HDMI output for multi-channel work with Denon AVR?

I was intrigued by the description of the HDMI port on the Nucleus as “This port can be used as a multi-channel audio output”.

My Denon X3400H AVR only supports proper play back of multi-channel audio files when they come in through one of it’s HDMI ports.

Can anyone tell me if the Denon AVR would be able to play these types of files from the Nucleus via HDMI.?

I’ve never used any Denon but I do have experience with a genetically-related Marantz. My general experience is that you will probably get multichannel PCM but not likely to get multichannel DSD.
I am not making any guarantee, one way or the other.

I have an ancient Denon 3808 AVR that works fine with the HDMI output from a ROCK/NUC Roon Core.

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That’s good news. Can you tell me which types of audio files it can accept? Have you ever tried 6 channel flac or 6 channel DSD64?

This Denon does not accept DSD format, but it plays 5.1 channel recordings converted to PCM (via Roon Settings)…

You are correct. HDMI works with Denon, Marantz, Emotiva, Cambridge Audio from personal experience. Probably all others, too.

Hi @Thomas_Prossima1,

The Nucleus can output up to 192kHz/24bit/8ch content via the HDMI port, but it appears that the Denon receiver you have does not support 7.1 multi-channel input (according to the spec sheet), so you will have you would have to configure it for 5.1 multi-channel in the Device Setup tab:

Also, I don’t see much info regarding DSD on the HDMI port, there is a check mark in the spec sheet that indicates this is possible, but I can’t comment on what the max rate is or if this would be Native / DoP DSD multichannel input, you may need to check.

Thank you for that info.
One more question - can I do the same output with Rock on a NUC (e,g,NUC8i3BEH)?

Hi @Thomas_Prossima1,

Yes, ROCK would have the same HDMI output configuration.

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I have the NUC8I7BEH/Rock HDMI to my Denon receiver, 8500H. I think it will play just about anything Roon feeds it. I tried it with some multi-channel files Geoff mentioned in another thread to verify and it did play 5.1. Maybe it depends on the receiver model but this one does recognize and decode DSD from my OPPO player. I don’t have any DSD files in my library yet so can’t say for sure how it would react with DSD from Roon.

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Yep, it does depend on the model. My Denon is positively ancient (2008) by technology standards, and can’t handle DSD…

This appears this may be the solution I’ve been looking for. I currently use my Sony Blu-ray player. But it requires I keep my TV on - which is a huge waste of electricity and I’m always worried about image retention.

Here’s a site that lets you download test music in any format you can think of (including DSD). This site has DSD in 5.1. I would really appreciate it of you could try one of files for me.
2L High Res Music

I will do that, good test for me as well. Not sure on the turnaround time, hopefully today - later this afternoon or tomorrow. If I start on this now my wife won’t be happy with me as I’m getting the house ready for the grandkids this weekend.

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I did try the DSD 5.1 download file from the NUC HDMI to the Denon receiver with the following issues.
Device Setup - no option for Exclusive Mode, DSD Playback Strategy does not list Native DSD.
DSP does not have an option to enable Native DSP.
HDMI0 does not recognize the Denon as a device it is familiar with. Guessing the device has to be identified for DSD processing options.

Sorry not any help here. I know the receiver can process DSD. DSD appears on the receiver display when the OPPO is sending it over HDMI to be decoded. Can’t get the NUC/Rock to send DSD in this configuration.

I did play the file with Playback Strategy set to convert to PCM and the receiver did switch to Multi-chanel 7.1. The 2 other Playback Strategy options did not work, no sound.

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This has been covered in a number of places but here goes: Jus because the PC can send MCH DSD HDMI and the AVR can accept MCH DSD over HDMI does not mean that they can talk to each other. HDMI is a tightly defined/controlled interface and for two devices to communicate over it, they must participate in a “handshake” where they identify their capabilities and agree on what they will exchange. This is implemented for control of copying and copyright content.

Most PC HDMI outputs will not provide acceptable handshake info for an AVR’s HDMI input to enable MCH DSD. Most disc players, like the Oppo, will successfully handshake with the AVR input.

I do not have a solution for you that will run on Roon except to let run PCM. One can around this with other players that support HDCP…

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Thanks Mike & Kal.
Having past experience with setting up HTPC’s and getting them to handshake with the TV - I know exactly what you’re talking about.

Let me ask this though - Would the Nucleus work in this situation for MCH DSD without converting to PCM? Or, is that also a gamble?

Thomas, I’ve only had Roon for about 2 months and not familiar with everything it can do. I try to figure things out based on what I read in posts and documentation on this site. I’ve read several posts and documents indicating there should be some options in the device setup and DSP configuration to enable DSD playback. I did not see those options in my setup for whatever reason. Based on the response from Kal I have to assume that if I had the DSD options it still would not have worked over the HDMI connection. I don’t know the answer.

I understand Mike. Maybe someone else has an answer for this.
So, you couldn’t even get 2 channel DSD files to play without enabling the conversion to PCM?

Not in my experience.

Hi @Thomas_Prossima1,

RoonOS products such as Nucleus/ROCK can transmit DSD as DoP over HDMI. Since HDMI is limited to 192kHz PCM, that limits DoP to DSD64 and the endpoint would have to be able to accept DoP DSD content.

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