Multichannel DSF with a Pi4 bridge

I want to Roonify my Multichannel receiver. setup. An easy way is to add a PI4 (Hifiberry) bridge as a Roon endpoint. It for sure will work well for 2 channel 16/24 bit PCM flacs, from local of streaming library.
But what about multichannel DSD64/DSF files?
Does the HDMI out of the PI4 bridge feed my receiver with native multi channel DSF files? Or do I need to add a digi + pro HAT and let roon do DoP?

Anyone having experience with such setup?


You can’t get native DSD through HDMI.
Also through SPDIF you can get only stereo DoP and the DAC has to understand it.
But you can try to use the Okto DAC 8 (I’ve ordered one) with a USB connection.

Can you explain why this won’t work?
I can get multichannel Native DSD trough HDMI from my Sony UBP-X800 BD player. I can play Multichannel DSF files from NAS with the Serviio DLNA server direct on the Receiver. And play multichannel DSF files from Serviio with the mobile MConnect App and Stream it with that same App multichannel DLNA to my receiver.
Its works, but each method has a (sometimes) clumsy interface of its own. Roon looks great, and combines everything in one great interface.

Is there a way to to get my Multichannel DSF files from my Linux NAS (that now also runs Roon Core) to play on my Receiver without replacing the receiver or DAC?

Not with a RPI that I know of

I got multichannel PCM over HDMI working on a pi 4 but only after compiling the kernel myself with changes to some source files.

Not a trivial task :frowning:

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You won’t find publicly available audio drivers that support DSD over HDMI on Linux, nor Windows, nor macOS. The only company that I know of to have it working on an Intel-based motherboard running Linux is Bryston in the BDP-3, but stereo only.

It’s been a while since I googled this topic, but a few years ago there wasn’t much interest, and it was clear it would be difficult to get such a driver upstream into the kernel.

Good luck!

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Out of the box, Picoreplayer can output 24/192 LPCM through HDMI also in multichannel.
The most distrubutions allows only 24/48 or have deactivated HDMI audio.
For picoreplayer you can find a repository, which adds the roonbridge to it.

Can you share how you patched the kernel?

A lot of SACD capabele BD players are linux based. The Sony BDP-s6200 and several other Pioneers and Oppo’s to are Linux ARM based and can be easy rooted. With the BDP-S6200, I extract the SACD layer of my owned SA-CD’s. They all output the DSD64 multichannel stream on their HDMI output.

Is the Source off the HDMI kernel module the uses never released? If not, this might be a GPL violation.

Note that I said “publicly available.” I’m quite familiar with the Linux nature of many Blu-ray players, having ripped my SACD collection with my Oppo and Pioneer players. Linux allows for binary-only device drivers (see the infamous NVidia binary blob) and said HDMI drivers are going to be specific to the ARM SoC in the player.

I would pay hundreds of dollars for a Roon Ready Ethernet to HDMI bridge that had native multichannel DSD (alas it would be limited to DSD64) on the HDMI interface. Alas, I don’t expect any one to lose their shirt selling me one, which is what I fear would happen once you incorporate all the licensing fees and minimum order quantities…

Thanks I was not aware of this project. Will look into it.

Pitty and difficult to understand that there are a lot of cheap linux arm based BD player capable of doing multichannel DSD out on their HDMI interface and their is no HDMI out card or HAT doing the same thing. Still have to use the (compared to Roon) clumbersome interface of DLNA browser of the receiver.
If anyone has suggestions and an affordable solution to get multichannel DSD of DoP out a affordable Endpoint… please share.