Advice for what to do next and setup options

Hey everyone. Hope I can get some advice from the group knowledge here.

I currently have an Nvidia Shield as well as a Chromecast Audio (connected to Denon receiver). I’ve been running Plex for years, but have become thoroughly fed up with the fact that they have broken high-res and multichannel audio playback (by design) and are clearly misguided about what some of their customers want while still pitching it as a music lovers platform. Anyway, I used to be able to play 88.2/96/192k flac and multichannel files just fine, and this was my setup. Basically Shield HDMI into Denon receiver and out to my speaker setup. Happy days. Until it all went to hell.

So now I’ve just purchased a Roon membership (I also have Tidal) and Roon core is setup and running fine on my Qnap. It will pass 96k audio to my Chromecast audio but my Shield (capabel of 192) is stuck at 48k and with no support for MQA or 96k. Oddly, Tidal app will playback 96k on Shield just fine.

Option 1: Anyway, I’d love to get 96 and 192k audio out of the Shield via HDMi. Is this possible? Shield shows as untested by Roon, but it should have capabilities as least as good as Chromecast and beyond. Could it be tested? It handles hi-res 192k and multichannel so seems like a GREAT device for Roon.

Option 2: Beyond that and at this point I am so worn down by this Plex mess that I’m willing to buy a USB DAC for my Shield or some other device entirely to get 96k, 192k and full MQA playback of my library to my living room setup. So…

What do you all recommend? I’d really like something with HDMI output to my receiver. Is there a DAC or media device or something that will finally solve my problems? I’d like to avoid the expense of high-end DACs and go with direct digital/HDMI connection as I’m happy to use the DAC in my receiver.

Many thanks for reading this and for your kind help.

EDIT: Not so concerned about MQA anymore as I’ll probably migrate to Qobuz (or Amazon HD if it ever works with anything).


If you use HDMI to your receiver from your DAC, it will bypass your DAC and use the DAC in your receiver. HDMI is a digital signal so it gets converted to analog downstream.

I think you need a USB DAC with RCA input into your receiver. Does Nvidea have USB out? The DAC would need to be Roon ready and MQA capable. At least I think it would need to be Roon ready, MQA for sure.

Go into your Roon settings - Audio and make sure your Nvidia Shield is set up properly to take advantage of it’s capabilities.

Others who are more versed in this than I am will be along to help you.

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Hi Jim, thanks for taking time to chime in. I get the way HDMi works, and have intended to bypass any DAC and use the DAC in my receiver. Current setup is HDMI from Shield directly into receiver (using receiver’s DAC).

I checked out the Shield’s capabilities in Roon and it seems Roon player isn’t really aware of what it can do. There is no option for MQA decoding on server like the Chromecast Audio has. And no options for sample rate. (Anyone using a Shield for Roon?)

Is there a Roon-ready MQA capable device with HDMI output that might be suitable? Doing some parallel research on web, but figured I’d ask the brain-trust here. Chromecast Audio works ok but doesn’t support 192k audio nor multichannel.

Thanks again!

Roon software does the first MQA unfold. Further MQA processing requires an MQA capable DAC. From the DAC, it MUST go analog to your sound system. It cannot go HDMI or it will be converted to digital for conversion to analog by your receiver’s DAC. I assume your receiver IS NOT an MQA DAC.

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It is not MQA compatible that’s correct. But I thought Roon now had software unfolding, thus the ability to get 96k playback from Tidal app with MQA content. Am I confused about something here? Perhaps I’m only getting partial MQA in this scenario? Looking at Roon and MQA compatible DACs and devices currently. Does Roon support multichannel playback of Flac etc?

As I said, Roon software will do the first MQA unfold. That is 44.1 to 88.2 or 48 to 96. That is only partial MQA processing. You need an MQA DAC to get full MQA.

So it looks like Qobuz plays at 192k on Shield, essentially negating my need for Tidal and MQA at this point. Remaining problem is that Roon apparently “only” sees Shield as a 96k device so assuming when play Qobuz through Roon it will also down-sample to 96k. So perhaps I just need a device that Roon sees as 96k and multichannel compatible (and not be concerned with lossy MQA).

Perhaps I should purchase a Shield and send it to the Roon labs for testing? :wink:

So here’s where I’m at:

  • Qobuz plays 192k flac on Shield. Great!
  • Using Roon player with Qobuz connected results in only 48kHz audio of the same files. Not so great…

If Roon could see Shield as a 192k (or even 96k) capable device (as it is) then my problems would be solved! For now I can use Qobuz with Shield and Roon player with Chromecast audio to get up to 96k at least.

How about it Roon team? Have you tested a Shield or similar device? Can we at least get it recognized properly with regards to its capabilities? Sure would beat buying a new, unnecessary device.

Is there any device that will play 192k (and multichannel?) from Roon over HDMI?

Did you got to Roon - Settings - Audio and check your setup settings for your Shield? I have a feeling it is not set up correctly.

Hi Jim. Yeah I did. But hopefully I’m missing something? Or perhaps the problem is that Roon sees the Shield as an “unidentified device”?

Scroll down to show the rest.

Also, click on “Identify This Device” and see what that’s looking for.

Thanks Jim. There doesn’t appear to be any more information to scroll down to. Here’s a full screenshot.

When identifying it just gives me the list of things to choose. There is no option for Nvidia. I’ve tried pointing it to Chromecast Ultra to see if it will at least play 96k.

Curious if everyone who is using a SHIELD with Roon has a similar problem with “unidentified device”.

Hi, thought I’d throw my two cents here. I started with a Shield TV and a Chromecast audio as endpoints. I figured since the Shield was more powerful and hardwired to the network I’d get better performance vs the CCA but it just never seemed to work right. There was more latency when selecting music and occasionally output would freeze requiring a restart of the Roon server. I switched to a Raspberry Pi and things have been rock solid since. Like I said just putting my experience out there.


My 2 cents. Build a raspberry pi endpoint. Run it into your denon by coax. Use the dac in the denon.

Unidentified Device just means Roon does not have it in the device database. There are a lot of devices not in the database.


By your clip, Roon is seeing the Shield is an Android device and as such, the Android OS normally resamples everything to 16/48. So, Roon only feeds Android devices 24/48. That might be why there are no options for sample rate; and probably MQA.

Thanks for taking the time to tell about your experience Alejandro. Thing is, my experience with the Shield and CCA are pretty smooth with no crashes or hangups or anythign to otherwise ruin the experience. Browsing and playback are acceptably quick. I’ve considered a Raspberry Pi, but seems a shame when I have a device already connected that can handle it.

Hi Peter. Thanks for the advice and I’ve certainly considered it. Here’s my current concerns with that route:

  1. Yet another device using up power and another HDMI input etc.
  2. Won’t support multichannel audio without switching back to a different device (e.g. SHIELD)
  3. Seems a shame to buy an entirely new device when I’ve got one here that shoudl be capable.

Having said that I realize it may eventually be my only option. Less than elegant but perhaps my only one.

Thanks again.

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Hi Rugby and thanks for your comments.

Yes it’s seeing it as an Android TV. Thing is, Qobuz can play 48k, 88.2k, 96k and 192k on the SHIELD, no problem, as can Kodi. Tidal can manage up to 96k, even using the Android TV native app. The device supports up to 192K FLAC. Considering these other cases does it not seem plausible or reasonable that Roon could do it too? There doesn’t seem to be a technical impossibility if other apps can do it. Perhaps it’s more an issue of properly recognizing the device’s attributes?

In a nutshell: I can fire up Tidal and it plays at 96k. Cast with Qobuz and it plays at 88.2, 96, 192, you name it. Play Qobuz or Tidal in Roon…and it downsamples to 48k. Weird.

Hopefully it’s just a matter of recognizing the parameters of the Shield and simply defeating the sample rate conversion…perhaps as a “known device” with known properties. Of course that would take someone at Roonlabs to do it. I’ll donate a Shield if it will help. :-):wink:

Otherwise I guess I’ll have to resort to a raspberry pi…but it pains me as it seems so unnecessary and inelegant. :wink: