Bandwidth Streaming From Tidal

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Windows 10 / Ryzen 3600 + 16 GB DDR4 3200 + 1 TB NVME + GTX1060 / 416 64Bit

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

HomePlug network

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

HomePlug -> Ethernet -> DietPi

Description Of Issue

When streaming 48 Khz 16 Bit tracks via the Tidal App I have no issues and the bandwidth of the stream received is some 200KB/sec (1.6 Mbits). When streaming the same tracks via Roon the bandwidth of the stream received doubles or trebles often hitting 5-600KB/sec. This behaviour is new and intermittent but regular enough to be extremely aggravating as I have a slow internet connection and this causes tracks to abort / skip.

The attached screenshot shows the bandwidth spiking as a test track is played then paused.

Any help would be appreciated.

As can be seen from your screenshot, you were streaming a track from a TIDAL FLAC 48kHz 24bit, MQA 48kHz album.

From COMPARISON: TIDAL / MQA stream & high-resolution downloads; impressions & thoughts…:

As you can see, the MQA 24/48 data is about the same size as the HDtracks file converted to 24/48. However, to stream that MQA data through the Internet, TIDAL needs almost twice the bandwidth compared to a typical 16/44 stream based on the highest FLAC compression. It is of course significantly less data compared to sending the original 24/96 files which by the way is less than 70% larger despite twice the samplerate. The bottom line is that MQA does take substantially more bandwidth to stream compared to the standard TIDAL “HiFi”.

From MQA explained: Everything you need to know about high-res audio:

MQA still requires relatively high bandwidth for streaming, if the bitrate of the provided music samples is any indication—averaging 1600Kbps in my experience, exceeding uncompressed CD and over double the bandwidth of Tidal’s 700Kbps FLAC offering.

Thank you for the observation re MQA I will confess I had not realised MQA was such a bandwidth hog and nor indeed had I spotted the album was in MQA as on the Tidal App it was streaming ‘HiFi’ rather than ‘Master’.

Ah well I shall have to just make sure I either stream non-MQA albums or ensure I have nothing else using the internet.

Thanks once again for the assistance.

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