5.1 and Atmos to TV Soundbar - success, but networking issues

OK, so I have all these 5.1 and 7.1 files in roon from my Blu-ray and SACD rips - wouldn’t it be nice to be able to play them on my Sennheiser Ambeo Plus Soundbar?
I couldn’t find any hints on roon ready Soundbars, but I found a post mentioning a non-configured ROCK install on a NUC might be able to talk to the soundbar via HDMI as an endpoint.

I set that up yesterday, and sure enough it’s working!

My only open issue: Lots of songs stop playing after a few seconds because they can’t get data fast enough. Granted, the NUC is connected through WiFi, but that still should be fast enough?

Is there any setting for “buffering” more data in slow(ish) networks?

Try 5GHz Wi-Fi instead, if hard wiring isn’t feasible.

I’m afraid the WiFi is as good as it can be (Unifi, WiFi 6) - which may still not be good enough? Then again it happily streams 4k Netflix over the same connection.

Is there any way to debug this?

Please post a screenshot of Roon’s signal path when the issue occurs.

Wifi specs mean absolutely nothing if you’ve not tuned the network for the environment. Agreed, you should be able support this with wifi but certainly not if you’re sitting on a congested channel, something is in the way degrading the signal, you have varying congestion from other access points etc. etc. Roon is probably the best tool I have to shows problems with wifi setup :slight_smile:

Ethernetcable the NUC when using ROCK. Always…
WiFi is for clients (if you ask me), ROCK is a server and you should use Ethernet. 1000 Gbps is prefered. Keep in mind that HDMI does not support DSD and your .dsf files will convert to reg PCM, but hey, works like a charm and sounds good depending on the SACD-production. Good luck.

ROCK installs, and indeed Nucleus variants, are certainly designed to fill the server role but thay can quite happily fill the client/endpoint role as well when their server component is not authorised.

The use of a ROCK system as an endpoint connected by WiFi as described by @Frank_Kohntopp is not contrary to the advice to connect your Roon Server using wired ethernet.

However, as others have said, WiFi can be very variable in its performance. Its bandwidth is contended so the bandwidth available to any application will depend upon what else is using WiFi. Also, the WiFi antenna configuration (both access point/router and client), distance and building construction can cause significant variations in achieved data rates - even when it is ‘working’.

Question for @Frank_Kohntopp: How have you managed to get a ROCK on NUC installation to use WiFi. ROCK does not officially support WiFi (although I believe that a driver is provided for a few very specific, probably older, NUCs for legacy reasons). It is not intended that a customer should be using ROCK installs with Wifi connectivity. Do you use a an older NUC with “supported” Wifi, or do you use a USB WiFi dongle (again of a specific type that happens to work)?

In either case, if at all possible, it would be a good idea to try to ellimintate Wifi by connecting the ROCK NUC endpoint to the same switch/router as the Roon Server using wired ethernet. I keep a 50m Cat6a ethernet cable, long enough to reach from my router to anywhere in my house, to hand for such purposes. Such cables are not very expensive - ~£30 in the UK - and can really come in handy for temporary use when you want to diagnose network/Wifi issues.

1 Like

How many households do you think run 1 Tbps internal links? I chuckled :slight_smile:

192/24 is ~0.6 megabytes/second/channel, uncompressed - there’s absolutely no reason wifi should not have appropriate bandwidth for music streaming, even hi-res stuff - as long as it’s configured correctly and the signal is not blocked in some way.

Hi Wade,

my living room unfortunately has no wired connection, so the NUC is attached via ethernet to a Unifi U6-IW running in AP Client Mode to the U7 Pro in the basement (distance < 5m).

The other limiting factor may be ROCK accessing music via SMB from my NAS.

Unfortunately there is no obvious way to see which of the connections is the problem. Both data streams might be the issue. I’ll try the cable way, and maybe I’ll also give storing music internally a try (though that would instroduce sync & backup topics)

Is the NUC actually using 5/6 ghz? Because with increasing frequencies obstacles become a big factor and if this is a floor below I would bet there’s a lot of packet loss. Try forcing 2.4 ghz and see if it helps.

Alternatively you can try increasing the buffer size under device setup → advanced → buffer size.

The other thing that you could do as an experiment is to relocate your NAS to the same room as your Roon Server and connect it to the same AP (definitely not a permanent solution due to noise). This will eliminate WiFi from the equation when streaming from the NAS and, at least for local library music, will mean the WiFi is used only for the connection to any remote endpoints. Playing local library content to an HDMI or USB connected endpoint will not use WiFi at all for streaming.

If this fixes your issue, then it would point to the WiFi as being the cause of your problem.

It’s mostly working right now - I forgot that I had upsampling switched on, and I increased the buffer to 100ms.

The effect is not quite as good as I hoped it might be, but it’s nice that there’s a way to make it happen :wink: