Is there an Roon endpoint that supports multichannel?

My understanding is that you cannot have ROCK on a second NUC only acting as an endpoint.

You can only have one NUC with ROCK, but it can be used as both Core and endpoint which is only possible if it is sitting next to your hifi which have other drawbacks.

Why do you think that? As far as I’m aware, it’s the same as for multiple PCs and Macs all running Roon in a network - they will all have Cores running, but only one Core is licensed. So you can have multiple ROCK NUCs, with only one Core needing to be licensed. The other NUCs can be used as endpoints…

Thanks @Geoff_Coupe. I’ve confirmed the original feedback that running multiple COREs is fine as you suggest. I installed a second ROCK instance on a lower spec’d Celeron NUC ($110) and it runs great as an endpoint for multichannel. This, after all the research and input I got, ended up being the simplest and least expensive option.

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I think we interpret the question differently.
I understood the question as using one ROCK NUC as Core and another as Rock NUC as Endpoint. It is this combination that I is not possible.
So the suggestion is when ever you want to play multi channel you have to switch to the weaker machine as Core. Not really a good solution.
There must be a better way. But I guess it involves installing windows unless there is a Linux distribution that can do it out of the box.

That’s interesting, didn’t realise that at all.

Sorry, this is simply not the case. It is perfectly possible to have one ROCK NUC used as the Core, and another ROCK NUC used as an Endpoint. The ROCK environment is the combination of the ROCK operating system, and the Core and Endpoint components of Roon. What the environment does not have is the Control component of Roon - the user interface.

And Danny has confirmed it:

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Thanks! Glad I was wrong :+1:

Multi channel endpoint has been on my to do list a long time, will try it with a gen 4. NUC wich I previously run MOCK on.

Interesting. I have a spare gen 4 NUC lying around.

After reading everything I could find, to date, this appears to be the “best” solution for a bridged HDMI endpoint without frustrating limitations. Since ROCK is not officially supported on lower NUCs, we need to learn from those who have forged ahead on chance (that’s you!). There are SO MANY posts around this issue, with no good alternatives. Which unit did you choose? Right now, the NUC6CAYH seems to be the lowest cost, current model available (~$143 shipped), plus a stick of DDR3 and some low end 2.5" SSD. It’s still WELL more than I hoped would be needed to provide a “remote HDMI connection” to Roon, but I cannot find any viable solution that is less expensive (or maybe even, at all). Did you encounter any issues with your install, or did all go perfectly with the standard instructions? If a few of us can implement this and confirm success to the community, this should be a recommended way to go, maybe as a new topic so people can find it, with specific details.

And, crap. This is a NUC6 solution, which I assume still suffers from the dreaded driver issue that truncates 24 bits to 16 bits at 192KHz. That is the catch 22 - yet again. As far as I can tell, that applies to the NUC7s as well. I can confirm that I DO get 24 bit 192 KHz out of the HDMI on my NUC8i5, which is why this one caught me off guard. Note that I have only tested 2 channel for this, so far, not 5.1.

So, back to no good solutions to this common use case. I’m not going to spend $400 on a NUC8 solution for this. Crap.

In fact, it appears Intel has removed any specifications about HDMI audio output capabilities, even 24 bit 96 KHz. If you have this model, can you confirm what HDMI audio output bit depth and rates it really does?

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I’m using a Macmini with Roon and HQplayer driving an Exasound e28

It’s clunky - needs fiddling with each time to make it wok but sounds similar to the same music played as a disk on an Opp 105. Once it’s working it seems to be stable and play all evening without issue.

However I find that it is so much of a faff that if I am entertaining guest for example, I just put a disk into the Oppo rather than fiddle about on the computer!

I found that even an Auralic G1 will not drive the Exasound DAC in multichannel, you have to get the Exasound Streamer - Playpoint.

I am just catching up to this thread. I’m trying to reconcile the 192/24 and multichannel issue as now presented, I.e. that the older NUCs can’t do it despite Intel’s original claims for the opposite. I see in another thread that @eric from Roon Support claims that if you install ROCK on these older NUCs - the ones where the Intel driver is the problem - that you CAN in fact get the required high res and multichannel audio support. Can Roon Support confirm this in this thread to help others? See here: 192/24 over HDMI Not Supported on Intel NUC7 series; Can ROCK Help?

As I posted previously, I bought a NUC6 Celeron even though it wasn’t on Roon’s official ROCK list because many people told me that when using just as a Roon endpoint, these lower spec’d NUCs were just fine vs needing something higher powered to be the CORE.

Thanks for the help.

My experience with the Mac, Roon and HQPlayer is that all is good as long as the Mac is only streaming through RoonBridge or HQPlayer NAA. WIth Roon or HQPlayer on the Mac there is too much competition between the apps, the Exasound Asio interface requires quite a lot of CPU to stream at 8x384kHz.
So put Roon and/or HQPlayer on another machine is my advice.

Michael,

I have a NUC7i5BNH it is currently running ROC as a Roon endpoint and it streams multichannel 192/24 over HDMI just fine. I previously had it configured running W10 with Roon running as an endpoint under windows. In this configuration the intel windows driver was limiting the HDMI multichannel streaming output to 176/24.

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Thank you John. So maybe I misunderstood all the fuss. Why are people so bent about the NUC high res audio via HDMI then? Or is it just that Roon has its own driver system which bypassed this issue completely?

Question: I am running a NUC6CAYH for my endpoint. This says it supports ‘Intel HD Audio Technology’ which I read being 24bit and 5.1 compatible. So one generation behind your NUC7. Do you know enough to help me confirm that I should be good with the ROC install for my endpoint? Thank you @John_Winterberg

Update: this thread seems to imply that all of this NUC 192/24 business is about when Windows 10 is installed only? Hence ROC allowing for this to work when W10 does not? https://forums.intel.com/s/question/0D50P0000490S6sSAE/nuc6cayh-not-supporting-hd-audio-19224?language=en_US

/m

Nevermind. I hooked it all up and my NUC works beautifully as a multichannel Roon endpoint. I really have to credit the Roon team as it was as simple as plugging it into the HDMI, connecting the networking, and my Roon Core found it and I configured the Audio setup in settings.

So @James_Blessing - your concerns are resolved. You can buy a NUC6 like mine for a little over $100 and your good to go. You need to run ROCK on it vs Windows 10 but not sure why you’d want Win10 anyway as ROCK is likely more stable as a always-on Roon endpoint.

Hey, thanks Michael! Can you confirm the bit depth and data rate you are able to get in 2 channel, and in multi (5.1) channel? As I understood it, the issue was not that it would not work at all, but that it would not support true HD audio due to Intel’s implementation of those NUCs (not MS Windows), maybe because of the chipset. The reference regarding that limitation was from Intel, not for a Windows driver, though they also said Windows was the only supported OS, so, maybe… Anyway, it would be great to get confirmation that the issue is really only with Windows and that ROCK outputs full 24-bit, 192 KHz, multichannel data on the HDMI port!

Michael,

Yes, the issue is that for some incomprehensible reason Intel limits their W10 driver to 176/24. ROC uses the Unix/Linux drivers that are good to 192/24.

I cannot speak as to which NUCs are compatible with ROC other than the 7th gens that I use and Roon indicates support for.

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I can confirm it is running 192/24 in both stereo and 5.1. As John pointed out, it’s Intel’s driver issue in Windows. If you read the thread I posted earlier you will see that older versions of the Windows driver work at full resolution. It’s only the recent drivers that degraded the audio. The hardware is fine as it should be since the hdmi spec supports the higher res audio formats. So get a NUC6 and you should be good with ROCK installed. Or get a NUC7+ if you want Roon Support.