexity down considerably.

I love it!


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geronimo1958

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 12:55:21 pm »

I have not tried this but the U-DIO8 also adds 4 s/pdif or 4 aes/ebu inputs to the toolkit.


I would like to apply Dirac to the input audio.
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Fitzcaraldo215

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 04:22:14 pm »


I would like to apply Dirac to the input audio.

You might need two UDIO 8ís, one for Direct TV Mch coax via spdif to USB input to your PC, another for simultaneous output to your DACs.  Alternatively, just use one for PC output together with a different spdif or Toslink input card in the PC for the D-TV.  I am clueless as to what is available.

I would not think the PS USB phono stage should be an issue.
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kr4

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 07:16:33 pm »

Only one should be needed.  There are 8 i/o cables in each snake.  The 4 outs make 8 channels and the 4 ins  make 8 channels and they are independant. 
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Kal Rubinson
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RoderickGI

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 08:53:31 pm »

It looks like the drivers for the miniDSP U-DIO8 aren't signed, which could be a problem in Windows 10. The manual provides links to turn off enforcement, but I think that was stopped recently.

Just a head up for you to check, if you are using Windows 10.
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

geronimo1958

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2018, 09:16:49 pm »

Input options are asio line in (which requires an audio driver for your device) or the wdm driver which plays system audio through JRiver.

If one of these works for your setup then you can get the audio processing going.

You then need to do manual scripting to choose sources as JRiver has no ability to associate these inputs with particular devices. Example 3rd party app that use mcws plus some custom scripting - https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=114198.0

So possible yes, easy no.

Definitely does not appear easy.  I was hoping it would be as simple as selecting the input from a drop down list.

Any phono input I chose will definitely need to be capable of running through JRiver and Dirac.  TV not so much.
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kr4

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 09:54:52 pm »

It looks like the drivers for the miniDSP U-DIO8 aren't signed, which could be a problem in Windows 10. The manual provides links to turn off enforcement, but I think that was stopped recently.

Just a head up for you to check, if you are using Windows 10.
I am and it works fine.
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Kal Rubinson
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JimH

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2018, 10:10:24 pm »

I am and it works fine.
Installing again may be a problem.
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Fitzcaraldo215

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2018, 11:04:07 am »

Only one should be needed.  There are 8 i/o cables in each snake.  The 4 outs make 8 channels and the 4 ins  make 8 channels and they are independant.

Ah, so, the UDIO-8 is really a 16-channel device, with up to 8 input and 8 output channels simultaneously, each using up to 4 sets of digital cables. The specs donít really make that totally clear.  If it were me, I would have named it the UDIO-8+8.

So, the USB connection back to the PC supports concurrent two-way operation, both input and output over the single cable.  Pretty nifty for such a small, inexpensive box.

Seems like it should work for the Direct TV input hookup in Mch while sending Mch output to the DACs.
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geronimo1958

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 03:20:42 pm »

Ah, so, the UDIO-8 is really a 16-channel device, with up to 8 input and 8 output channels simultaneously, each using up to 4 sets of digital cables. The specs donít really make that totally clear.  If it were me, I would have named it the UDIO-8+8.

So, the USB connection back to the PC supports concurrent two-way operation, both input and output over the single cable.  Pretty nifty for such a small, inexpensive box.

Seems like it should work for the Direct TV input hookup in Mch while sending Mch output to the DACs.


OK.  The multi-channel audio (Dolby Digital?) comes out of the DirectTV via s/pdif coax.  A single cable.  The U-DIO8 inputs are multi cables.
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pschelbert

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 03:36:07 pm »

yes, I did ditch my AVR long time ago.

Use audio only (multichannel, multiway speakers) and watch TV, video through JRiver.
Vinyl input via Open Live ASIO by JRiver.

Tape recorder also via Opel Live ASIO.

You need a multichannel audiointerface with multiple in and out (I use RME Fireface UFX), USB however.
I do crossover also with this setup (JRiver and acourateconvolver, www.audiovero.com).

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Fitzcaraldo215

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 05:11:21 pm »


OK.  The multi-channel audio (Dolby Digital?) comes out of the DirectTV via s/pdif coax.  A single cable.  The U-DIO8 inputs are multi cables.

I wondered about that.  It seems to transmit lossy core Dolby or DTS in Mch? over the single cable.  I think JRiver can handle and decode that, but not completely sure.  Also, you might want to double check with miniDSP on the UDIO8 for pass through, since it does not decode.  Probably Ok, but best to check.

I believe my HD Homerun Prime possibly also does the same thing, but over Ethernet. I do definitely get Mch via JRiver on TV using whatever lossy codec FIOS uses.  It is quite enjoyable via Dirac, etc., but not the ultimate in Mch SQ.  Still, it beats my TV stereo sound bar upstairs by a fair bit.
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kr4

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2018, 05:29:53 pm »

Ah, so, the UDIO-8 is really a 16-channel device, with up to 8 input and 8 output channels simultaneously, each using up to 4 sets of digital cables. The specs donít really make that totally clear.  If it were me, I would have named it the UDIO-8+8.
Mebbe.  It could have been the U-DI8 or the U-DO8 but it is the U-DIO8.  ;D
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Kal Rubinson
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kr4

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2018, 05:30:35 pm »


OK.  The multi-channel audio (Dolby Digital?) comes out of the DirectTV via s/pdif coax.  A single cable.  The U-DIO8 inputs are multi cables.
Use just one.
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Kal Rubinson
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RoderickGI

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2018, 08:08:10 pm »

There is also the physical connection compatibility to resolve.

The U-DIO8 uses a "dB25 to BNC cable (SPDIF version selected)", but the Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus DAC's use coaxial connectors. So you will need BNC Female to Coaxial (RCA) Male converters, which will add to the signal path and need to be the correct impedance etc. There would be a similar issue on the input side as well. S/PDIF via a BNC connector is not something I have come across.

So, the USB connection back to the PC supports concurrent two-way operation, both input and output over the single cable.  Pretty nifty for such a small, inexpensive box.

I had a good look at the U-DIO8, including reading the manual, and this was the bit that was least clear to me, although the specs do say "Capabilities 8 channel PCM Input (recording) and Output (playback) over USB".

But a USB 2.0 connection carrying 16 channels of 24/192 PCM audio seems pretty impressive. (24x192,000x16)/(10242)=70Mbps. Not that it doesn't have the peak bandwidth at 480Mbps, but USB 2.0 maintaning 70Mbps throughput is impressive. Also, I wonder if it does send and receive that data simultaneously. It has an internal clock, so I assume it has some internal buffering, but there is no memory mentioned in the specs.

So you would have DirecTV outputting via coaxial cable, connected to one S/PDIF Input on the U-DIO8, and that could be carrying stereo PCM or 5.1 Dolby Digital. The audio would be played to the MC WDM, which should manage either format.

Then you want to use a USB input from the "PS Audio phono preamp", which would be a second input for MC to handle. Or you could use the "S/PDIF Digital Output" connected to a second S/PDIF Input on the U-DIO8, as that is just stereo PCM, correct? That would also have to play to the MC WDM, and you would need to manage which channels MC used for each source, using Zones I would think. There is no channel mapping in the WDM to select "Channels 1 and 2 for DirecTV" and "Channels 3 and 4 for Phono" for example.

It sounds do-able, I think, but you may hit some issues. For example, MC may have some issues if there are connections on channels 1, 2, 3, & 4. But as you are output 5.1, maybe if DirecTV was input on channels 1 & 2, and Phono was input on 7 & 8 which are not used by 5.1 audio, then MC would be fine, with some channel mapping in the appropriate zones. Whether and how this worked would depend a lot on the U-DIO8 driver capabilities as well. You may wish to look into that before goig ahead.

The U-DIO8 also does "Asynchronous sample rate conversion to match incoming sample rates (32 to 216kHz) to the recording sample rate selected on your PC", but as you are outputting to the MC WDM, which doesn't set the sample rate but just accepts what it is given, at least in Exclusive Mode, there may be some issues there. You don't want to use Shared Mode if you can avoid it, as Windows will then do another conversion on your audio, to whatever you set as the Shared Mode default. Again, can the U-DIO8 driver on the PC output in Exclusive Mode?



If you do go ahead with this I would be interested to hear how it goes. It is an interesting solution for providing alternate inputs to MC.

Disclaimer: I may not know anything I'm talking about in this area. I just had a look at the products you plan on using, made some assumptions, and a few guesses. It is entirely up to you to sort out if this will work!
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

kr4

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2018, 09:03:39 pm »

Instead od WDM, what about treating the U-DIO8 as an ASIO device which can be configured as 2 channels (of the 8) with the channel off-set to select which 2 channels.  I have not tried it and I am off to the West Coast tomorrow so I cannot try it for a while.
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Kal Rubinson
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RoderickGI

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2018, 09:13:00 pm »

Instead od WDM, what about treating the U-DIO8 as an ASIO device which can be configured as 2 channels (of the 8) with the channel off-set to select which 2 channels.

Good point. I've never played with ASIO inputs. I guess it depends what the U-DIO8 driver can do. Plus you still need to have a way of selecting which input MC should use, and handling the DirecTV input which can sometimes be stereo, sometimes 5.1 DD in a stereo container.
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

geronimo1958

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2018, 11:05:54 pm »


It would have been nice but DirectTV multi-channel s/pdif cannot be sent into the UDIO8.

miniDSP support says

"If SPDIF is stereo it would be fine (so called PCM) but if itís multichannel, itís Dolby/DTS encoded so it wonít work Iím afraid as our UDIO only support PCM."

I can always find a sound card with s/pdif input or some sort of s/pdif converter to USB for input.
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geronimo1958

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2018, 11:15:01 pm »

I think JRiver can handle and decode that, but not completely sure.

This is now the big question.

Connecting a phono preamp with digital ouput looks very doable.
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RoderickGI

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2018, 11:46:53 pm »

Well then, if you want DirecTV Mch, then the U-DIO8 is not only the wrong bit of kit. It is probably overkill to try to combine both the inputs and the outputs into one device.

There are lots of choices for USB connected outputs to DACs.

So you just need something that will take multiple inputs, with either PCM stereo or DD 5.1, and send whichever source is active to a USB port, and hence to the MC WDM or ASIO in.
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

geronimo1958

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2018, 11:55:52 pm »

Well then, if you want DirecTV Mch, then the U-DIO8 is not only the wrong but of kit. It is probably overkill to try to combine both the inputs and the outputs into one device.

There are lots of choices for USB connected outputs to DACs.

So you just need something that will take multiple inputs, with either PCM stereo or DD 5.1, and send whichever source is active to a USB port, and hence to the MC WDM or ASIO in.

I am considering using the UDIO8 for listening to multi-channel music (and stereo) without an AVR or prepro.  I just do not want to go done a path that eliminates other inputs.
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RoderickGI

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2018, 01:33:46 am »

Yes, I understood that. However as the U-DIO8 is limited to 1 to 4 stereo PCM inputs, it is, in fact, restricting the type of inputs you could support. To use it, you would need something between your DirecTV box and the U-DIO8, decoding the DD 5.1 in a stereo container to three stereo PCM inputs. I suspect there are better solutions. I haven't looked, but I am interested in what you find. The U-DIO8 does look to be a nice solution to get 7.1 PCM into and out of a PC though.

Also, you aren't eliminating a preamp, because each of the Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus DAC's includes a preamp. In fact, you suggested you would have three, since you want 5.1 channel support. That adds complexity, particularly as those DACs each have their own volume control. I would assume that you would just set each to maximum volume and leave them there, because you would control volume in MC and/or on the power amp. But you could be left with shifting room acoustics if each of those preamps operates slightly differently, or someone adjusts the volume on one or more. While the Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus DAC's may be a good choice, since they have balanced outputs which are always better, they may also be overkill.



The issue for me, and my reason for interest in what you decide, is that I want all audio processing to be done in MC, which means all audio needs to be input to MC, The output from MC just needs to be converted to analogue and amplified. Sure, I would like a physical volume control on my power amp, but that would mostly be just set and forget, and I would use MC's Internal Volume control. Or I would do what I do now with my old receiver, which is set MC's Internal Volume to 80% and then use the power amp's volume control as a Master Volume for the output.

Ironically what you and I really need is something like the input side of a Receiver, which collects multiple inputs in multiple formats and allows the selection of the desired input, then passes that input unchanged to a PC running MC which does all processing, then the PC outputs that to an integrated DAC/amplifier, which is much like the later stage of a Receiver, without all the DSP settings. With such a setup all DSP, Room Correction, etc. can only be carried out on the PC in MC, and there is no overkill or duplication of components. I haven't really looked for a solution, but that is what I would be looking for.

So basically, just a way of replacing the DSP section of a Receiver with a PC running MC.

Of course, the shortcoming of that solution is that formats that MC does not support, such as ATMOS, can't be used. As a movie fan that may be an issue for me in the future, but isn't just yet.


This was an interesting read: https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/38876-multichannel-dac-exasound-e38/
A bit more expensive than three Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus DACs, but not so bad. Dirac Live would be an advantage, and I think it can run as a plugin to MC.
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

mattkhan

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2018, 01:52:51 am »

Then you want to use a USB input from the "PS Audio phono preamp", which would be a second input for MC to handle. Or you could use the "S/PDIF Digital Output" connected to a second S/PDIF Input on the U-DIO8, as that is just stereo PCM, correct? That would also have to play to the MC WDM, and you would need to manage which channels MC used for each source, using Zones I would think. There is no channel mapping in the WDM to select "Channels 1 and 2 for DirecTV" and "Channels 3 and 4 for Phono" for example.

It sounds do-able, I think, but you may hit some issues. For example, MC may have some issues if there are connections on channels 1, 2, 3, & 4. But as you are output 5.1, maybe if DirecTV was input on channels 1 & 2, and Phono was input on 7 & 8 which are not used by 5.1 audio, then MC would be fine, with some channel mapping in the appropriate zones. Whether and how this worked would depend a lot on the U-DIO8 driver capabilities as well. You may wish to look into that before goig ahead.
AFAIK the asio driver used by this device is not multiclient capable (https://www.minidsp.com/forum/u-dac8/11302-asio-driver-multi-client-capable) so using multiple zones would not work unless you can get the steinberg multiclient driver working (and stick to 32bit jriver as that driver is 32bit only). You also can't open multiple line inputs of the same type at once (not 100% sure you can have wdm and asio line in active at the same time either). IME this leads you to write some sort of macros on top of your system to tie it all together (i.e. select source triggers n commands to put jriver into the right state).
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RoderickGI

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2018, 02:22:02 am »

That thread seems to be a question regarding whether the ASIO driver was multiclient on the output side, while in this case the U-DIO8 would need to be multiclient on the input side and single client (one instance of MC) on the output side.

In fact, even on the input side it would still be "single client" in that channels 1 to 6 carry audio from one source (DirecTV after decoding from DD 5.1) and channels 7 & 8 carry audio from the Phono device. In essence, there is one client providing 8 channels of audio, but sometimes only on channel 1 to 6, and sometimes on channels 7 & 8.

Then zones could be used to direct those channels to the appropriate output, either 5.1 or stereo, using the MC Parametric Equaliser to Mix Channels as required.


But frankly, I would be separating the handling of inputs to and outputs from the PC. On the output side, being cheap, I would be looking at the U-DAC8 for a multichannel DAC, plus a power amp. I haven't worked out what I would use on the input side yet, but in geronimo1958's case it would need to be able to decode DD 5.1 to PCM and handle stereo PCM, and switch between sources, then probably input via USB. Any suggestions?

Anyway, I am near out of my depth here, but this is an interesting question for me.  8)
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

mattkhan

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2018, 02:30:19 am »

That thread seems to be a question regarding whether the ASIO driver was multiclient on the output side, while in this case the U-DIO8 would need to be multiclient on the input side and single client (one instance of MC) on the output side.
asio driver doesn't care about what you use the driver for, multiclient can mean 1 output and 1 input for example.
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RoderickGI

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2018, 05:26:08 am »

Ah, that would be multiclient then, on the U-DIO8. Although the ASIO driver for the U-DIO8 must support simultaneous input and output, as that is what the U-DIO8 is designed for.

But the input from any solution may need to use the MC WDM driver, rather than an ASIO input driver, unless two ASIO drivers can co-exist on the one PC, one for inputs and one for outputs, possibly from different suppliers.

I probably need to do some more reading on the topic of ASIO.
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

mattkhan

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2018, 06:07:45 am »

The asio driver will support concurrent input and output for a single instance of that driver, i.e. when used once by a single application. A multiclient capable driver supports many sessions. Note that JRiver opens the driver separately for input and output side so needs multiclient driver if you intend to output to it and use asio line in. You may be able to use something like the virtual cable thing to do a software loopback of wdm to asio aswell.
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kr4

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2018, 07:54:41 am »

Also, you aren't eliminating a preamp, because each of the Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus DAC's includes a preamp. In fact, you suggested you would have three, since you want 5.1 channel support. That adds complexity, particularly as those DACs each have their own volume control. I would assume that you would just set each to maximum volume and leave them there, because you would control volume in MC and/or on the power amp.
You can set the DACMagic to bypass the VC.  Same for the Benchmark DAC3.
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Kal Rubinson
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geronimo1958

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2018, 10:22:49 pm »

Use just one.

Looks like I may not have much choice.  I have been unable to find a way to get the dolby digital signal from the DirectTV STB into the PC.  Any device that supports s/pdif input and USB output is stereo PCM only.  Same with any modern sound card.

The DirectTV STB has the ability to output stereo PCM through the s/pdif output instead of dolby digital.  If I route that into the UDIO-8 would JRiver MC be able to do 3 channel stereo using the center channel?
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RoderickGI

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2018, 11:49:19 pm »

Yes, by copying left and right channels to center. Not ideal for dialogue, but would work. Some PEQ may improve it. You would still need a separate Zone to handle that, unless you wanted all audio to be treated the same.

I would still consider ditching the U-DIO8 and going for an alternative output such as the U-DAC8, or other DACs directly, and then find something that handles the inputs the way you want. i.e. As I said earlier, I would be separating the handling of inputs to and outputs from the PC.

There must be some way to do it better!
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

kr4

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2018, 10:09:26 am »

Yes, by copying left and right channels to center. Not ideal for dialogue, but would work. Some PEQ may improve it. You would still need a separate Zone to handle that, unless you wanted all audio to be treated the same.

I would still consider ditching the U-DIO8 and going for an alternative output such as the U-DAC8, or other DACs directly, and then find something that handles the inputs the way you want. i.e. As I said earlier, I would be separating the handling of inputs to and outputs from the PC.

There must be some way to do it better!
I agree.  I made this suggestion as a potentially simple and certainly inexpensive option.  My queries to miniDSP, so far, indicates that there is less support for the input features of the device than there is for the output features.
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Kal Rubinson
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geronimo1958

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Re: New system question. Ditching the AVR.
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2018, 12:03:13 pm »

I agree.  I made this suggestion as a potentially simple and certainly inexpensive option.  My queries to miniDSP, so far, indicates that there is less support for the input features of the device than there is for the output features.

Thanks for the info on the input capabilities.

I would probably just use straight stereo instead of the mixing.  Doubt there is anything to be gained.  Many programs on the internet only support stereo when played through the web browser anyway and they sound fine.

Adding a soundbar may be the easiest thing to do.
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