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  • sandyh
    replied
    Well, a co-worker and I were talking about the wifi speaker subject today (he's into audio a good bit, but also has played in bands etc.) and after a while of complaining about the thought of needing an app to be involved, using a phone as a source, blah-blah-blah, he said "I have the right answer." Intrigued given it was an ah-ha moment to him as well, I asked what it was.

    He suggested using a body pack transmitter/receiver system like are used in live and sometimes studio recording situations. Decent brands have 20-20k frequency response, low latency etc. We also talked a bit about the FM transmitters that are sometimes used in churches etc. I assume frequency response is possibly limited in those cases.

    Anyway, what do you (the remaining viewers) think about the idea of using a decent brand guitar body pack solution for getting the signal from the house to the pool speakers? I'd still need to handle an amp at the speaker, but I think that's not a huge hurdle.

    The concept of using the church FM transmitter option is also a little interesting, as I could use a car head unit as the tuner/amp with a little weatherproofing. I think I might be able to use a car battery and solar charger to make it wireless for 3-4 hours per week, which might be plenty. I already have deep cycle 12V batteries and the solar charger from my trailer power project, so trying it would be close to free.

    Anyway, I like the fact that we were being old curmudgeons and in the process 'stumbled' on old technology to solve the problem in a different way than the high-tech app based version. Curious how ya'll think it might work out!

    Sandy.

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  • silverD
    replied
    Checkout Hi-Fi Cast and BubbleUPnP. Your HTPC will serve as your music server for audio files stored on it and they will be accessible by the apps I mentioned which can then cast to chromecast. As for Pandora, its app can cast to chromecast.
    Nate

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  • sandyh
    replied
    Really good information and opinions. (As this is audio, I expected a bunch of opinions!!!).

    For my specific installation, I think mono vs stereo is fine as it is all about background/outside music, but I completely understand (and was concerned) about the issues with latency in the audible range. My biggest concern thus far has been the overly digitized sound I've heard from many bluetooth speakers. Having said that, I use bluetooth headphones in the garage often and they are fine, so maybe the bluetooth speakers I heard were just junk.

    Anyway, I think the wifi concept is the only logical non-wired option for the yard/pool area due to distance.

    As far as preferred streaming apps, I have zero, unless Pandora via an internet browser on a PC is considered a streaming app. Neither my nor my wife's phone has any audio on it other than what was pre-loaded (darn U2 song. . . ). My HTPC is our house source for music, along with FM (an old, weird technology where 'waves' go through the 'air' and get 'demodulated' and 'amplified'. . . total witchcraft as far as I'm concerned.) and Pandora or whatever else we're watching (like youtube, Netflix etc.). That is the output I would prefer to go to whatever solution there is. I completely understand the way to do it with wires, switches and amps, but I'm still not clear if I can just do the same thing via wifi or not. I'd like to maintain the functionality I have and then discover the new ways and benefits later instead of ditching my music collection and relying on an app only.

    Either way, I think conversations about both directions are helpful and will only help me make the best decision, so please pursue anything related to multi-room wifi, even if it doesn't explicitly match my current direction. I'm not against learning at all!

    Thanks for all the contributions.

    Sandy.

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  • a4eaudio
    replied
    Originally posted by neildavis View Post
    No...this doesn't work. The challenge for TWS is to ensure that the left and right channels stay synchronized in the microsecond range. However, networking delays due to buffering and processing delays through the two dongles will result in the left and right channels having different delays, and the delays will not be consistent. The phase relationships between the channels will not be preserved.
    This is really helpful, Thanks Neil!

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  • neildavis
    replied
    Originally posted by a4eaudio View Post

    But...Google Chromecast dongle (or discontinued Google Audio) have a stereo signal. You could hook up to a cheap stereo amplifier board in one cabinet and run a speaker cable to the other speaker.
    Sure, but that is not "true wireless stereo" (TWS).

    Or...couldn't you just take HDMI to RCA and hook up Left to one speaker (leaving Right unconnected) and have another Chromecast to RCA and hook up Right to a speaker (and leave Left unconnected). You would need more Chromecast dongles and amplifier boards, but wouldn't this work?
    No...this doesn't work. The challenge for TWS is to ensure that the left and right channels stay synchronized in the microsecond range. However, networking delays due to buffering and processing delays through the two dongles will result in the left and right channels having different delays, and the delays will not be consistent. The phase relationships between the channels will not be preserved. TWS devices ensure the left and right channels are in sync by using a low-overhead wireless protocol with low latency or by synchronizing the network packets through other means. The Linkplay modules and some of the newer Bluetooth modules support TWS, but the Chromecast dongles and Firesticks can't do that.

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  • silverD
    replied
    Originally posted by neildavis View Post
    So you need to look at your favorite music player apps and your subscriptions to make the best choice for your situation.
    This is a key takeaway!
    If I were to implement mutli-room audio in another house and let's say I did use a mutli-channel distribution amp, I'd still use some sort of casting functionality for ease of use. The multi-channel amp would reduce the clutter of several dispersed amps (they are getting smaller and can be hidden anyway) and provide a centralized location at the expense of pulling more cable.

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  • wogg
    commented on 's reply
    That's good to know! Of course, I'm already invested in Musiccast so that's not of much use to me now. An array of Google cast devices would have been cheaper :(

  • a4eaudio
    replied
    Originally posted by neildavis View Post
    Google Cast has evolved quite a bit so that you can define rooms and groups, but it doesn't do left and right channel pairing,
    I don't know a lot about Google Cast, just that I use Google Home for some things.
    You can set up left and right with certain Google devices...you need to have two identical devices and generations in the same room. For those of us trying to hook up non-Google devices/DIY speakers that is not much of a solution. But...Google Chromecast dongle (or discontinued Google Audio) have a stereo signal. You could hook up to a cheap stereo amplifier board in one cabinet and run a speaker cable to the other speaker. Or...couldn't you just take HDMI to RCA and hook up Left to one speaker (leaving Right unconnected) and have another Chromecast to RCA and hook up Right to a speaker (and leave Left unconnected). You would need more Chromecast dongles and amplifier boards, but wouldn't this work?

    Leave a comment:


  • neildavis
    replied
    I need to update the WiFi webpages on my site, because a lot has changed since those pages were written. Not surprisingly, Google Cast appears to be a good choice for Android phone users and AirPlay is a nice option for iPhone advocates. However, It still looks like the DLNA-based options are best suited for PC users, and there are good apps for both Android and IOS.

    Google Cast has evolved quite a bit so that you can define rooms and groups, but it doesn't do left and right channel pairing, and Google Home doesn't support devices outside of the Google universe. For example, the Dayton WiFly and Denon WiFi speakers aren't supported. So I'm still more impressed by the uPNP/DLNA solutions such as the many Linkplay products, including Dayton Wi-Fly.

    The uPNP/DLNA-based devices are supported by their own mobile apps, but they are also supported by some of the music player apps. For example, Spotify and Media Monkey 5 recognize the Linkplay and Denon Heos devices along with the Firestick (Google Cast). So you need to look at your favorite music player apps and your subscriptions to make the best choice for your situation.

    I disagree with the suggestion to stick with wires. Some of the WiFi speakers can only use the older 2.4GHz networks, so there might be some limitations, but things are evolving, and for a new design I would go wireless.

    Leave a comment:


  • silverD
    replied
    Glad to hear it. I think an update allowed standard Chromecast devices to be added to groups for multi-zone audio where they didn't initially. The Chromecast audio pucks do have optical out which is kind of nice for high quality audio. As always, do a bit of googling to make sure things will work as you intend.
    Nate

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  • sandyh
    replied
    Thanks to the information posted above and some googling, I have a little better idea of what casting is and some limitations of various methods. Given what i have on hand (i.e. a small Dayton class-T amp, random speakers and a robust wifi system), I think there is merit in at least trying a Chromecast solution before giving up entirely. Seems like the Dayton integrated 2x20 Wifi might have some limitations that I either couldn't figure my way around or can't be resolved.

    Given that the Chromecast audio puck was discontinued and seems to run around $48 on ebay and the Chromecast V3 HDMI is available in quantity at the local Lowes for $30, I'm leaning toward trying the HDMI version with the audio extractor silverD referenced. Is there a downside that I'm missing with trying that route vs the Chromecast audio puck?

    Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post

    *slow clap, leading to thunderous applause*
    That made me smile!

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  • Paul Carmody
    replied
    Originally posted by sandyh View Post

    It seems like Paul hit the nail on the head in a way: Not only do resistors, caps and coils not go obsolete, but buried cables in the yard likely don't either. . .

    I'm not a huge fan of drywall work, but I hate digging trenches in dirt. . .but at this stage it might be worth just planning on sucking it up and doing that. The whole world of apps (vs programs) and constant updates (vs 1 stable product per year that you own forever) and subscriptions (maintenance of what you bought, but is no longer valid unless you pay again) is just not me. I'm pretty sure copper will still work even if I don't subscribe, like and post a thumbs-up and if it breaks, I can splice it vs doing an OS upgrade. And, oh yeah, 'You kids get off my lawn!!!!'
    *slow clap, leading to thunderous applause*

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  • a4eaudio
    replied
    Originally posted by wogg View Post
    To my knowledge Chromecast doesn't support multi-zone audio does it?
    it's really the Google Home app paired with the Chromecasts that provides the multi zone audio. I can play Pandora, Spotify, YouTube music, etc. from my phone or tablet and choose any combination of speakers to play it on and change volume separately or as the group as one. I can probably setup subgroups too, e.g., indoor vs outdoor. The only thing frustrating to me, because I use Google home for more than audio, is that it does not run on a PC. But I have it on my phone and tablet so it doesn't matter much. I can cast music from a PC to the speakers, thus could be streaming from a dedicated PC, but to control them through the Home app I have to use my phone or tablet. A cheap option would be a dedicated Kindle Fire tablet which can be had for $30 on prime day or around Black Friday.

    Leave a comment:


  • wogg
    replied
    To my knowledge Chromecast doesn't support multi-zone audio does it?

    That's the killer feature of a Sonos or Yamaha Musiccast setup, or even Dayton HiFly. The thing that kills the Dayton system for me is the lack of Pandora support, that's our casual listening platform of choice in my house. The ability to have the same music playing everywhere you walk around the house is just awesome.

    Leave a comment:


  • silverD
    replied
    I would really suggest you try out one Chromecast audio to see what you think. They can be had for relatively cheap on eBay. Many people use a standard Chromecast along with an HDMI audio extractor to get analog audio out. If support for the Chromecast audio is dropped you are only out the network player and not a complete device like a Wi-Fi amp. I think giving one a test run is well worth the time versus trenching and drywall patching and the user interface on your smart device has to be more convenient than going to your one computer.

    Leave a comment:

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