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Author Topic: Switch zones based on audio device  (Read 1808 times)

apostos

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Switch zones based on audio device
« on: January 23, 2015, 11:52:06 am »


Is it possible to have Media Centre switch zones based on the audio device selected? WASAPI, Direct, etc…

I’m having difficulty getting MC to differentiate between two zones which play the same media ‘Audio-Music’ but output to two different zones with different output and DSP settings.

Something along the line of ‘if input WASAPI then Zone I’ and 'if input Direct then Zone IV’

Thanks

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6233638

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Re: Switch zones based on audio device
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2015, 02:05:22 pm »

I'm not sure that I understand your request.

Is it possible to have Media Centre switch zones based on the audio device selected? WASAPI, Direct, etc…
Where are you selecting a device?

Something along the line of ‘if input WASAPI then Zone I’ and 'if input Direct then Zone IV’
Input from what?
Are you trying to route sound coming in via Media Center's WDM driver based on whether WASAPI or DirectSound is being used?
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apostos

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Re: Switch zones based on audio device
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2015, 04:53:20 pm »


Thanks for taking the time to respond.

I’m not using MC’s WDM driver. (perhaps I’ll give it a try)

In 'Control Panel-Windows Sounds' I’ve selected two audio sources… 1) RX-A300 HDMI (output from my video card) and 2) Digital Audio S/PDIF (optical from my motherboard). Both connect to my AVR (Yamaha RX-A3000)

In MC… ‘Options- Audio-Audio Device’ I have selected ‘RX-A3000 HDMI (HD Audio Device) WASAPI’ which is directed to Zone I. I also have the optical feed selected ‘(HD Audio Device) WASAPI’ which after some DSP and equalization is directed to Zone IV. Both Zones play as configured… the issue I’m having is with the Zone Switch rules. I’ve set up both zones to ignore each other but because they both are set up to play the same content (albeit from different inputs) ‘[Media Type]=[Audio] [Media Sub Type]=[Music]’ I need some way to differentiate them because as configured Zone Switch always defaults to Zone I (as it should). I’ve not found any other way to set up the rules… hence the question.

Hope this explanation makes it a little clearer…

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BryanC

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Re: Switch zones based on audio device
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2015, 05:07:15 pm »

It's not clear what types of files you want to direct to Zone 1 versus Zone 4.

I think you may have the ordering wrong in your head about the audio path.

It goes:
File->Zone->Output
not
File->Output->Zone

And lastly, Windows will only allow you to select one default device in its playback settings.
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kstuart

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Re: Switch zones based on audio device
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2015, 05:16:48 pm »

In other words, you need to think clearly (or else just write more clearly) about what you really want to do.

Here is an example:

I have a high quality DAC that is two channels (stereo) only.   I also have a surround DAC of usual low quality built into the motherboard of my Home Theater PC.

So, I have Zoneswitch configured on the basis of what type of file is playing:

* Two Channel Audio-Only files are played by "Stereo" Zone which has Options->Audio->Audio Device configured for my high quality stereo DAC.

* Audio-Only files with more than Six Channels are played by "Multichannel" Zone which has Options->Audio->Audio Device configured for my built-in surround DAC. 

* Video-Only files are played by "Video" Zone which has Options->Audio->Audio Device configured for my built-in surround DAC (with bitstreaming to use the AVR's decoding).

Zoneswitch has all sorts of rule possibilities to allow the above and many other cases.

apostos

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Re: Switch zones based on audio device
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2015, 08:31:16 pm »

Sorry, this took a while...

It's not clear what types of files you want to direct to Zone 1 versus Zone 4.

The files I want to direct to zones 1 and 4 are all FLAC 2CH from the same source. (local drive) As far as I can see there is nothing in the rules to differentiate them from one another to the two zones without limiting the number of files available to each zone. (not the desired outcome)

I think you may have the ordering wrong in your head about the audio path.

It goes:
File->Zone->Output
not
File->Output->Zone

This would not surprise me…  :P

And lastly, Windows will only allow you to select one default device in its playback settings.

Yes, and the default is the HDMI device, but there still appears to be a signal being output to my AVR via the optical output. Or at least the test function in Windows would seem to indicate this, and the AVR seems to play from this input. Are you saying that there should be no signal to this port if the default is another source... in this case (HDMI)?

In other words, you need to think clearly (or else just write more clearly) about what you really want to do.

Here is an example:

I have a high quality DAC that is two channels (stereo) only.   I also have a surround DAC of usual low quality built into the motherboard of my Home Theater PC.

So, I have Zoneswitch configured on the basis of what type of file is playing:

* Two Channel Audio-Only files are played by "Stereo" Zone which has Options->Audio->Audio Device configured for my high quality stereo DAC.

* Audio-Only files with more than Six Channels are played by "Multichannel" Zone which has Options->Audio->Audio Device configured for my built-in surround DAC.  

* Video-Only files are played by "Video" Zone which has Options->Audio->Audio Device configured for my built-in surround DAC (with bitstreaming to use the AVR's decoding).

Zoneswitch has all sorts of rule possibilities to allow the above and many other cases.

Yes... I appear to be doing a poor job of explaining the situation. Let me muddy the waters a little more.

I have 4 Zones set up...

1) Zone I - Audio - Rule: [Media Type]=[Audio] [Media Sub Type]=[Music]. (typically FLAC 2 CH.)
------ Zone I is set to playback only in Zones 1 and 3. (3 so I can browse images while listening to music)

2) Video II - Video - Rule: [Media Type]=[Video] [Media Sub Type]=[Home Video],[Movie],[Music Video],[Podcast],[Trailer].
------ Zone 2 is set to playback in zone 2 only. (typically 5.1 from an MKV file but it is set to play all video files as the rule shows)

3) Zone III - Images - Rule: [Media Type]=[Image].
------ Zone 3 is set to playback only in zone 1 and 3. (for the same reason as zone 1)

4) Zone IV - Audio - Rule: [Media Type]=[Audio] [Media Sub Type]=[Music]. Plays same files as zone 1.
------ Zone 4 is set to playback only in zone 4. (typically FLAC 2 CH.)

If I change the rule for zone 1: i.e.  zone 1 - [Media Type]=[Audio] [Media Sub Type]=[Music] playlistid==765022492, then I can populate zone 4 with a playlist and the zone plays without issue.

The reason for all this madness... Yamaha doesn't provide A-B speaker switching on this model.
Hence...

I haven't found a way to get the AVR to trigger a 12 V speaker switch without providing two different audio signals. In this case, one HDMI and the other Optical. In HDMI the signal is processed and sent to the correct input on the AVR (say AVI 1) and then output to the correct speakers (say speaker group A).

In Optical the signal is again processed and sent to the correct input on the AVR (say Audio 1) and then output to another set of speakers (speaker group B) via the 12 V trigger.

I'm looking for a way to differentiate the source files (which unfortunately, are the same in every respect) so I can play them back in the two different zones. (1 & 4). Which is why I thought the selection of the audio driver might provide me with that option.

Again... thanks for your consideration.


To the mods... I don't seem to be able to preview my posts. I get a 'Fetching preview' under the title 'Preview post' but no preview.

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6233638

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Re: Switch zones based on audio device
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2015, 09:11:09 pm »

Well if you're using the same rule for two zones, I'm not sure what you expect to happen.
Whichever rule is highest on the list will be the one that takes precedence.
 
Sorry, I'm not trying to be obtuse here, but it's still not clear to me what you're trying to achieve.
Forget Zone Switch, tags, and Media Center for a minute.
 
Can you sum it up in a sentence or two like:
I want to play music in two rooms at once, via separate audio devices.
 
Because that would be achieved by linking the two zones together.
Or if you're trying to play music to one of the two zones and not the other, you should be using the Send to <zone> playback commands instead. Zone Switch can't guess your intended destination if the rules are the same.
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apostos

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Re: Switch zones based on audio device
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2015, 12:39:23 pm »


After spending more time on this than I'd wanted, I've decided a hardware option may be the solution for me. I just wanted to thank you folks for the advice offered and time spent.

Cheers...

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csimon

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Re: Switch zones based on audio device
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2015, 07:20:21 am »

I suspect the scenario is:

He is playing remotely and has zone switch rules that select audio files (presumably as opposed to video) but of course only the first one will kick in even if the audio zone selected the second one.  If this is the case then this is the same problem I have with multiple zones. Unable to make a zone switch rule whenever a video file is played (remotely) in order that the video actually plays in display view, as any zone switch rules that select video files will only select the first zone with that rule, and I may have multiple video zones.

Maybe what he's asking for is similar to the solution that I and others have asked for - i.e. in Zone Switch, have the ability to detect which zone has been targetted and then switch to it.

A workaround here may be to remove the zone switch rules that select audio files. Are they really needed? If you select a zone manually then it will play audio there anyway. I don't see why you need a zone switch rule to detect audio files as audio files will always play in the zone you've selected regardless of whther it's the currnelty active one or not.
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