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TOPIC: Dual stereo - can it work?

Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49035

  • eugenius
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I assume the SHD series doesn't currently support playing back two stereo streams at the same time / dual room support out of the box.

But can it be made to work? :cheer:
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49036

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Assuming you mean two different stereo streams then no an SHD can't do this, and never will be able to.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49038

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Why can't it do it though?

Firmware reasons?
Hardware reasons?
Software reasons?
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49039

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eugenius wrote:
Why can't it do it though?

Firmware reasons?
Hardware reasons?
Software reasons?

Hardware I'd have thought.
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Ultrasonic.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49043

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Ultrasonic wrote:
Assuming you mean two different stereo streams then no an SHD can't do this, and never will be able to.

I assume having the 4 outputs sharing the same sample clock (not sure if this is really the case) would be a major challenge for streaming two independant stereo sources.
But its not impossble. With clever samplerate conversion this should still be feasible.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49045

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mvs0 wrote:
Ultrasonic wrote:
Assuming you mean two different stereo streams then no an SHD can't do this, and never will be able to.

I assume having the 4 outputs sharing the same sample clock (not sure if this is really the case) would be a major challenge for streaming two independant stereo sources.
But its not impossble. With clever samplerate conversion this should still be feasible.

Is it possible to get two independent source streams in the first place though? And can the rest of the electronics based around just a stereo input cope. I'm very doubtful.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49046

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To get two stereo streams, either play two stereo streams or play one stream and monitor a stereo input.

I would think a device that can do a comprehensive set of signal processing functions (EQ, delay, crossover, compressor/limiter) has the capability of addressing each channel individually.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49049

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The 'proper' solution is to buy another SHD for the other room.

Although with enormous firmware rewrites and heaven know what changes to SHD plugin it may be technically possible to play one 2.0 stream from LAN/USB and another from other hardware inputs the work involved would be immense even if the hardware supported it. and the user interface would likely get considerably more complicated. It's hard to imagine why they would bother to do all that work for an uncommon use case when all it would do would lose them some sales for second rooms.

Conceptually SHD is a 2 channel device with a 4 channel output matrix derived from those two input channels. It isn't even close to coping with two independent stereo outputs except for those 4 output sockets. Nothing else in the hardware, firmware or software would help. And the big elephant in the room is probably Dirac. Would SHD have enough processing power to run Dirac twice anyway. And if you can't run Dirac for both rooms the SHD probably isn't the right device.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49076

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entripy, I beg to differ for the following reasons:

1. The SHD already runs Dirac filters on 4 channels.
2. Minidsp already has devices with multiple outputs that can be used that way so they have the firmware code for them.
3. Two stereo zones is enough for most people. If you can buy a single device to do that and you don't have to deal with network sync problems, that's a great feature.
4. In fact I suspect the number of people who want to run dual subwoofers is way smaller than the number of people who want to run dual stereo zones.
5. It's not unreasonable to expect a device with 4 outputs to make those 4 outputs available to software.

On the other hand, Volumio has to implement the dual stereo zone interface. Minidsp can't just do that themselves.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49078

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eugenius wrote:
1. The SHD already runs Dirac filters on 4 channels.

For clarity, an SHD or SHD Studio can apply just two independent Dirac Live filters. These two channels can then be assigned/combined however the user wants across four outputs. There is not one Dirac Live filter per output.

I'm in complete agreement with @Entripy regarding the demand for what you're after even if it were technically possible (and I still don't think it is).

Simply buying a second, cheaper streamer for whatever your second zone is would be the best option for you by the way. I use a Raspberry Pi as a streamer in my kitchen for example.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49079

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1. Dirac is actually only 2 channel on SHD, it is applied before the 2x4 matrix mixer according to the diagram in the manual. This is also why DLBC would require significant firmware changes.
2. OK, after the 2x4 matrix mixer the somewhat trivial processing is 4 channel. All the tricky bits are 2 channel.
3. Maybe. I bought a second SHD for a second room.
4. Again, hard to prove. I have no real idea but dual subwoofers would possibly be required by anyone with small mains.
5. Well the 4 outputs are available of course, but only as 2.2, not 2 x 2.0. Personally I suspect 2.0 could be too limiting for many people.

Yes, Volumio would need changes and that could be a nightmare since that's a third party. Apart from that it just seems such a trickly change somewhat redefining the basic concept of the box which is rarely a good idea. I still have serious doubts that it could be done without spoiling the user experience for the main use case.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49080

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eugenius wrote:
4. In fact I suspect the number of people who want to run dual subwoofers is way smaller than the number of people who want to run dual stereo zones.

Just to add, I'm not sure why you jumped to dual subwoofers rather than just one there as integrating a single subwoofer well is key functionality of SHDs. Personally I think far more people are likely to be interested in this than running dual zones.

How far apart are your two zones out of interest? If close to each other then sound from one being heard in the other is likely to be an issue, and if far away you'll then have an issue with needing very long cables. Note that if you want to play music in either one zone or the other rather than both at once then you can.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49082

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You're right, they don't run two instances of Dirac live, I just presumed they're discrete channels.

I know frequency isn't everything but maybe the 450MHz DSP in the nanosharc can run Dirac on 2 stereo zones? The 333MHz DSP in the minisharc can run Dirac on 4 stereo zones.

Anyway, even if it's technically possible, it does seem that it's too much work to add dual stereo zones to a product that is probably at the end of its life.

Maybe next generation. :)
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by eugenius.
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49083

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eugenius wrote:
Anyway, even if it's technically possible, it does seem that it's too much work to add dual stereo zones to a product that is probably at the end of its life.

I think you may be dismissing the SHD a bit prematurely there. It's been on the market for less than two years. Time will tell though :) .
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Dual stereo - can it work? 4 months 2 weeks ago #49086

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As a product the SHD is not that old but the minisharc/nanosharc DSP platforms are pretty old . In computer terms, they're ancient.
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