Roon / ROCK on NUC with AVR integration to multi-room system

I have Roon running on a NUC and feeding HDMI to my AVR. This particular AVR doesn’t provide analog stereo pre-outs for digital sources (grrr). Has anyone used an hdmi audio extractor to solve this and can anyone recommend one? I can either put it on the NUC HDMI out or on the AVR main out and then feed it as a source to the whole house box.

There could also be an alternative: add another Roon endpoint, and group the zones?

For example, a Dragonfly plugged into a USB port on the NUC, or an RPi + pre-amp HAT on the network?


Interesting… I’ve been looking at ropieee but it seems a bit more complicated than using an hdmi audio extractor. There might be benefits though. It seems like the RPi could transcode everything down to stereo then analog where I don’t think one of the gadgets would really do that for all formats.
Correction: I guess maybe it’s not the endpoints that transcode…

It’s the Roon Core that handles all the necessary transcoding of the audio, and then uses RAAT to transmit the stream to the endpoints (Output devices that make noise).

Ropieee is just a turnkey operating system for a RPi that will install Roon Bridge automatically for you and turn the RPi into a Roon Endpoint.

Many of us use RPis and Ropieee for Roon Endpoints - it’s a great combination; just set it and forget it.

I ended up ordering one of these:
It seems like it should always be able to provide a 2-channel down-mix.
Muxlab makes something similar, but without the optical output and it costs more.

I already have audio extraction on my second video zone, so one of my thoughts is that I will actually be able to remove a bunch of analog inputs from my AVR if I add this. Source 1 and Source 2 will be what’s playing in the video zones (using the AVR’s switching) and then I have three other analog inputs for stereo audio only into the avr and multi-zone system.

The NUC I’m running Core on has multiple HDMI outputs (two are physically mini-dp connections, but that is easily converted). should I be able to put another dac on one of those, and group the zones as you state, so that I have multichannel to my AVR and analog stereo to my multi-zone system? This will give me maximum flexibility so that I can play Roon even when my main zone(AVR) is off.

I don’t know is the short answer. ROCK is particular about what it will support. Unless you’re running it on one of the supported Intel NUC systems, then there are no guarantees that it will work with different hardware than these.

Such systems are known here as MOCK systems - the only way to find out is to try it, and even then there will be no guarantee of continued working with future Roon updates.

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Roon sees all 3 HDMI outputs, so I suspect there won’t be a problem. I’ll post an update.

I just tried it out. It worked. I’ll test it more extensively when I have more time in the next few days, but I was able to link the hdmi 1 and hdmi 2 (really mini display port with adaptor) and I have hdmi multi-channel to my avr and the same thing playing on two channels into my multi-zone controller through the Simplified DAC1. Again… pretty nice.

My original plan to extract 2-channel analog from the AVR output has been foiled by the fact that the AVR does not pass the audio through. Just another screwey twist on the Onkyo AVR I/O. The second HDMI video zone only passes audio through HDMI (you can’t get it from the zone 2 analog output even if there is an analog source paired with the HDMI input). The I/O situation on the Onkyo is so inconsistent and illogical that it’s one of those things I’ve just learned to live with and work-around. I’m back to thinking about putting on an external HDMI matrix switch that has audio extraction.