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TOPIC: DDRC-88D and home theater

DDRC-88D and home theater 2 months 1 week ago #41270

  • dirkwright
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Hello, I am a bit confused by this product. It seems ideal for my application, where all of the speakers in my 7.1 system are active, using your DSP plate amps. I only need to connect the AES cable to each plate amp and away I go! However, I'm having some confusion on the input side. I see that there are 4 AES inputs available. How do you connect them to typical home consumer devices like a DVD player, or a Roku streamer, etc.? These devices usually have either HDMI output, or maybe Toslink, or something besides AES. I'm not aware of a HDMI to AES converter either. Do I need another box (like your DIGI-FP) to get AES out of some of these devices? I guess maybe the TV has a digital audio output? I dunno. What's the best way to do all of this? I really like the simplicity of it! wow, awesome. Any help appreciated.

Also, pardon my ignorance, but does the DDRC-88D perform as a surround processor in addition to room correction, or is it just room correction? thanks.

I guess I'm looking for a digital version of your nanoAVR HDA (which I guess would be nanoAVR HDD???). I want to use your plate amps for all of the speakers, and use AES to connect everything together.
Last Edit: 2 months 1 week ago by dirkwright.
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DDRC-88D and home theater 2 months 1 week ago #41276

  • john.reekie
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Probably intended more for production, interfaced to things like this: motu.com/video-products/v4hd/features/audio-io.html

Once the audio is released on delivery media and/or HDMI, HDMI licensing or DRM or something prevents straight digital conversion. As I understand it.
I am not miniDSP support.

"You must ask the right questions." - Dr. Alfred Lanning's hologram.
-> Have you read the User Manual??
-> Have you drawn and posted a diagram?
-> Have you posted a screenshot?
-> Have you posted your config file?
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DDRC-88D and home theater 2 months 1 week ago #41287

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Here's hoping for a nanoAVR-HDD! That would be perfect actually, similar to the OpenDRC-DI. If the nanoAVR had 4 AES outputs, then that's something I would buy.

If your plate amplifiers had HDMI inputs, then I could use the nanoAVR-HD or nanoAVR-DL.

More searching has revealed an HDMI to AES converter box with 4 AES ports for 7.1 audio. Arvus makes one. So, it is possible to use your gear with your plate amps after all.
Last Edit: 2 months 1 week ago by dirkwright.
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DDRC-88D and home theater 2 months 1 week ago #41288

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Not "my" gear :) But that box has come up before, it costs double (more?) what the DDRC-88D does.
I am not miniDSP support.

"You must ask the right questions." - Dr. Alfred Lanning's hologram.
-> Have you read the User Manual??
-> Have you drawn and posted a diagram?
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-> Have you posted your config file?
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DDRC-88D and home theater 2 months 1 week ago #41289

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I figured as much, that it was really expensive. I cannot find any alternative however. I think it would be great if miniDSP made their plate amps compatible with the nanoAVR series. I do not want to run 20 feet of unbalanced RCA cable either, nor do I think 20 feet of speaker cable is a good idea. I would be fine with 20 feet of balanced analog or digital, but would much prefer digital (either HDMI or AES). I'm mostly happy with my little 2.1 living room system that uses miniDSP components, all connected together with AES. The plate amps have too much noise for high sensitivity loudspeakers, but they are quieter than other brands by a large amount.
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DDRC-88D and home theater 2 months 1 week ago #41291

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That would be pretty neat. But HDMI licensing/DRM wraps everything up so tightly. It's really hard to break out of the mold fashioned by the consumer HT market. How do you have your amps connected now - unbalanced analog from an A/V processor?
I am not miniDSP support.

"You must ask the right questions." - Dr. Alfred Lanning's hologram.
-> Have you read the User Manual??
-> Have you drawn and posted a diagram?
-> Have you posted a screenshot?
-> Have you posted your config file?
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DDRC-88D and home theater 2 months 1 week ago #41295

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For my 2.1 living room system, I have an OpenDRC-DI and 3 miniDSP plate amps. They are all connected by AES. For my basement 2.1 TV system, I have all analog. I'm thinking of changing the basement TV system to something better using miniDSP parts, but it's a bit frustrating.

My old plasma TV has digital audio out via Toslink, but I doubt that more than 2 channels. If there are TVs with multi channel digital out, then that would be the way to go I think. I'll have to look into that.
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DDRC-88D and home theater 2 months 1 week ago #41297

  • alandbush
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There is a thread within this forum that referred to using units from Blackmagic Design.
In particular

1 - Micro Converter HDMI to SDI wPSU
2 - Mini Converter SDI to Audio

The latter is a SDI/HD-SDI/3G-SDI audio de-embedder to 8 ch AES/EBU or 4 ch analog audio.
The pair seem a reasonable cost at under £200. Of course, it complicates the HT system but ...
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DDRC-88D and home theater 2 months 3 days ago #41367

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It sure would be nice if we could have a digital connection between a miniDSP home theater processor and the miniDSP plate amps. I really don't want to make 20 foot runs of analog RCA cables (nor 20 foot runs of speaker cable). AES seems ideal for this application.
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DDRC-88D and home theater 1 month 4 weeks ago #41444

  • mola4000
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It beyond any doubt would be decent in the event that we could have an advanced association between a miniDSP home theater processor and the miniDSP plate amps. I truly would prefer not to make 20 foot keeps running of simple RCA links (nor 20 foot keeps running of speaker link). AES appears to be perfect for this application.
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DDRC-88D and home theater 1 month 6 days ago #41726

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Thanks. Yeah, it seems like miniDSP has a business opportunity with this idea. I did some looking, and only a very few surround sound processors have multiple AES outputs. There are plenty with balanced analog, but almost none with AES. I would be very much tempted to buy something like that from miniDSP if they offered it. Of course, all of those AES connectors take up chassis space, but it would still fit into a simple rack unit I'm sure.
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DDRC-88D and home theater 3 weeks 6 days ago #41896

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alandbush wrote:
There is a thread within this forum that referred to using units from Blackmagic Design.
In particular

1 - Micro Converter HDMI to SDI wPSU
2 - Mini Converter SDI to Audio

The latter is a SDI/HD-SDI/3G-SDI audio de-embedder to 8 ch AES/EBU or 4 ch analog audio.
The pair seem a reasonable cost at under £200. Of course, it complicates the HT system but ...

I am working on this, though I shelved the effort for a while and am just getting back to it. In my case I do not have a DDRC-88D but a nanoAVR HD and DL so I am converting to AES AFTER miniDSP processing and not before.

So far the biggest problem has been HDCP: the nanoAVR DL wants to negotiate it downstream of itself and the HDMI to SDI converter EVEN IF HDCP is not present on the input (most disk players like the OPPO 103D I have provide an "audio only" HDMI output without HDCP. Almost all HDMI to SDI converter, and certainly the Blackmagic ones, do not do HDCP, designed for studio environments where DRM is rarely an issue. I consider this a nasty miniDSP bug that they have not so far addressed. But there is hope.

HDTVsupply here in the US advertises an HDMI to SDI 3G converter that DOES talk HDCP on the HDMI side. It is advertised as providing HDMI interoperability with SDI monitors and NOT for defeating HDCP. They will NOT talk about the technical aspects of this. I have found it works in this application.

Right now I am struggling with setting up for 7.1 channel measurements as I can't get more than 2 channels of pink noise out of the Dirac Live calibration tool Windows app but I am probably doing something stupid. However the general chain of HDMI to SDI to AES to balanced analog audio works.

Caveats: nanoavr DL AFTER nanoAVR HD: the hdtvsupply converter only likes a 48 khz sampling rate. Most will do BM before DL so this should not be an issue. However, 96 and 192 khz sampling are not supported. While struggling to run measurements I noticed a low hiss from the speakers. Not sure if it is due to the AES to balanced audio converters or the miniDSP nanoAVR DL awaiting a measurement sweep or a misconfigures center channel. This will be a deal breaker if it persists. Power cycling POPs: the additional equipment dies not do a good job of supresding these so amps should be cycled off FIRST.

Now, if you are using a DDRC-88D instead of nanoAVRs your chain will be different as you will convert HDMI to SDI to AES BEFORE the 88D and not AFTER a nanoAVR DL so HDCP will not be an issue for you (as most "audio" HDMI outputs don't use it).
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DDRC-88D and home theater 3 weeks 6 days ago #41898

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I thought I had posted this last week, but I never saw my post actually make it on here, so I thought I would try again.

I really need an expert to help a newbie. I have read many good reviews for Dirac Live and the mini-DSP. However, I am confused as to the configuration and what I need to purchase.

I am confused as to the 8in/8out configuration of the supplied XLR breakout cable. Page 12 of the manual (screen shot), clearly shows that each in-cable is a combining of two channels of audio and that each out-cable is also two channels of audio. So, my question is how do I combine two different channels of audio (Front L/R, Surr L/R, SB L/R, C/Sub, or after bi-amping, Front L High/Front R Low, etc...) onto one cable going in, then split the signals up again going out? If I simply use an XLR y-cable, how does the Dirac Live software know which channel is which?

Backgound. I have a Marantz AV8802A, with two Marantz MM8077 (7-channels) amplifiers. All sources are running into the AV8802A by HDMI 2.0. I have 11 speakers and 1 bass module, for a 7.4.1 ATMOS/DTS:X setup. All speaker channels are running from the AV8802A to the amplifiers with XLR cables, but I am intending to bi-amp the F/L/C for a full 14 amplified channels.

I'm confused, but I am willing to learn and give Dirac Live a shot if the setup works with what I have.

Regards,
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DDRC-88D and home theater 3 weeks 5 days ago #41906

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I solved my two channels only problem! I was feeding the second pair of AES audio into the wrong input of the AJA ADA4 DAC. Sending it into the right inputs solved that problem.

Right now, however, the noise floor out of the AJA ADA4s is way too high for some reason. I will try configuring the Blackmagic SDI to audio converter for analog instead of AES3 and seeing if that works better. If so, I will get a second one to daisy chain and drop the ADA ADA4s.
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DDRC-88D and home theater 2 weeks 2 days ago #42057

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First off. Do not confuse the DDRC-88D and 88A. The former accepts and produces DIGITAL signals in AES/EBU format, with two channels multiplexed on each connector. The latter is strictly ANALOG and accepts and produces balanced analog signals. Both formats use XLR connectors: the firmer four cables in and four cables out, and the latter eight in and out with breakout cables from Molex connectors. If you have balances analog audio, the latter is FAR EASIER to work with, though you will incur an A/D and D/A conversion. For an Atmos setup this is likely easiest as I have not found Atmis decoders with digital outputs. You will neef more than ome DDRC-88As for an 11.4.1 setup and will only have one free channel.

You are better off biamping individual drivers AFTER Dirac processing since the signal is corrected on a per channel basis (full range, except for the LFE channel).

Doing things digitally is far more possible if you stick to a 7.1 non-Atmos setup but still a bit of work as I've noted above.
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