Please support hi-res FLAC on SHIELD

Contrary to what a lot of people think, the Nvidia Shield is entirely capable of 88.2, 96 and 192k playback (not to mention 5.1 FLAC, DTS etc). Could we please have the Shield properly recognized for its hi-res abilities so it can be used as an endpoint? It makes a great and convenient HDMI 192k capable endpoint and there’s a fairly large userbase. Hell, make an app while you’re at it :slight_smile:

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I think that Nvidia should try to make “roon ready” the shield, not roon.

But it is a very nice idea. :wink:

Has anyone tried sideloading the android apk to see how it performs?

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Qobuz and Tidal and Plex for Kodi etc all support hi-res on Shield Android TV. Can’t see what it can’t be done on Roon.

The more I think about this the more sense it makes. I asked about shield running Roon core some time ago and the Devs explained it didn’t have enough horsepower and would drag the overall experience down with support. A reason I will never argue with.

Making the android app android TV compatible would be great but making the UI work with a remote control seems like a huge task and I’m not sure how many would adopt it. The home threate guys would love it as we all know shield is king and would be a nice in if they didn’t have an AVR with Roon support already.

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It makes tons of sense Paul, it really does. I’ve actually been continually surprised that Roon hasn’t targeted this device with laser focus. Here you have a relatively large installed user base of enthusiasts and the hardware seems tailor made to at least be an endpoint, providing far less friction for new customers. Seems a good business case to be made if nothing else.

I mean seriously, it can handle it. Qobuz (up to 192) and Tidal (up to 96) both work wonderfully on it. The audio support is very robust:

  • Dolby Audio (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos)
  • DTS-X surround sound (pass-through) over HDMI
  • High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz over HDMI and USB
  • High-resolution audio up-sample to 24-bit/192 kHz over USB
  • Audio support: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WAVE, AMR, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, PCM, WMA, WMA-Pro, WMA-Lossless, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD (pass-through), DTS-X (pass-through), and DTS-HD (pass-through)

An app would be great sure, but I could certainly live without it. And no need at all for Roon server abilities. I have a Plex capable SHIELD but I still run the server on my NAS. I would do the same with Roon as many users would.

I think people get confused by two things:

  1. Huge myth that Android only supports 16/48 or 24/48. This is simply incorrect and easily demonstrable within seconds.
  2. They think SHIELD users are asking for server or Core support. Nope. Just use its reported capabilities as an endpoint.

There is also perhaps the matter of devs treating all Android/Google devices the same, even though some have higher-spec capabilities.

It’s really unfortunate. Here we have a quick, fast multipurpose device with 5gHz WIFI capabilities, Gig Ethernet, and 24/192 audio over USB AND HDMI and it’s not of any interest? I definitely find it curious.


I’m not sure what you mean by that exactly. There’s nothing keeping the SHIELD from being a hi-res, lossless player.

Blockquote I’m not sure what you mean by that exactly. There’s nothing keeping the SHIELD from being a hi-res, lossless player.

Full disclosure and proper context:

  1. I have a Roon lifetime subscription, and I use it almost every day. It’s by-far-and-away my favorite Music Player, with no close second.
  2. I have a very large assortment of Goolge-Cast capable devices. I’ve got 7 Chromecast Audios currently in service, and I’m fairly sure I’ve got an 8th one in a box and ready to be pressed into service as-needed. Additionally, I’ve got several Google Home’s (one of them being a “Max”).
  3. Additionally, I’ve got 6 Nvidia Shields hooked up in my house, because in addition to a Roon Core, I also run a Plex Media Server (for movies), a Steam server (for games), and an HDHomeRun DVR server (for networking live tv tuners and DVR’d programming off my cable subscription via CableCard).

I love “whole-home-integration” and having access to content in any room.

  1. My wife and I both use Android phones. My kids and I all have Android tablets. We’re heavy in the google ecosystem.

THAT SAID - coming from someone that loves Roon, loves Shield, and loves Android - doesn’t Android have problems/challenges associated with bypassing the native android audio renderer and outputting bit-perfect? That’s why I use USB Audio Player Pro on my phone; it has the means to bypass resample. It’s why Roon generically resamples to 16/48 when I point it towards my phone as an endpoint; Roon can’t (yet) configure to bypass the resampler, and has confidence that it can do a better job with the resampling than my phone will, so it does the best it can… same thing would need to happen with the Shield, no? I’ve put an OPPO UDP-203 in between a Shield and a Denon Reciever, and played 16/44.1 FLAC files via the Plex app on Shield, and watched as the OPPO reported receiving a 16/48 signal… I don’t believe the Plex app on Shield bypasses the native audio player the way USB Audio Player Pro does. I think Roon and NVidia would need to work together to make sure that it can… or (much less desirably) Roon would have to treat a Shield like it does my phone and resample the signal to 16/48 before sending it to the Shield, no?

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I run USB audio player in Shield TV. It no longer crashes with the latest build. You have to ask the Dev for the APK file. Super helpful chap.

Hi Mike,

Could you be more specific with your answer ?

I’ve tried to download USB audio player, but sound quality is still downsampled to 176,4kHz to 44,1kHz.

I’m currently testing Roon and won’t go further if there is no hi-res FLAC compatibility with Nvidia Shield Pro.


High Res Flac files are fine with Roon, the issue is that Roon uses the standard audio stack and won’t see that the Shield is capable of 192/24 so all material is limited to 48/24. It’s native music player can support hires other apps have to bypass the Android audio stack to achieve higher res playback. UAPP does this if you choose their driver and not the Android one ( it does on phones not tried ojln my shieid as its it not a native ATV app so wont be a good interface , also Kodi can I believe.

@Brandon and @Timothy_King Timothy-King, I totally agree with you and it’s a deal breaker for me and I won’t buy the Roon license when my trial expires in 10 days from now… Beside having the very capable SHIELD I have the very capable Yamaha RX A8A receiver sporting dual ESS SABRE ES9026 PRO Ultra DACs. And no matter how I route the signal or adjust the audio and CEC settings in my SHIELD, at the end of the day Roon transcodes lots of my WAVs and FLACs into something of a lot lesser quality, and I won’t have that. Yes Roon is great at some things, like showing song artists’ pictures and bios featured on compilation albums, which Plex doesn’t do. But in the end it’s all about the audio and not about eye candy so I’m expecting exceptional audio performance from Roon, which Roon at this point doesn’t offer. Right now Plex does a better job at that, which I was ready to abandon if only Roon had performed better audio-wise, which it doesn’t. But once it does, I’ll come around for another peak.