Roon Optimized Core Kit (previously reported as Roon OS)

Absolutely, it will be ready when the Roon team say and until then we will have to wait, patience is a virtue.


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Hi, all,

I have a question on ROCK (probably best directed @Danny) - will you be able to play DSD files through HDMI? Fingers crossed that this is an added feature. :grin: I am looking for a solution as my DAC accepts DSD only through HDMI…


The HDMI port is lit up (and acts no diff than a normal SPDIF)

Which DAC? Does it do DoP? if so, I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.

Hi, Danny,

I am using the DAC in my preamp: Emotiva XMC-1. I don’t think it does DoP, but someone else in the community was able to get it to work via a MAC mini. I have been unable via my QNAP NAS. The QNAP keeps on converting to PCM.

Forgot to add- after reading some other posts on ROCK- it looks like it is based on Linux (just like QNAP). The issue with the QNAP NAS is that the NAS’ kernel (which runs on Linux) appears to not support Native DSD. Will the kernel in ROCK support Native DSD through HDMI?

A post was split to a new topic: Do I need ROCK?

I thought there was more to DSD via HDMI than just being supported natively - I remember reading something about that on the PS Audio forums…but if you’re right, then I really do hope ROCK supports DSD natively as my PS Audio Directstream has the HDMI inputs.

Now, from what I understand, it’s not an HDMI output - it’s the raw data that usually is only internal to DACs (I forgot the format, sorry, bad memory). But PS Audio pushed using HDMI to push this (normally internal only) data via HDMI because it was a convenient high quality port/cable.

I hope that makes sense, I’m not an engineer. I’d have to look it up again to remember the specifics. But I’d take the HDMI input over USB any day if I could output it from a Linux based Roon!

Hilarious :smile:

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Eric, your PS Audio DAC has got I2S input using HDMI connectors.
Lots of DACs and DDCs have chosen HDMI connectors for transferring digital audio using I2S, and some have chosen ethernet connectors (RJ45)
That does not make these DACs accept signal from HDMI outputs on players, transports and computers.

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In fact the HDMI physical interface while the same connector is used its pin out configurations for other than HDMI Audio/Video use i.e. I2S can be different, there is a PS Audio I2S configuration and there are others that are not pin for pin compatible.

HDMI also has other physical interfaces that can be used for AV too. Just like RCA/Phono style connections are also used for composite video or TOSLINK doesn’t mean the signalling is comparable. Or XLR connectors can be analogue or digital etc etc

Hi all- just to jump in again- for users like me who are trying to figure out a solution to stream native DSD via HDMI (or maybe for others via USB)… I see a few possible options and appreciate any feedback for what is outlined below:

  1. ROCK if @danny and his team confirm that the software will stream Native DSD (hopefully via HDMI :))
  2. NUC running Windows 10 via a Roon core - but I don’t know if this works. Has anyone had any success streaming native DSD this way? Especially via HDMI?
  3. MAC Mini - @wizardofoz noted success streaming native DSD via HDMI on the MAC interface.

You cannot stream native DSD from a computing device via standard HDMI unless they have paid significant royalties to Sony. And no one has. And that should not be confused with i2S over HDMI which is the format used by some high end DACs. They are different and won’t work.

A NUC running Windows 10 can stream native via USB so long as the DAC drivers and DAC work ok. Not always a given with some hardware if they rely on generic drivers.

I don’t know how a MAC goes about what it does but I’d wager it converts to PCM or does DOP? I would want to see some evidence that it was indeed native DSD. For instance my DAC doesn’t distinguish between native and DOP. It reports as DSD in either instance.

This thread helps explain how HDMI can be used to transport native DSD (see KeithL comments on Feb 25:

Based on what I have read - it looks like HDMI can be used- the question is whether the hardware in the computer (and the software- in this case ROCK or Roon Core) will allow it too (assuming you have a DAC that is capable of receiving the signal).

There is no dispute that it can be used, but it has to be licensed. That means both the source device and the receiver. USB is your only feasible option and native DSD will only happen when the open source community gets up to speed with Linux.

Thanks very much AMP. I hadn’t even heard of ROCK till yesterday, and couldn’t really find anything explaining it till your post. Sounds like ROCK could be exactly what I need. I’m new to Roon with 1.3 on about Feb 1, and instantly loved it. But it is a lot of work, and re-ripping the CDs to get lossless was as well. At the moment, I think the only problem I have with it is occasional cut-outs that I think occur because my MacBook Air can only accommodate 4GB of RAM. And it is annoying to ensure my Air is on and open someplace. So ROCK sounds ideal to me.

It’s not a bad idea to have a dedicated box for a Roon Server. This gets rid of a lot of potential problems. We have a good one if you don’t want to build it yourself.

We also have servers with automatic CD ripping.

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@agillis please stop trying to promote the Sonic Transporter in a thread discussing ROCK. The two offerings are mutually exclusive and this only serves to confuse people.


@James_Newman Bingo. I’m right there with you. I have been using Roon for about 6 months and love it. I currently run Roon from my MacBook Pro and I experience the same suboptimal performance you do. While running Roon from a separate computer is purported to improve sound quality, I feel an equal or even larger benefit is the snappy response, and knowing that it’s always on.

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ROCK is great for people who what to build their own systems. But there are many Roon users that want a simple solution they can buy that works out of the box.

I think its important for Roon users to know all the options available to them. I don’t think this confuses users at all.


It’s important to note that according to reports, ROCK will be great for people who want to build their own system at some unspecified point in the future when it’s released.

Since the release dependencies and timeline expectations have been reset, we really have no idea when that may be …

In the meantime I think it’s far less confusing for people to know about some of real world solutions actually available right now.

@AMP If Mr. Gillis post was inappropriate for its self promotion, I think that’s a different criticism. Having said that, it’s also not unreasonable for vendors to feel concern that their business may be suffering unduly because of people holding off from a purchase because of the expectation of a repeatedly delayed competitor product. In that respect, I think Mr. Gillis deserves a little leeway.

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