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HDMI -> ATMOS -> DIRAC -> AES67/DANTE 1 year 4 months ago #54306

  • cputoaster
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I would love to use some nice active speakers for my next setup (eg Nubert NuPro X or Genelec). To get to the holy grail of an all-digital path, I could get a JBL SDP-55, have a huge box with lots of DACs and connectors, and not use all except one HDMI in and one ETH out. Speakers would be connected to ETH->AES3 connectors (alibaba s-track da22, ca. $100/pc).
Is there a chance that miniDSP could do the same HDMI eARC -> ATMOS 11.3 -> Dirac Live -> AES67 conversion with much less hardware in a small box? It's clear that the licensing fees would still be high, but at least the HW would be less bulky and power consuming, and hopefully the package would cost less than the JBL. And as its a HW box, DRM and licensing conditions etc could be satisfied. I would be fine with mandatory room correction (aka changes) for older channel based surround formats so the AES67 output cannot be used to directly copy the decoded digital streams. With object based formats its moot anyway as rendered speaker channels will not allow reconstruction of the original digital object streams.
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Last edit: by cputoaster.

HDMI -> ATMOS -> DIRAC -> AES67/DANTE 1 year 3 weeks ago #55659

  • SDX
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I certainly second this.
JBL Synthesis examples shows that it is possible. Adding SPDIF outputs would make attaching an external DAC for legacy speakers/subs very simple, so that everyone could use the product, even if they only use home-audio amps and speakers.

Even in Genelec's demo room in Berlin they use Blu-Ray player connected to and AV processor with analog XLR outputs, despite having otherwise all-digital system for other sources.

The main reason why you need digital connections all the way to the speaker is because the best speakers out there use DSP crossovers and corrections, so any analog signal that comes in has to be digitized, DSP processed and then converted back to analog with the internal speaker DAC anyway.

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HDMI -> ATMOS -> DIRAC -> AES67/DANTE 9 months 1 week ago #57114

  • midas
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I second this too. I've been searching for a all-digital theater setup using Dante or AES67. On the amplifier side there is a lot of offering with Dante. It doesn't feel right that we still have to need an analog processing chain when the source is digital. The only step where a DAC fits is in the last step before the power amplifier.

However the main challenge seems to be keeping the audio decode chain digital (the "ATMOS" step in the tile) as it is licensed and under terms that disallows consumer equipment to use unencrypted digital audio streams. There exists products in the marked that can do this in a digital-only workflow, but I suppose they are not in the consumer category as being either very expensive or for the professional market.

A digression: I made technical feasibility experiment a couple of years back, where I reverse engineered a receiver to gain access to the raw I2S stream to the DAC and made an FPGA conversion board into AES/EBU. That worked well, but a system like this can never be industrialized.
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Last edit: by midas.
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