Free Trial New Boy questions

Describe Your Setup

  • what version of Roon you are running - Roon version 1.5 (build 360) stable (64 bit)
  • What operating system you are running - OSX 10.13.6
  • Basic information about the device you’re using - MacBook Air (13" mid 2011)1.8 Ghz Core i7 w 4gb 1333 MHz DDR3.
  • Describe where your music is stored – QNAP NAS TS439 Pro II+ (Intel Atom 1.8Gb, 1Gb RAM, 512Mb Flash) 2 x 1Tb drives. The MacBook connects to the network via wi-fi, the NAS is connected via Netgear switch to Naim NDX, Naim Unitserve SSD, Sony TV, SKY Q box(es) all via Cat5 cable.
  • Let us know your collection size - including iTunes library and other MP3 copies total is circa 9,000 tracks

Describe The Issue
Selecting the Free 14 day Trial I installed Roon Core to the MacBook and the app to my iPad pro earlier this week anticipating being able to stream via AppleTv into the Naim NDX and hence my amp/speakers. During setting up process Core “saw” the Sky Q box in the lounge (already connected to the NDX) so I picked that option and have not as yet investigated the AppleTV option. I also connect to Naim Mu-so in the kitchen (I guess by wi-fi).

Whilst it all appears to look like I had hoped, the integration with Tidal works and it sounds ok, I have noticed that other activities on my wi-fi network have been slower this week than normal; e.g sending e-mails, opening webpages, internet searches. Is this possibly an impact of having Roon “busy” on my Macbook/network? My broad band connection is BT’s “unlimited” fibre with BT Hub 6.

Second question - the real “new boy” question - so when I use Roon on my iPad to play music in the lounge via my NDX the connection is all via my network cables and not wi-fi or anything else is it?

Can’t speak directly to AppleTV, except to say anytime you want to stream to a device you need either the compete Roon software, RoonBridge or RoonRemote installed on that device. Dunno if that’s an AppleTV option.

That’s not a Roon decision.

Generally speaking, if a device is connected by Ethernet, that’s what is used, Wifi not withstanding. If a device has only WifI than that is what is used, obviously.

As for what Roon uses, there can be a combination, as it looks like in your case. The control of Roon via your iPad would be over WiFi; the actual transport of music via Ethernet, if that’s how your device is connected.

Hi Slim and thanks for the responses.

So just so I understand - if there’s an ethernet connection from NAS, via Sky Q box to NDX Roon will use it. By the same logic if Roon is playing a Tidal streamed track via the MacBook, that track will get to the SKY Q box via wi-fi (as the MacBook isn’t wired to the switch)?

As this seems to be working I’m probably going to forget the Apple TV option.

Hmm, before I answer I’ll need to familize myself with your setup.

In any event, the decision is not Roons.

OK, the short answer is that if a device has both Ethernet and WiFi capabilities then Ethernet should take precedence. If SKY Q and/or Naim don’t work like that and you want to use Ethernet, then you can (probably) disable WiFi on them.

I’m not very familiar with either SKY Q or Naim. From your question it looks like SKY Q has an Ethernet connection, does Naim?

As to streaming TIdal from your MacBook (without an Ethernet connection) the connection would look like this -
MacBook->WiFi to router->router over Ethernet->SKY Q.

SKY Q will communicate to Naim as it always does, no matter what the MacBook is doing.

Hope that helps. If not, ask again.

The thing that has me tangled is what the above means. Are you saying that SKY Q box shows up as an endpoint?

@Martin_Webster- What’s SKY Q?

Hi Martin,

Sky Q is a satellite tv box (latest whizzy system from Sky (UK) and can have multiple boxes around the house connected by wi-fi). The main Sky Q box sits in my lounge and showed up as a “Zone” so I connected to it. I then have a digital connection between the Sky Q box and my Naim NDX streamer, so I’m not sure if that makes the Sky Q box an endpoint or not (too new to Roon to fully understand).

Zone in this context would mean an ‘endpoint’ off the main Roon machine. I’m just surprised Roon recognized it. I guess it’s Roon Ready, as they say.

I have to defer to Martin, since he lives in the U.K. as to what happens next.

My original comments about Ethernet vs. WifI and that Naim connection from SKY Q is unaffected by how the MacBook sends the music, still hold true.

Other than that, I’m a little mystified by your setup.:sweat_smile:

BTW - a setup like your have with SKY Q satellite would cost about $150 in Amerika.

I believe skyq is airplay compatible so that’s why it showing up likely as an airplay endpoint. You will find being airplay you cant play any hires material as it only outputs max 48khz.

You WiFi is getting a lot of work as you have your Roon core running over WiFi. Roon is very network active especially as your essentially pulling everything wirelesly to the core and then out back to router to go to your wired kit. You really should have Roon core running on a hardwire connection, using wireless for the core can lead to problems with bandwidth and playback. If it works now it might not work when your network is really busy.


Hi Simon,

and thanks for your response. I have read about having Core installed on the NAS - but I haven’t read how to do it and whether my NAS is up to the job, can you tell based on the original info provided?

Your nas is unsuitable, you need a recent gen cpu i3 as a minimum, I would chose a gen 7 or 8 NUC rather than a NAS.

@CrystalGipsy is correct, the Sky Q box has Airplay 2. I would ignore this for the moment.

To get your trial up and running, I need a little more information. However, for now you need to stick with the MacBook as Roon core with the music on the NAS (the Atom processor is not going to cut it with Roon.) Ideally, connect the MacBook to your wired network when you’re using Roon and use the iPad for control.

Naim do have Roon ready devices (see but it’s not clear if you’re running the NDX 2. If not, you’re going to need a bridge.

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Going out for a few :beers: :smile:

A possible option for £4.50 is a Toslink to Mini Toslink Digital Optical S/PDIF Audio Cable connecting the MacBook Air directly to the NDX input #2.

Hi Martin,

Thanks for your answers, re your questions, I have a first gen NDX (not the Roon capable NDX2). How, other than wi-fi, can I connect the Macbook Air (no ethernet port) to my network, happy to do so but have so far just used wifi.

The suggested cable is something I have done pre Roon but, the Mac now lives in the home office for work and the NDX resides in the lounge, some 40 metres away (following the external walls like cat5 cables do).

It sounds to me like I need somewhere able to host Roon Core and close enough to the NDX to allow a cat5 connection between the two?

Whats a bridge?

I think Martin went to the pub.

Your system is playing, right? Looks like, without buying any more equipment, that’s the best you can do.

RoonBridge is a piece of software that runs on an endpoint and allows Roon to transport music to that endpoint. You already have that with Airplay on your SKYQ.

If you want to take SKYQ out of that link in your chain, then you would buy an endpoint and install RoonBridge on it.

However, without an connection other than WiFi between your core machine and your network, any further endpoints probably won’t make a difference.

I do enjoy a pint of Doom Bar! :smile: I agree with @xxx. Spend the rest of the trial getting used to the Roon experience and discover some new music.

Hi Andrew,

The Roon Knowlege Base is a useful resource to assist with the learning curve.

The Architecture page will help you understand the various components. Roon Bridge is software that lets a device operate as a network Output.

The main thing to remember when setting up storage and Core is that the signal will always go through the Core. Accordingly having wired network connections for Storage - Core - Output is best. You want to avoid a wireless Core if using external storage because WiFi is not full duplex. Fetching the signal from Storage and sending it to an Output both via WiFi in real time often causes dropouts.

@Andrew_Storey If your music is on the NAS and your core is on WiFi and your endpoint is on the lan then your WiFi is doing a double hop. NAS to core to endpoint. Your mba is also not ideally suited as it’s under spec for minimum requirements I think you wil find.

You may get an idea of things but it might not be a great experience. Is your mba even ssd?

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Martin - that’s exactly what I’m doing for the remainder of the trial. Plus working out what hardware i need to do this properly. Thanks.

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Thanks andybob, that makes sense and points me towards understanding what hardware i need to make this work effectively.

In this case his NAS isn’t running the Core, it’s just a fileserver.

I wouldn’t recommend running a Core wirelessly but that’s a separate issue.