Roon Reliability Recommendations

I’ve been using Roon for about 10 weeks and I really like it. The only thing holding me back from a lifetime subscription is that it seems to be ‘high maintenance’. Meaning, I have to fiddle with it each and every day. Looking for recommendations to get to a highly available, dead simple to use system.

Here is my basic set up:

  1. Roon Core running on Windows 10 on a Zotac ZBOXCI5NANO-U Core i5 @ 150GHz w/ 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD. Nice little fanless NUC-like PC.
  2. Core PC has local monitor and Samsung TV direct attached.
  3. Oppo 105D used as DAC connected via USB 2.0. Oppo 105D is also used to process DirectTV and Apple TV video/audio, watch Blu-Ray discs, and listen to CDs.
  4. Oppo is connected via analog stereo and analog multi-channel outputs to AVR. AVR is not networked.
  5. Network - Oppo and PC attached via ethernet to the same Netgear Orbi mesh wifi satellite station. Satellite connects via wifi back to main Netgear Orbi router. This is an integrated tri-band mesh network.
  6. Roon control via Core PC and multiple iOS and MacOS devices.
  7. Harmony Elite remote to power up and select a/v component inputs.

Here are the stability and ease-of-use problems that I am having that diminish the Roon experience.

  1. Roon Core becomes unreachable or unresponsive. This happens 1-2 times/week. Fix is to reboot core PC locally (I have to touch the PC). Core PC runs 24/7 and is seldom used for other purposes.
  2. No Audio Device found error. This happens 1-2 times/week. Fix is to reboot core PC and USB DAC, sometimes multiple times in a certain order.
  3. TV display shows Roon album or artist info or similar screen instead of Now Playing full screen that was active in last session. This happens every day. I assume this is because USB DAC is being switched to another input and/or because it is powered down each night. Fix is to manually restart Now Playing screen from Core PC or relaunch Web Display from Core PC.
  4. Tidal becomes unresponsive. This seems to happen once per week to once per 2 weeks. I’m currently thinking this might be due to the Roon/Tidal backend connection or Tidal outages, so not sure what to do about this. My crappy DSL Internet connection doesn’t help the situation. Fix is to sign out of Tidal via the Roon Services page and sign back in. Since this fix can be done from the couch via my iOS control device it doesn’t bother me as much as the others, but I would to see more stability here.

Here are my basic requirements:

  1. At least 99% availability. I want to press a button and just get music.
  2. ‘Now Playing’ screen displayed on my TV in the living room when turning on the system.
  3. 99% of system interaction via iPad. Roon Core is in another room. I don’t want to touch it.
  4. Decent SQ - doesn’t have to be stellar but does need to be decent. For example, I think my Oppo 105D sounds pretty good.
  5. I will buy more hardware if necessary but I don’t want to spend a lot of money. A budget of $1000 or less would be great. I’ll go higher if I have to but no more that $3000. IMHO if I spend more than $1000 I should be buying SQ and ease-of-use, not stability.

My initial thoughts on what I should do. This is where I need help.

  1. Convert existing Zotac ZBOX PC to ROCK. I know this is unsupported hardware but it just might work. The PC itself and Windows 10 are surprisingly stable. In another life it ran for years processing my weather station data with very little attention. I guess it’s possible that this PC is under-powered by today’s standards but it sure doesn’t seem to be.
  2. Buy a supported NUC and run ROCK
  3. Buy a Roon Ready endpoint to interface with the Oppo 105D. Maybe a SOtM SMS-200? The thinking here is that the Oppo is not playing nice with the Core PC via USB or that the input switching and nightly power downs cause the Roon Core to lose the audio endpoint which causes the control display to drop the Now Playing screen. So a Roon Ready endpoint running 24/7 might isolate the Oppo activity from the Roon Core.
  4. Other ideas?

I can’t comment on specific HW recommendations, but I can assure you that roon is inherently reliable. I’ve been running roon for a couple years, and never, ever have connectivity, performance or reliability issues.

I would strongly recommend against trying to move to unsupported hardware. If you want it to be reliable, run it the way it was meant to run. You’ll reap the benefits.

Best of luck!

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You need the help of @support to debug what exactly is going on here. Sounds to me like there could be several issues, Core, network and internet access related. Fixing one of these issues will still leave unreliability elsewhere, so a methodical approach is required.

As stated in the post above, there is nothing inherently unreliable about Roon itself. My ROCK system (all wired network, Pi endpoints) has been running flawlessly all year (but I don’t have Tidal). The only maintenance it needs is quarterly when Roon release an update.

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Network connectivity is likely the source of your problem. Try hardwiring the core to your router and see if it helps.

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Sometimes in exasperation I fondly rememeber the humble CD player…:joy:

I can see a lot of promise in Roon and I’m sure I’ll find a way eventually of having a smoothly running setup. Got a Nucleus yesterday in a move towards acheiving such. I think it’s worth sticking with. There’s a lot of good will from the developers and to get it right.

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Hey @Bob_Hendricks,

When this occurs, is this when you’re actively using Roon?

Does playback stop?

Are you able to connect from other remotes?

Do you have any active firewall or antivirus on the Core machine?

Are all devices not showing in Settings > Audio, or just the USB connected device?

Can you share a screenshot of what you’re seeing here?

Just to make sure I’m understanding correctly — You are using a Web Display that you are leaving always running, and when you return to Roon and begin playback it is not working?

In the past we have seen Google DNS help with similar reports. Can you try using Google DNS and let us know if you notice a change?

Can you try connecting your devices to the main router rather than one of the satellites? Is there any improvement when doing so?

In your Orbi router settings, you should see a checkbox for Disable IGMP Proxying. Can you confirm what the current status of this checkbox is? If it is checked, does unchecking it yield any improvements?

Thanks!

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**Thanks Dylan for your help. See my responses below in Bold. I will provide additional screenshots after I reboot the Core PC. Can you point me to guidance on how to use this text editor for the Community Forum? Also, can you tell me if ROCK supports wireless keyboards and wireless mice? **

I rebooted the Core PC and there was no change in the Audio device situation: Oppo USB ASIO shown in Audio/Connected To This PC list but not reachable. Oppo WASAPI not shown in Audio/Connected To This PC list.

Rebooted Oppo 105D and now audio is working. Here is screenshot after rebooting Oppo.

Just to add to Bob’s post I have the same experience with the Display feature.

Whenever I restart Roon on the Core PC I then have to go into the NUC that is sending the signal to my AV Receiver and press F11 twice in Chrome brower to get it to Display properly again.

Hope that makes sense.

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I am also running Core on a Windows 10 pc. Windows has a built in antivirus that is decent enough for a music server that does nothing but serve up music. That is what I use with no issues at all.

The Avast has built in Firewall settings that would create these type of issues.

I would recommend removing Avast and see if this is your issue. You can always add it back. Removing the Avast would also remove system resource overhead needed for Avast therefore making your PC faster.

–MD

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Hey @Bob_Hendricks,

This forum uses Markdown for formatting. There is a guide for Markdown formatting here.

ROCK uses RoonServer, not the all-in-one Roon, so there is no Roon UI with ROCK. It is controlled with remotes.

Core Machine Unresponsive

Just to confirm — The Core machine is only unresponsive for remotes (i.e. remotes cannot connect) correct? Or is Windows in general unresponsive on the Core machine?

For remote connectivity, I would continue to monitor things now that Disable IGMP Snooping has been unchecked. This can sometimes cause remote connectivity issues, so things may be improved with this setting. I would also try seeing if there is any improvement when it’s connected directly to the main router.

Audio Devices Not Found

Can you try disabling Avast and Windows Defender temporarily? Is there any change in behavior here after doing so?

Display Issue

I’m going to pass along what you’re seeing to the technical team so they can take a closer look. I’ll be sure to let you know their findings here.

Thanks!

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You are correct. When the error condition occurs the Core machine is unresponsive to remotes including the local remote. Windows is running fine.

Roon Core, including remotes and audio, is working well today after yesterday’s changes (see below). In the interest of understanding the impact of each change I am going to hold off on disabling Avast and Windows Defender until the problem reoccurs.

Thanks. It is interesting to note that the full screen Now Playing screen that I left running on the local remote last night was displaying fine this morning when I returned to Roon. This is the first time in a long time (ever?) that this has been the case. Today I restarted the Windows 10 Web Display (Until now, I did not restart Windows 10 Web Display from the condition documented in my screenshot yesterday). I will monitor this to see if persistence is maintained in the Windows 10 Web Display as well.

Here’s what I saw this morning when I returned to Roon (this is what I always want to see on my living room TV)

Here is an example of what I usually see when I return to Roon after leaving Roon in full screen Now Playing display mode in the previous session

Summary of Oct 9 Changes

  • Enabled IGMP proxying on Netgear Orbi router
  • Connected Core PC directly to Netgear Orbi router module via Ethernet
  • Changed Core PC DNS to Google DNS
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Audio stopped working after being away from Roon for 1.5 hrs. I can access the Core via all remotes and select music but it will not play. Content is displaying correctly on local remote screen and Windows 10 Web Display. Below is a screenshot with local Roon remote and Windows 10 Web Display side by side on the same screen. Note that Oppo WASAPI has disappeared.

I restarted Roon Core app without restarting Windows. Can still access Core from remotes and select content but audio has stopped working altogether. Windows 10 Display shows ‘roon’ screen which might make sense since no content can be played:

I restarted the Core PC. Now audio is working fine. No Oppo restart needed. Oppo WASAPI now available. Windows 10 Web Display not working despite the fact that content is playing and display was set to ‘start upon playback’. The Windows 10 Display has disappeared from Roon Core and I see that the ip address has changed! See 2nd screenshot below.

Frustrating! I will now disable Windows Defender and Avast as requested and monitor.

Reconfigured (with new ip address) and started Windows 10 Web Display

Display Update

Local remote ‘Now Playing’ full screen displayed when returning to Roon. Windows 10 Web Display no longer displaying Roon ‘Now Playing’ screen. Web Display URL IP address on Display config screen has again incremented, this time from 192.168.1.36 to 192.168.1.37. Browser still pointing to 192.168.1.36 so of course it’s not working now. Question is, why did core web display ip address increment?

I located, configured, and installed an old Chromecast on my Living Room TV. So far this is working great and looks like it may be the end state solution for my living room TV display requirement.

Audio Update and Another Display Update

We had a power outage and ‘No Audio Devices Found’ error occurred upon power restoration. All remotes working fine. Fix was to restart Windows 10 then restart Oppo. So, now we know that audio issue occurs with firewall and anti-virus disabled.

Web Display still not working after power outage. Interesting to note is that IP address did not change on Display config screen after Windows reboot. Chromecast recovered without intervention. I’m just going to use Chromecast for my living room TV display and consider the display issue closed.

Upon returning to Roon this morning audio stopped working. All remotes working. Cannot start playback. Roon accepts playback command but is unable to start playback. It just keeps skipping to the next song. Oppo WASAPI has disappeared. Error condition is pretty consistent.

After rebooting Windows: No Audio Devices found:

After rebooting Oppo all is well. It’s pretty clear that the Oppo and the Roon Core are not playing nice together. Please advise next steps. I’m going to have to turn the firewall and anti-virus back on soon.

Hey @Bob_Hendricks,

Thanks for giving that a try with Windows Defender and Avast disabled.

I think the next step here is to enable some diagnostics on your account so our technical staff can get some more insight into what’s going on here.

However, before I enable this feature, I’d like to ask for your help ensuring we gather the right information.

First, can you please reproduce the issue once more and note the time at which the error occurs. Then respond here with that time, and I’ll make sure we review the diagnostics related to that timestamp.

Thanks,
Dylan

@dylan I cannot reproduce the error condition. I can only wait for it to happen and report the timeframe. Roon worked well yesterday after rebooting the Core PC and the Oppo DAC. I stopped using Roon some time after 7:00pm PDT on 12-Oct-2018 (however, the Oppo remained powered on processing sound for my DirecTV DVR). Today, upon returning to Roon I found the same audio error condition I reported yesterday. The fix was the same. So, the error condition occurred some time between 12-Oct-2018 7:00pm PDT and 13-Oct-2018 11:00am PDT. Sorry that I can’t be more specific but the error condition seems to occur when Roon is unattended. If I were a betting man I would bet that the error occurs upon changing the power state of the Oppo. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost that bet. On one hand I have been unable to reproduce the error state by powering down/up the Oppo. On the other, the power outage on 11-Oct-2018 did result in the audio error state. Best time estimate for last night Oppo power down is approximately 13-Oct-2018 12:30am PDT and this morning’s power up is approximately 13-Oct-2018 11:00am PDT. Hope this helps.

The same audio error condition recurred today. I was able to fix with Roon restart and Oppo reboot. No Windows restart,

Oppo power down: 14-Oct-2018 12:12am PDT Oppo WASAPI disappeared from Audio devices in Roon.

Oppo power up: 14-Oct-2018 8:14am PDT

Roon Core (not OS) and Oppo restart: 14-Oct-2018 12:50pm PDT

Hey @Bob_Hendricks,

Now that I have the timestamps, diagnostics have been enabled on your account. The next time your Core is active a diagnostics report will automatically be generated and uploaded directly to our servers

Once that’s been received, I’ll be sure to update this thread and pass the diagnostics over to the team for further analysis.

Thanks!