Multichannel and Stereo issues

Hmm, I have a Denon 3808ci AVR - and this is working perfectly with multichannel 5.1 sources. As you can see from the screenshot in an earlier post in this thread, I have 7.1 channels selected in the HDMI connection (as @brian also suggests). I also have “Convert to PCM” selected for handling DSD material.

It’s true that I have a 7th generation NUC, rather than your 5th gen, and this might be the differentiating factor. However, I would try experimenting with different settings in the Playback settings tab. I seem to recall that when I was using a 6th gen NUC under Windows, I needed different settings in the Max Sample Rate and Max Bits Per Sample settings from the defaults to get 5.1 multichannel sources playing…

None of the settings seem to help. There is no sound when using a 7.1 Channel Layout, and an error message when using a 5.1 Channel Layout.

I will borrow a Core i5 7200U based NUC from a friend next week, install Roon Bridge on it, and will see (and hear) what happens.


I’m sorry (and very surprised) to see that my suggestion did not work out for you.
As stated, my NUC6i5 is flawless in this regard. (OK, I get the same known error message as you have, when setup as 5.1. As 7.1 however, everything is fine). Worked well in Win10 even, without needing any fiddling around with other settings/drivers.

Very curious to know how this will continue…

Just out of curiosity, as I’m out of ‘direct’ ideas :

  • Can you tell what file format you are playing ? (Container + Codec; no special encoding like DTS or Dolby Digital etc ?)
  • Do you know if other applications were capable of playing that multichannel file (when you were still @Win10) ?
  • When setup as 7.1, it appears to be playing (silently). Is your receiver reporting anything, about that data stream ? Like 7.1 or not, any special encoding, samping rate etc ?

EDIT: Maybe better to tell you why I ask. I remember that on WIN10, Roon would check the capabilities of the receiving end, before presenting you the possible settings. Meaning : if not capable of multichannel, it would only show the STEREO setting. Also : when nothing is connected to the HDMI, sound would not play (and neither would it seem like it’s playing). Receiver off ? Not playing, throwing your error message.

This changes with ROCK, at least mine : it presents all the options, regardless if there’s something connected to the NUC or not. And the file will ‘play’, even with nothing connected/powered on to the HDMI port.

I start to think, that there is something non-standard, in the way that Meridian deals with HDMI input… But right now, it’s nothing more than gut feeling…

  • The file format is Multi Channel High Resolution FLAC. Resolution is 24 bit, sample rate varies: 48, 96, 192 kHz.
  • Before converting to Roon I was using Kodi on this NUC. It played the same Multi Channel FLAC files from the same server (where the Roon Core now runs) without any problems.
  • The receiver defaults to stereo and stays there when Roon plays 5.1 music through a 7.1 Channel Layout. I don’t think it actually receives anything.

Note that the capabilities of the Windows playback device are 100% correct. See also the screenshot above. It’s perfect.

This issue is either with Roon (reading the capabilities incorrectly), the Intel drivers, firmware, or hardware (reporting the capabilities incorrectly), or Meridian (reporting the capabilities incorrectly).

Since everything works correctly from my nvidia based PC, using the same Roon software and the same Meridian hardware, Intel is my prime suspect.


Yes, I had noted that. Your list of suspects doesn’t really narrow it down, does it :stuck_out_tongue: ? You could be right on Intel, but I/you just cannot know without testing.

Honestly speaking, I simply don’t understand what’s happening. and it should probably better if the Roon team would jump in… :). Or another HD621 owner.

Personally, the first troubleshooting step I would take, is to double check with a different HDMI receiver. Preferably a very normal, standard one. But that’s probably not a very realistic thing to ask…and not helping you either (except for ruling things out).

(Any firmware updates to your HD621 that might be relevant, by the way ?)

I did do that in the Windows 10 situation. I connected the HDMI cable directly from the NUC to my Sony TV, which supports multi channel audio. The results are the same as with Meridian: NUC/Intel only allows 2 channels through Roon, Game PC/Nvidia allows 5.1 through Roon. I did not test this with ROCK though (it’s a bit of a hassle).

Well, I tried it with a borrowed Core i5 7200U based NUC under Windows 10 and the result is the same: the Speaker Layout option is disabled and fixed to 2.0.


Have you tried a different cable with the NUC?

Yes. My own NUC had a mini-HDMI connector, and the borrowed NUC had a normal HDMI connector, so I had to use different HDMI cables.

Hi @Marco ---- Thank you for touching base and sharing the results of your testing with the borrowed NUC (i5 7200U), I am sorry to hear that this did not yield a positive.

Moving forward, upon reading your latest, I brought this issue back up to some of our devs again today to get their thoughts and feedback. While we currently do not have the HD621 switcher in house, the team believes that this problem you’re experiencing has to do with the boot order of the device involved. We have had to run down a similar behaviors in the past, which ended up being resolved by how the devices were “shaking hands” with one another.

With this in mind, would you kindly give the test another go making sure you boot your device in this order:

First = AVR

Second = HD621 (select the correct the input first, before powering up).

Third = NUC


This is the order in which I always start things. Let me summarize my findings:

  • NUC i3-5010U / Intel --> Meridian HD621 = FAIL
  • NUC i3-5010U / Intel --> Sony 5.1 TV = FAIL
  • Game PC / Nvidia --> Meridian HD621 = SUCCESS
  • Game PC / Nvidia --> Sony 5.1 TV = SUCCESS
  • NUC i5-7200U / Intel --> Meridian HD621 = FAIL
  • NUC i5 7200U / Intel --> Sony 5.1 TV = FAIL

My educated guess is that Roon simply simply does not play well with Intel NUC’s when it comes to 5.1 Channel Layout.

It might be reproducible for you with any 5.1 HDMI receiver.


I exchanged the NUC i3-5010U for an AMD A12 9800E based Mini-ITX PC, and this allows me to play both 2.0 and 5.1 music without any problem.

It seems to me that Roon has some work to do for Intel NUC multi channel compatibility.


Is that running ROCK?

No, Roon Bridge on Windows 10.


Very odd, never expected this to happen…
Either I was very lucky with my NUC6i5, both in Win10 and ROCK. Or you were extremely UNlucky with both of your NUCs, onder both OS’es.
Given the lack of similar reports on this forum, I guess that the latter statement would be true. But who knows for sure … ?

Best would be if anyone, preferably in the Roon team, could reproduce this issue.
I know, this is not helpful in any way. If I had any further suggestion, I would have told you. But no further ideas arise… :frowning:

Hi @Marco — Just like you, we are also a bit confused as to why you are having issues with multichannel playback, as we have not seen numerous reports expressing the same behavior(s).

Our team has implemented some fixes in this area which should go live with our next release. I would recommend giving the next build a run when it is deployed and if things do not improve we can have a deeper look.