Software endpoint for 5.1 playback

Good Morning all,

My first post here, and I know there are a lot of threads about 5.1 playback, but I couldn’t find a clear answer to this question.

I have a bunch of 5.1 flac files. Previously I was using a Windows HTPC with Roon installed as a client (Core is on another server machine). The HTPC connected to my receiver via HDMI played all of my audio content (including surround 5.1) perfectly.

The HTPC is now dead and I am considering using a TV streamer instead. Would any of the common streamers, (i.e. Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield etc.) support Roon playback of 5.1 flac files via HDMI to my receiver?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

This is not the software solution you asked about. Hopefully someone will post an answer for that. But it is HDMI from Roon to receiver. I have a Nuc/Rock setup with HDMI out to my receiver and it does play multi-channel.

None of the TV boxes will do what you want. You need a pc for this. NuCs or similar silent pc using Rock or windows are up to the job. You don’t need a top model either just for playback. I use a de3815 I got refurb for £70 works a charm

I’ll have to double check it, but IIRC the last OPPO players will do multi channel flac. Not sure if Roon capable in multi channel.

Oppo software though.

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Your recall is correct. Rock to OPPO 205 does play multi-channel over HDMI.

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Thanks @Mike_LC Not at home to check, so glad u confirmed it.

Welcome, Mr. David. I am unaware of any of those TV streamers doing FLAC surround. I have always used HDMI out of a PC or USB to a multichannel DAC to accomplish the task. In my home environment, I have had success with an inexpensive i3 processor PC — as in about $130 — from Microcenter running Roon bridge as an end point for HDMI out to your receiver that will decode multichannel over HDMI. Integra has some older models on eBay that work just fine and again are a pretty inexpensive way back into multichannel.

I hope someone else on the forum can better weigh in on the streamers you mention or other creative ways to enjoy multichannel audio. JCR

Be careful : the Oppo players (for instance 205) indeed are capable of playing multichannel over HDMI. But they can NOT do that, over the Roon RAAT protocol !

To the best of my knowledge, a box like this simply does not exist (yet).
A reasonably priced appliance, capable of playing (HDMI) multichannel with Roon.

There are expensive options, like for instance Merging NADAC. Did I mention expensive :slight_smile: ?

I guess your only option, is some sort of cheap PC, and run Roon on that.
My personal weapon of choice for this purpose, is ROCK on a fanless PC.

Thanks all,

What I want is a single device that works as a client/player for my Emby library (video content) AND produces full-fat Roon output, including 5.1 (audio content), all via HDMI to my receiver.

I’ve had a HTPC for years, but given that my current one has just died, I was exploring whether another, simpler, out-of-the-box solution might be able to meet these needs.

I have concluded however that I need another HTPC…

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