Cryptographically-secure means of transfering decoded MQA

From my understanding following conversations on the Meridian HH forum with VK (thanks) it appears this would be needed to allow me to continue to receive a blue light on my MQA DACs (Meridian E2 and Prime) and any other MQA DAC for that matter, to ensure it can fully verify the integrity of the decoded signal. Perhaps not practical if every DAC would need a different implementation of the encryption for this to work - if indeed it even could with current models but as I don’t know the technicalities I’ll put it out there for consideration.

PS. Fantastic upgrades on 1.5. Has given me a great feeling about recently becoming a lifetime member :).

No, that’s not correct.

The problem with the Explorer2 is firmware-related. E2 owners need to wait for Meridian to provide an update. I’m not sure whether the Prime needs a firmware update too. @john, what’s the Prime situation?

I believe same as the E2 - No blue light once DSP is introduced (EQ in my case). I understand that M need to provide some kind of fix but I thought I understood from what you were saying is that even with the fix (enabling the M devices to recognise the decoded MQA and perform rendering) the blue light would not display as the DAC would still have no way of telling the authenticity of the signal? Have I misunderstood?Thanks

Yes, you’ve misunderstood. I was referring, hypothetically, to Authentication only, not rendering in a device, downstream of an MQA decoder.

I think I’ve just badly phrased my reasoning - it was supposed to be in response to your post:

“You’ll not get the blue or green light on a Prime or Explorer2 if the decoding takes place in Roon, because Authentication is performed (securely) on the device or software which performs the first unfold. The recommendation is that a magenta light should denote that the hardware is receiving an MQA stream which cannot be authenticated; I don’t know if these Meridian devices have such a coloured light.”

All I was trying to get to was to be able to display the blue light since the prime and E2 do not have a magenta light. I completely except it would render once M have the fix, but there would not be a visual aid on the devices themselves to indicate this with such encryption.

Call me sad but I like my blue light - but I also like EQ - and want my cake and be able to eat it :slight_smile:

Hello @Simon_Mirren and @joel,

Yes, the Prime is the same as the E2 in terms of it’s current MQA capabilities.

Unfortunately, I can’t speak with authority on what Meridian’s plans are in regards to how they will handle MQA playback indication on their hardware going forward. I do know that there are a few devices out there than only have one “MQA indicator” led just like the Meridian devices and those lights are triggered when receiving the Core Decoded output as well as the untouched MQA stream. This is in addition to the MQA HID signaling info which is passed through the USB connection so that Roon can know what the device is doing in terms of it’s MQA Decoding/Rendering.


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Simon, from an audio perspective, you are having your cake and eating it (full unfold + DSP + rendering). The difference in the architecture where Roon does the first decode is that the Authentication takes place in Roon, not in the Prime or Explorer2.

Thanks John and Joel, it’s good to know that Roon will be able to tell what the Prime / E2 is doing with the signal. I almost feel guilty now though at pushing for a replacement Prime because I was delivered the older version without the coloured MQA LEDs!

I’m happy if you wish to remove the suggestion - I imagine it is extremely low on the priority list to simply get a manufacturers light to display and I can live with it as you have confirmed the Roon GUI will tell me what’s going on inside the M devices.