Given your current equipment and your budget:
1. Yes, you are thinking correctly. But if you go this route, then there are two additional purchases that you may want to also consider: First, consider getting dBpoweramp to do your ripping rather than using JRiver for that purpose. dBpoweramp will let you rip to multiple formats (e.g., WAV and FLAC) simultaneously, a terrific feature. Second, consider getting a tablet if you don't already have one. You may find it convenient to control playback using Oppo's media control app installed on a tablet.
2.Yes, there is a simple, easy method for wireless connection to the Oppo. The Oppo comes with a wireless adapter that you just plug into one of its USB ports. Assuming you have a wireless router, the Oppo will be able to communicate wirelessly with JRiver running on your laptop.
4. Can't help you with question 4 but if Oppo's product documentation doesn't answer the question, email Oppo and ask. Their customer service is excellent.
Oh, forgot to mention ... As to wireless vs wired connection, I hear no difference in sound quality. The problem with wireless is the potential for signal dropouts. My wireless signal is pretty good, but I still get annoying dropouts from time to time. Wired is definitely the better way to go if you can. Good luck!
I'll second the wired approach - I tried wireless for a few months and it really depends on your neighbours/familly members wireless usage. They can cause a lot of dropouts.
In the end went wired only and never looked back.
My NAS is a Sharecentre from dlink - dual drive with raid mirror. The only caveat is a slight delay on the first track of a listening session while the computer wakes up and then wakes up the NAS and waits for the track to load into Audirvana before it starts playing.
Once that is over and done with loading the next track is pretty fast - but 24/96 and192 tracks take a little longer to load.
Two things that will improve your system:
1) galvanically isolate your cable box - if you are using cable TV, this has a different grounding system, so you are creating BAD ground loops by connecting it to your TV/audio system. Get a Jensen isolation transformer and put it between the cable an your cable box. Its a 2-3" thing and costs about $40
2) reduce the jitter of the feed from your computer to your DAC. If you are feeding S/PDIF, then use a reclocker like the Synchro-Mesh. If you are using USB, then get a good USB converter like the Off-Ramp 5. Feed the Cambridge DAC with S/PDIF coax and a good cable like my BNC-BNC with RCA adapters. Lowering this jitter is more important than the DAC.
BTW, I agree about ripping with dbpoweramp (with accurate-rip enabled).
The oppo 105 has Asynchronous USB in, it will work fine, you'll need wasapi or KS output on JRiver. If you don't buy the oppo, you will need to do as Steve mentioned and get a good USB to spdif converter for your Dac magic, you need your usb out on your Computer to do the conversion before the dac, so you will need an asynchronous converter. There are plenty available, Steve's is the best and most expensive. I can recommend converters from $100 or so up to Steve's off ramp. I would also add another 4gb stick of Ram to your notebook. If you have 2 1gb sticks, replace 1, if you have 1 2gb stick add the 4gb.
I hope this helps, Tim
Timlub - I recommend the Off-Ramp 5 even with a DAC that has Async USB input. It is not a matter of it working. It is a mater of it sounding really good.
I even recommend using the Off-Ramp with my own Overdrive DAC for best results. I now offer a really good power supply for it, the Dynamo and this makes all the difference.
This all depends on how close you want to come to analog and elimination of harshness that is typical with digital. Its lowering the jitter that gets rid of the harshness without sacrificing detail and imaging.
You can certainly sacrifice detail and imaging with some tube DACs or even cabling etc. to eliminate harshness, but this is not my cup of tea.
Hi Steve, Yes, I knew that you recommended an off ramp regardless of a unit having asynchronous or not and agree, it would be better.... BUT, there are some very decent USB inputs on units these days, as I suspect you would agree, they have improved. I may be wrong, but it sounded to me that the op was on a budget and the Oppo 105 is not a cheap unit, I have played with it and helped a friend set up computer audio through the oppo, it worked fine and sounded quite nice. I have also played with a fair amount of Chinese stuff that is incredible for the price.
Also, I did not mentions before, DB Poweramp was mentioned, it works well, I have it and have used it a fair amount, but I find that EAC - Exact Audio Copy is an equivalent product and its free, you can also enable accu rip on EAC.
Thank you all for your very helpful replies thus far.
I'm getting a clearer picture of what to buy/use. Currently I'm thinking of buying the Oppo bdp-105 and the Synology DS213j NAS(thanks to Dz3827 for the heads up on Synology) to use wirelessly in conjunction with my laptop. I'd also use the DBpoweramp (thanks to Dz3827 and Steve N. for recommending) to rip cds. This is friendly to my $1,500 budget since the Oppo is $1,199 and Synology is $199 (Amazon) which would leave about $100 for the HDMI and analog cabling I'd need. I'd use decent Monoprice cabling to get it up and running then substitute better cables as budget allows.
So, the answers to my questions become:
1. Am I thinking correctly and on the right path with buying an Oppo followed by a NAS?
This seems like a yes.
2. Is there a method to connect my laptop, and future NAS wirelessly to the Oppo? I'm currently running a 12ft USB cable from my laptop to my DAC. I know cabled is better than wireless but curious how much better.
This also seems to be a yes. The Oppo comes with a wireless dongle and the Synology NAS can operate wirelessly, too. However, I may need to go wired if frequent dropouts occur or I'm not satisfied with the wireless sound.
3. Any suggestions for a good, affordable NAS?
Seems Synology is one very good answer to this.
4. Does the Oppo BDP-105 have internal surround sound decoding capability that would allow me to run analog cables to my 3 HT amps directly from its analog outputs and substitute for my Parasound processor?
From several reviews and other sources, I found out the Oppo does have internal 5.1 decoding capability(DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby-True HD)that outputs as 7.1 analog. I'd just need extra rca cables to run from these outputs directly into my 3 amps: front l+r mains into my main amp, center channel+ sub into the 2nd amp and rear l+r surrounds into my surround amp. This would mean retiring my Parasound AV2500 preamp/processor and Cambridge DacMagic DAC. Good, since this frees up rack space for the Oppo and Synology.
Looks like a good plan. The only thing I'm confused about is the need for the Offramp suggested by Steve and others.
Is this critical sound wise? If yes, is it something I could add later? If no, is it something I'd want to add later for an incremental improvement?
I've heard mention of the Offramp and know Steve and his products are well respected, but I'm unclear on exactly what this product does and how it improves sq.
Woops, just realized the Synology is $199 and without hard drives. 2 hard drives would cost another $200 plus. This would drive the total cost to about $1,600 which may be close enough. I don't want to skimp on quality since excellent sq is very important to me.
If you do buy a 105 (which is a great value product no matter how you cut it), one thought to avoid going over budget might be to put the Synology NAS aspect of your plan on the back burner for the time being and instead just buy two external USB harddrives for a total outlay of $150 or less. This would be a less costly way to "get your feet wet." Who knows, you may find after delving into this brave new world that you prefer dealing with physical CDs rather than digital files.
If you are going NAS then make sure you implement a Raid Mirror - I've had to re-load all my CD's because of disk failure - a raid mirror will protect against a single HD failure and recover from it without any re-loading - just replace the defective hard drive!
Is off-ramp critical? - I do not believe so, since I do not have it in my digital layback system (but I'm looking into it :-)
It can be added later, it really depends on how good YOU want your digital music to sound?
Get your feet wet first then look into refinements.
Thanks for the info, I will definitely implement a Raid Mirror. Is this something you can implement on any NAS or is it only available on certain NAS units? Sorry, but I'm a rookie at this right now.
The spec on the NAS will state whether it has RAID quite clearly - you only
need "RAID 0" - the ability to mirror.
The D-Link NAS supports Raid and are very easy to setup.
You might want to go to a good computer store since there are better
quality drives suited to raid - only a couple of bucks more, but will last
much longer that drives suited to desktop computers
The Seagate Constellation line of drives are "enterprise drives" suited to
Raid. They are not as fast as other drives but very durable - 2 Tb $135 or
thereabouts. Take a look at the seagate site for details
Willie, a slight correction if I may. I think you meant to say "RAID 1 -- the ability to mirror."
Regarding wireless vs. wired, I agree with the others that wireless can be problematical in SOME circumstances, depending on the quality of the wireless devices, where they are located relative to each other, possible interference from other wireless equipment in your own or a neighbor's house, what channel is being used, etc. However, I would not necessarily rule it out.
For example, I have been using a Squeezebox Touch for about a year and a half, wirelessly connected to an EnGenius EAP350 wireless access point
(which is not a router; it is just an access point, and it works in conjunction with a separate router that it is wired to). The access point and the Squeezebox are in very different parts of the house. I have not had a single dropout in that year and a half. I should add, though, that the nearest neighbors are a couple of hundred feet away. Also, if it has any relevance, I just use it for Internet radio, not for playing computer files.
Good luck as you proceed! Regards,
Al - thanks for the correction - it is raid 1.
My situation regarding neigbours - I have between 4 and 10 routers active depending on the time of day from surrounding households, and changing channels never completely fixed the problem. Add to that some of the older cordless telephone systems in the neighbourhood, which I'm told can also contribute to dropouts and my number of dropouts were as high as several per hour depending on the number of active routers.
The number of dropouts also went up depending on the the size of the music file e.g. mp3 had very few, 24/192 had several, which makes sense to me.
Direct connection seemed to have fixed this and using Audirvana also ensures no dropouts because it loads the track into memory before playing. Haven't had a dropout since.
Hi Al and Willie (or is that Mr. wonka to me?),
I really appreciate your assistance. I've decided to up my budget a bit, to $1,600 or so, and buy the Oppo BDP-105 and NAS hopefully within a week. The Oppo is a definite buy after reading a lot of great owners' feedback and professional reviews. It just seems like the ideal unit for my situation. As to the NAS, I'm currently considering 2:
The Synology DS213j ($199 on Amazon) with 2 Seagate Constellation 2TB hard-drives (about $135 ea.) which would be a total of about $470.
The Seagate STBN4000100 with 2 2TB hard-drives included is $322 on Amazon.
The Seagate looks like the better value but I don't know what the differences are in user interfaces, customer support and compatibility compared to the Synology.
I understand the mirroring is not the same as backing up, more like redundancy, and will look for this feature on whatever NAS I consider. I believe both of the ones above allow for mirroring 0,1,5 and possibly more protocols.
My main concern is how, and if, this is all going to work together: laptop, Oppo and NAS. I have some questions that I need further assistance with:
1. Should I buy the less expensive Seagate or the recommended Synology?
2. Having the laptop wireless is very convenient and being limited to a 12-14ft USB cable is not working well. The Oppo and NAS will be set right next to each other in my rack. Our only close neighbor is within 100 ft and I know their LAN extends into our house (at times, their network displays as an available network choice on my laptop). Can I reduce dropouts,and will it function properly, if I use a short USB cable from the NAS to the Oppo and leave the laptop connection wireless?
3. Do I use the laptop as the controller via JRiver to download and play hi-rez files, or am I not understanding how the downloading/playback is controlled?
4. Any good websites to learn about choosing and setting up this stuff?
I'm watching the Denver-New England game right now and the 5.1 surround system is sounding great, even with my 20 yr old Parasound pre/processor. I think the new system will probably sound at least as good for ht and much better with discs and downloads. Plus I'm gaining a bluray player as a bonus.
Thanks again to all,
Tim - it's actually Steve - aka Willie
But there is a nice ring to Mr. Wonka :-)
Your setup appears to be quite different from my own in that my computer is wired to the system and all remote function is provided via my tablet that controls playback on the computer, from the NAS drive.
In your proposed configuration it appears the TV can stream, but only the Oppo and the computer can stream from the NAS
However only the computer is capable of downloading music files from the web, which can be stored on the NAS for playback via the Oppo or the computer.
It also appears there is an ability to remotely control the Oppo from an Android device, but I couldn't fing anything about using a computer running OSX or Windows for remote control.
So the only issue I can see relates to how you are going to stream...
- via computer - then you have to connect to the Oppo (as a DAC) via USB or Optical or spdif
- via the Oppo - then you have to use the Oppo's remote to control playback.
I may not be aware of some other Oppo/Computer feature so it might be quite possible without any further hardware.
I would NOT worry about the dropouts in your case - I have three neighbours within 60ft of my house and I have two wireless routers in my house, so it became an issue.
I did come across one review that reported problems with the Seagate NAS, but reported the Synology NAS had worked OK. So you might want to go with the Synology.
Sorry I could be of more assistance.
Tim, I usually find it useful when ordering computer-related things to review the user comments at Newegg.com for the items under consideration, while keeping in mind that negative experiences tend to be disproportionately represented. Here are links to Newegg's listings for the two NAS devices; click on the "reviews" tab a short way down on each page, or on the ratings link just under the title at the top: Seagate STBN4000100Synology DS213j
I haven't taken the time to read most of the comments, but the bottom line appears to not be particularly good for the Seagate. Also, although it appears in the photos to have USB connectors, there is no mention of USB connectivity in the description or the list of system requirements, which seems disconcerting given your intended connection configuration. And based on the description at Amazon, it appears that those connectors may be just for connection of external hard drives or other peripherals TO the NAS, not for connection of the NAS to a host (the Oppo in this case). For that matter, based on a quick look I'm not sure that the same concern doesn't apply to the Synology as well.
Also, you may want to consider ordering from Newegg, as they are considered by many (including me) to be THE place to go for computer-related parts and accessories.
I agree with Willie/Steve that if the only wireless competition is 100 or so feet away you are unlikely to have a problem with it, especially if:
(a)The distance between the laptop and your wireless router or access point, and the distance between the Oppo and the wireless router or access point, is not especially great, and/or there are minimal or no walls or other obstructions in between.
(b)If necessary, you change the channel setting on the wireless router or access point to be a few numbers away from the channel used by the neighbor's wireless equipment. You would do that via its setup menus.
(c)If necessary (and I suspect that it won't be) you install a top-quality wireless access point such as the one I linked to earlier, and use it in conjunction with your existing router. In doing so, you would turn off the router's wireless function, assuming it has one, which should be doable via its setup menus.
Finally, keep in mind that a RAID 1 mirror will protect against failure of one of the two hard drives, but it will not protect against the admittedly much less likely possibility that a problem arises which can destroy or corrupt both hard drives at once. Such as the RAID controller circuitry or its programming going berserk, or the power supply going into an overvoltage condition, or some other latent design issue that may be lurking in any of the equipment that is involved. At some point you should consider adding a second means of backup.
I've been researching setting up wireless systems on various internet sites in an attempt to wrap my head around how all this is configured and controlled. Something must have sunk in because I think I may have figured this out with your assistance.
Could you please confirm my proposed thinking outlined below? I'd like to ensure I'm doing this optimally for sq but realize going wireless is riskier than wired. However, there might be a fatal flaw in my plan that I'll detail after I outline my plan below.
My current plan:
-Laptop is currently wireless and Oppo and NAS are wireless capable with N type' dongles attached at USB inputs of both.
-Laptop, running Windows 7, will act as the controller with assistance of JRiver Media Center and DBpoweramp software.
-NAS will be setup as a storage device on Windows 7 and downloads will be directed via JRiver to the NAS.
-Oppo BDP-105 will be setup as the 'Preferred Output Device' (I believe just as a DAC is).
-Files stored on NAS would be initiated for playback via laptop/JRiver.
-For 5.1 music, tv and Bluray movies, volume would be controlled via the Oppo's remote.
-For 2-channel stereo playback, the Oppo's 'dedicated stereo outputs' would be connected (via my highest quality RCA intrconnect cables) to the 'CD' inputs of my VTL preamp. Volume would be controlled through the preamp. I may need to set the Oppo to 'Stereo' output as well.
The only thing I'm concerned would ruin this plan is my router. I have an AT&T high-speed internet network but I don't know if the router is capable of connecting and routing information to individual devices within this environment. So, worst case, I'm hoping an upgraded router exists that would be capable of this. Is there such a thing as a 'network within a network'? I may need professional help with this setup.
Any suggestions are very welcomed.
What is the make and model number of the router?
My router from AT&T is a Gateway 2Wire with "SSID" and "Wireless Network Key" numbers listed. On the back are also 4 Ethernet ports. Only 1 port is currently connected and runs to my Directv 'Genie' DVR 6ft away. An HDMI cable connects this Genie to a secondary hdtv.
The router and my Genie box are located in my lower level family room. My main system (TV,HT and components) is located a half level up in the living room of my split level house. There is a small 'client server' box located in a low level rack directly below my wall mounted HDTV. This clent server's HDMI output is connected to my tv and the client's 'Optical digital' output is connected to my Parasound pre/pro via Toslink cable.
As I understand it, the AT&T/Gateway router communicates with the Genie via the ethernet cable and with the living room client server wirelessly. There is a wooden studded dry wall separating my living room from the kitchen and dining room behind it. There is a 4-5 ft opening in this wall that serves as a path to the dining room and another 3 ft. opening from the dining room to the kitchen, which is open to the family room a few steps below. The router is located on a desk at the far end of this 18 ft long family room.
The client server, HDTV and my laptop are all located in the mid-level living room and consistently receive strong wireless signals despite the separating wall. I was planning on putting the Oppo and NAS next to the client server in my equipment rack. However, if it is better functionally, I could locate the NAS in my family room and connect it to the Gateway router via ethernet cable.
Tim - If your concern that the router will not have enough connection capability -then you should be ok - most routers of this type can handle upwards of 100 wireless links - at least the ones I have worked with - which include Bell and Rogers
I think the newer models can handle 256.
If you want more ethernet ports you can simply add a regular router and daisychain it to the wireless router.
If you are concerned about throughput - don't worry - high speed routers perform at rates much higher than audio requires.
I took my wired devices (computer and NAS) up to gigabit throughput and it made no difference to playback - even the 24/192 files
Hope that answers your question
Tim, I really don't mean to be patronizing here, but I think you may be well served if you do more reading/research into NAS. I continue to wonder why you think you need it. In any event, a plan to connect NAS to the Oppo via USB suggests to me a misunderstanding of NAS. An external harddrive is something one might connect to the Oppo via USB, but if you invest in NAS you definitely want to connect it directly to your router via Ethernet.
Tim, that all sounds promising in terms of having reliable wireless connectivity. And I agree with Willie/Steve that the router won't have a problem routing between any reasonable number of devices.
If you were to ever find yourself wanting more than the four ethernet ports it provides, btw, the simplest and most inexpensive way of accomplishing that would be with an "unmanaged" network switch. Many models are available at Newegg at very low cost. All you would do is connect the cables to it; no setup or configuration would be involved.
I took a look at the literature on the two NAS devices at the manufacturer websites. One thing that strikes me is that I'm not at all sure that the Seagate NAS is capable of operating wirelessly, through a wireless dongle. There is a very confusing reference to wireless connectivity under "system requirements," but I believe that is intended to mean that for a computer to communicate with the NAS the computer itself needs to be able to connect to the router either wirelessly or wired.
The Synology NAS, as you probably realize, requires that a third party dongle be purchased separately for wireless connectivity. Their site lists a great many suitable dongles.
Regarding USB connectivity, I believe that if the NAS were designed to be able to connect to a host (the Oppo in this case, or a computer) via USB, its USB connector would be the square type, that is used on printers and other peripherals, rather than the rectangular type it has, that is used on computers. And, consistent with GZ's comment, a NAS is basically intended for use on a network, via a router.
Regarding GZ's questioning of the need for a NAS, I think he makes a point that is well worth considering. It would probably be simpler and cheaper to just get two USB external hard drives, one used for playback and the other for backup. Or better yet, get three drives and have two backups.
Al,Steve and Steve,
I think you're correct, I may not have a need for a NAS. I realize I have limited knowledge on setting up a computer based audio/video system and therefore may not be thinking about this in the best manner.
You have all been very kind and helpful and I don't want to take up too much more of your time.
In retrospect, what I really should have asked in the beginning is the following:
I want to incorporate an Oppo 105 into my HT system. I'd like to use my laptop, running JRiver V19, to store and playback 24/96, 24/192 and ripped cd audio files wirelessly to the Oppo. I also want to increase my laptop's storage capacity to at least 1TB and have a backup system in place.
What do I need to accomplish this?
My main concern is sending audio files wirelessly to the Oppo for playback.
Does the included wireless dongle on the Oppo allow this?
Or do I need to add something on my laptop to permit this?
Should I just upgrade the internal hd on my laptop to a 1TB unit?
Do external 1TB hds exist that are wireless or do they all connect via hardwire into the USB port?
Ideally, I'd like to locate an added hd next to the Oppo in my rack.
Thanks in advance,
You can use Win8 WMP wirelessly to stream audio to your OPPO. It is a DLNA device so this is built-in. The problem will be audio quality (jitter) because it uses a clock inside the Oppo for master clock. Also, not sure how user friendly DLNA will be with Win8. I have heard some complaints.
If it were me, I would use a USB converter like the Off-Ramp 5 that delivers a low-jitter hi-res signal over coax to the Oppo. You will have to connect the computer (any type) using up to 16 foot USB cable to the USB converter and then a really good coax cable about 1.5-2.5m long to the Oppo. The coax input on the Oppo is very good.
I misspoke - the DLNA to the Oppo is wired Ethernet, so you will need a router nearby.
I use my Oppo with wired Ethernet to view internet TV and movies.
Bowing out ... lotsa luck
Tim - I have taken a look at the user manual for the Oppo BDP105 and although it appears you can access media files on a NAS drive over a wireless network it starts getting quite complex and if you have never done this type of thing before it can suck the life right out of you.
My experience with another media player that used similar techniques and protocols to access data over a LAN was very frustrating and made me adopt a different solution that was much easier to setup and far more elegant to use, but that solution does not address your particular requirements.
Since I have no hands on experience of this type of player there is no real advice I can provide. Perhaps other members can assist you
Wished I could have been of more assistance :-(
My main concern is sending audio files wirelessly to the Oppo for playback. Does the included wireless dongle on the Oppo allow this?
Yes. While I have no experience with Oppo equipment, I'm not sure that it would be as daunting as Willie is anticipating. See page 44 (pdf page 48) of the manual
. Note in particular the third method that is indicated:
Accessing a SMB/CIFS [e.g., a Microsoft Windows Network] client: the player can directly access files shared through SMB/CIFS clients over the network, as if accessing an external USB hard drive. Most computers, especially those installed with Windows, already have an SMB client embedded. Please refer to respective OS instructions to set up the SMB/CIFS shared file/folder.
So if you have the music files on an external USB hard drive connected to the laptop, it seems to me that you would just have to set the properties of the folder containing them to allow them to be shared on the network.
Should I just upgrade the internal hd on my laptop to a 1TB unit?
No. For a variety of reasons it is generally considered highly preferable to have music files stored on a different drive than the one containing the operating system and program files.
Do external 1TB hds exist that are wireless or do they all connect via hardwire into the USB port?
Generally only NAS-type devices will provide wireless connectivity for hard drives. Plain old external hard drives connect via either USB (most common), or other wired interfaces such as Firewire, eSATA, and Thunderbolt. Some external drives provide more than one of these interfaces.
Ideally, I'd like to locate an added hd next to the Oppo in my rack.
Given the foregoing, you could either connect an external USB hard drive directly to the Oppo, and play the files on it via the Oppo, or you could connect the USB hard drive to the laptop and play the files on it via the network wirelessly. Or, since you would have the files stored identically on at least two drives for backup purposes, you could have one drive connected to the Oppo and one connected to the laptop, and play from either.
Using a high quality USB-to-S/PDIF converter between the laptop and the Oppo, as Steve suggested, is another alternative, that I suspect would give excellent results but at considerably greater cost. The tradeoff of cost vs. benefit between that and the other approaches would involve differences in the sonic performance of the Oppo through its various interfaces, about which I have no particular knowledge.
Al - I get the impression that Tim's ultimate goal is to have a seperate hard
drive next to the Oppo (connected in some manner) and Tim sitting in his
listening chair with his laptop, using JRiver to control the next track to play,
or downloading song titles to said hard drive and it's all accomplished
And that's a very reasonable expectation with the technology available
However, I do not believe this is possible without considerable knowledge
of the various protocols cited in the manual and how to set them up on
each piece of equipment.
Remember "Plug and Pray" :-)
From the manual it looks as though it is achievable, but my own personal
experience tells me it might not be as straight forward as the manual
indicates and it could become very frustrating.
I may not be "Super Techie", but I'm a pretty savvy computer
user and now use windows and OSX for streaming, which I found very easy
to setup by comparison.
The media players I tried on the other hand, worked to a fashion, but were
very flaky and were sometimes affected by OS releases. The whole setup
became labour intensive. As they say - "the devil's in the
As far as the network stuff, I agree Tim should not suffer dropouts or have
issues passing files between devices - once he gets it configured correctly
As far as the Oppo is concerned - unfortunately, I have no practical
experience to offer that will contribute to an operational solution.
Apologies if I'm not too positive on this one - perhaps just a little Media
Player battle weary :-)
Give me a computer any day - i can tweak them!
Steve, Al and Steve,
Williewonka (Steve) hit my goal exactly in his last reply:
"Al - I get the impression that Tim's ultimate goal is to have a seperate hard
drive next to the Oppo (connected in some manner) and Tim sitting in his
listening chair with his laptop, using JRiver to control the next track to play,
or downloading song titles to said hard drive and it's all accomplished
And that's a very reasonable expectation with the technology available
Yes, that is exactly what I would like to do. I don't need the hard drive necessarily next to the Oppo, though.
The drive could be located near my laptop/listening chair or connected via Ethernet cable next to my router downstairs in my family room.
My ultimate goal is to use my laptop to play hi-rez music and ripped cds wirelessly through the Oppo to utilize its Dacs and output to my system via analog cables.
Originally, I thought a NAS would be the best solution since it could be a 2 hard drive system (2 bay) that could use Raid protocol to guard against losing my music files.
Now I'm thinking I may need to pay for some local assistance from a computer shop that makes house calls.
Meantime, I'm going to continue searching the internet for info. It would be great if Oppo had 'How-To' videos for newbies like me.
You guys have been great!
Thank you very much,
Tim - here's a thought - is there anywhere near you that has the Oppo in a system so you can go and get a detailed demo of the interface?
That could save a lot of time and streamline your decision making
The one thing I have found with the media streamers and streaming software I have tried is their interface, although adequate in that they allow you to select tracks or make playlists, but they lack library viewing flexibility. They allow you to navigate the various hard drives and usb sticks, but the meta-data (song title, artist, composer, album) is not clearly visible/sortable.
My personal favoute is iTunes because of its interface - if you want to try it just download iTunes for Windows and play with it for a bit then you'll be able to see what features are available.
Don't get me wrong - iTunes is not perfect by any means, but it's a great fit for the way I like to view my library and play music
I just took a quick look at the Oppo remote control apps and most only replicate the functions of the remote - there is one that offers "media control" which displays folders and files, without having to turn the monitor on - HOWEVER - it is only for apple devices and it,s called Media Control HD - take a look at it.
So one last Oppo centric suggestion - since the Oppo has the ability to be controled from Apple devices how about...
1. Get the Oppo and use the wireless dongle to connect to the network
2. Get the NAS drive - it will connect the the network/Oppo wirelessly
3. Use your computer just to download files to the Nas drive wirelessly
4. Buy an Apple iPad and get the Oppo Media Control HD software - the iPad mini should suffice - or pickup a second hand iPad for much less.
This should get you full remote control ability from your armchair with minumum fuss and you don't have to turn on the TV :-)
It may not be ideal, since it brings in the iPad, which you may not be familiar with - but the iPad is pretty easy to use. You could also download files directly to the hard drive from the iPad while playing tunes:-)
Just a thought
Back to the tunes :-)
Just talked to Nathan at Oppo cust.serv. He said the 105 is capable of doing what I want wirelessly.
Here's what he told me from memory:
-Plug the supplied wireless Dongle into a USB port on the back and connect to my network. The 105 will then show up as a Device on my network and be able to receive firmware updates.
- Set up my audio files to be shared folders and the 105 will be able to access them. I could go into the Network input on the 105, select a file and drill down to play the track I want.
- Or, he said I could go into JRiver and 'push' the selected song to the 105 wirelessly. The 105 should be setup as the 'preferred output device' on JRiver and Windows 7 on the laptop.
-He also recommended downloading 'OSHARE' which is a free file sharing app.
-He suggested this will all become clearer once I actually start using the 105.
-He also suggested isolating the laptop duties from the 105's duties as much as possible for best sound and to minimize chances of a virus.
-Or, an external HD could be added to either the laptop or to the 105. I also could use a NAS attached to the router and would be accessible to the 105.
All good news and things are becoming clearer to me but I'm still a bit fuzzy and my head just did a complete 360 degree turn. I still may employ the services of a pro just to help me setup and explain things.
Your idea of the IPad is probably a good one but the idea of adding another device to this puzzle just made my head do that turn again. I'll consider that down the line, once I get this system up and running. Thanks, appreciate your efforts.
I'm going to search the JRiver website for any more info on this.
Setting the folder(s) to be shared on the network is just a matter of a few clicks in Windows 7. Post back if and when you'd like me to describe that in detail.
Tim - it's sounding much better
I liked the part about pushing to the Oppo with the laptop - that's a nice feature of JRiver and sounds very simple.
Hope everything goes smoothly.
Steve,Al and Willie-Steve,
Thank you all very much for your help and patience. I'm getting closer and will be ordering the Oppo and hard drive(s) later this week. I also found a local independent computer company that will help me set it all up. Only downside is they charge $100/hr. I figure a few hundred bucks to do this is just the price I pay for my ignorance and to stop my head from doing those painful 360 degree spins.
Once it's all operational and I use it for awhile, I'll consider the Off Ramp, iPad remote and other enhancements.
I'll also post a new thread on this forum detailing the particulars and impressions of how it all sounds for others' reference. I hope I can be as patient,knowledgeable and helpful to other newbies as all you guys were to me.
Talk with u all later,
Just wanted to give an update to all who are following this thread and are interested:
I ordered an Oppo BDP-105 from Crutchfields for $1,219 with no sales tax and free shipping(Amazon and Oppo-direct had it for $1,199 but charged $27 for shipping which made the Crutch a whopping $7 cheaper that I used to buy a 3ft HDMI cable used between my satellite client box and the HDMI input on the back of the Oppo).
It has all been setup in my system via the supplied wireless dongle in one of the Oppo's 2 back panel USB 3.0 inputs. It's now wirelessly connected to my network and updated with the latest firmware.
The Oppo 105's (8)7.1 channel analog outputs are connected into my 5.1 and 2-channel system in the following manner:
Connected 4 of the 8 analog outputs from the Oppo directly into 2 of my 3 amps: center channel out to the right channel input on an Adcom 545, sub out to one side of a Y-adapter attached to the left channel input on the Adcom 545 and the surround side l+r out (Note: the 'SBL' and 'SBR', Surround Back Left and Right, channels are not connected if using a 5.1 system, the 'SL' and 'SR' are used as the rear surrounds instead) to an Adcom 535.
Connected the front l+r outputs to the 'Processor In' l+r on my VTL 2.5 preamp with HT passthru.
Connected the 'Dedicated stereo' unbalanced l+r outputs to the VTL's 'CD' l+r inputs using my best analog cables. Then the VTL's l+r main 'A' outputs into the l+r inputs on my Class D Audio 440CS amp. The VTL's left channel 'B' output to the open side of the Y-adapter on the Adcom 545's left channel input. This Y-adapter allows the bass to be sent to my sub for both 5.1 surround and 2-channel stereo since I won't be listening to 5.1 surround and stereo at the same time. It'll be either one or the other in use, not both at the same time. Control of which is in use via the VTL's front panel 'HT Passthru'.
Sorry so detailed on connections but thought it might helpful to some readers. Plus it's also a good hookup guide if I ever relocate.
As expected, I was able to remove the "oldie but a goodie" Parasound AV2500 preamp/processor and the very good Cambridge DacMagic DAC from my system(both decided to retire to Miami, btw).
My plan is still to incorporate either a NAS (Network Attached Storage) or regular Hard Drives (Laptop or Oppo Attached Storage)into my system. I haven't decided which yet but I'm currently planning on using approx. 2 TBs of storage for my future WAV and FLAC audio files, maybe 3 TB or more if I decide to store video files, too.
I found a good local source, Matt from EZPC, to help me decide and setup my solution.
I'll update again once I have it completed and have listened to some 24/96&192 music downloads for awhile.
I'm very pleased with the performance of the 105 thus far and I'm glad I decided to buy it. I love this thing already and haven't even played a Bluray or hi-rez music file yet, just Directv in DTS/Dolby 5.1 surround
Tim - that's great - you are well on your way
Yes, I feel like I made some decent progress last week. I really wish there was a manual or tutorial on how this is all setup: laptop with JRiver v18, Oppo 105, Gateway router and NAS or external hard drives. I want to set this up, at least initially, wirelessly and only use Ethernet hard wire connections if sound quality or functionality is not high quality. My impression, thus far, is that wireless audio and video fidelity is very high.
I have the Oppo attached to my home network and the internet and have watched some Netflix movies streamed wirelessly in 1080p and they both looked and sounded great. I can also go into the Oppo's "Network" menu and see several files of CDs I ripped to my laptop, which means the Oppo has access to my laptop files and can 'Pull' these files and stream them wirelessly utilizing its internal Saber dacs to convert into analog outputs. All 3 of the CDs that were 'pulled' sounded great but, of course, they were only standard redbook resolution at 44.1khz/16 bit.
Once I figure out how to incorporate JRiver into this and 'Push' files to the Oppo wirelessly, then I'll be in a good position to add a Nas, or at least an external hard drive, to the system and start downloading some high-resolution WAV and FLAC files. At that point, I'll really be where I want to be and will be able to build a library of hi-res songs/albums to really take advantage of the Oppo's capabilities.
Once I get a better handle on all this, I'm currently thinking I'll add a NAS system consisting of the following:
Synology DS-112 or Qnap TS-119PII single -bay (diskless)NAS. For my needs, I didn't think a RAID multi-disk NAS was required. I love my music but I can get by without it for a few days if a drive conks out. I narrowed it down to one of these NASes due to their reasonable price ($170-180 without drives) and they both have USB 3.0 ports (much faster read and write than USB 2.0 ports) for attached external hard drive backups.
Western Digital 'Red' 2TB($99) or Seagate 'Barracuda' 2TB ($88) 3.5" internal hard drive.
Seagate 'Backup Plus' 2TB external hard drive ($99) connected via USB 3.0 NAS port for automatic and scheduled file backups.
As usual, please don't hesitate to offer your thoughts and advice. Until I gain more knowledge and experience in computer audio, I can use all the assistance and advice I can get.
Tim - not sure what your expectations are regarding quality of the different sample rates.
I've found it depends on the quality of the engineering and not the sample rate.
e.g. I downloaded a Melody Gardot album as MP3 - the engineering is superb and I do not find it any worse quality wise than my CD's or the 24/96 and 24/192 tracks I have downloaded
The 24/96-192 tracks are all superbly engineered so they can sound better than many CD's these days. But if you had the same album in all formats it would probably sound the same.
But this depends on your DAC and how it handles the different sample rates and whether it up-samples or not.
The Seagate Constellation line of drives are "enterprise drives" as I mentioned above
- yes, they are more suited to raid, but that's because RAID is hard on drives and they are a workhorse
- they will last much longer than other drives
- They may be a little more expensive and a little slower, but they are still the best drive for this application.
- I have friends with a computer store that only uses these in their servers (and the computers they sell me) because their failure rate is so low.
Question - do you know if the Oppo buffer the data before conversion?
That would be a bonus :-)
You should check out the Oppo 105 owners thread over on AVS forums. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1439524/official-oppo-bdp-105-owners-thread/8940 You can get your questions answered over there. Also, be aware, that there is a new 105D model that is now one or two months old. It has the Darbee technology in it. Basically it has better video capability. You should definitely give that some consideration as well, especially if you have a projector.
I have a 105 and use it for 2-channel though a McIntosh MA 6500 integrated into Martin Logan Vantage speakers and it is a nicely resolving piece. I very much like it and it does all duties in my system including Bluray (via 55" TV), which it really is quite spectacular at.
Thanks for the heads-up on the AVS forums. I've read many of the numerous posts on the 105 and find it very useful but haven't yet discovered solutions to my particular situation. In fact, this forum was a key reason I decided to buy the 105. A computer savy friend is helping me out tomorrow to assist in system setup solutions.
I've read many reviews recently confirming the positive attributes of the Seagate Constellation hard drives. I am still considering these even though they cost more, thanks.
A far as my expectations of hi-rez 24/96-192 downloads, I have sampled a few sample tracks from Bluecoast Records through my former Dacmagic mini 100 DAC and was very impressed. I could definitely notice its superiority over cd.
And, yes, I do understand the importance of quality engineering in the final results. I've also learned that downloads recorded in 24/96-192 will sound better than regular CDs just placed in a 24/96-192 'container'. Bluecoast has many recordings recorded in hi-rez but the artists, although usually very good, are not the tracks currently most in demand. Hopefully, the more popular artists and recor labels will start recording in hi-rez. Seems to be likely but you never know.
Once I start actually buying and listening to computer downloads, the quality of the engineering and overall sq will become my next area of focus.
Forgot to answer your question on the 105's buffering of music data. I pulled the following info from Blu-ray.com:
3. "OPPO BDP-93/95 has 2GB of built in flash memory compared to only 1GB of built in flash memory for the new OPPO BDP-103/105: The BDP-93/95 has a total of 2GB of flash memory reserved for internal storage. 1GB is used for BD-LIVE persistent storage and 1GB is used for buffering streaming services. According to my communications with OPPO Digital INC the new OPPO BDP-103/105 will only have 1GB of internal flash memory (512MB is used for BD-LIVE persistent storage and 512MB is used for buffering streaming services). To meet the Profile 2.0 specification a USB external storage drive that is 1GB or larger is required. This is a disappointment since all prior OPPO Blu-ray players had 1GB of internal storage reserved for BD-LIVE. The new OPPO BDP-103/105 cuts the internal storage in half for both streaming services and BD-LIVE."
So, it looks like the 105 has 512mb of storage devoted to buffering.
Do you think this will be adequate for FLAC, WAV and CD playback?
Meeting the USB 2.0 Profile requirements seems assured since I'll use 2 TB drives and a 2 TB backup drive However, the Oppo , my NAS and backup drives will utilize the faster USB 3.0 ports. So, do you know if USB 3.0 Profile requirements will be met?
I only have a rudimentary knowledge of how buffering affects sq. But I know it's related to sending the musical data to the DAC in an accurate and timely manner and, if the data is not completely accurate and timely, sq will suffer.
On a related topic of data transfer speeds and using wireless vs wired Ethernet with the Oppo, I found another interesting bit of info on Blu-ray.com:
"The funny thing is the Wireless N adapter on the OPPO BDP-103/105 is rated at 150Mbps which means under ideal conditions the wireless networking is 50Mbps faster than the Ethernet connection since 1Gbps Ethernet was not part of the hardware design."
Of course, just because the wireless 105 transfers at 150M and the wired Ethernet is limited to 100M, that doesn't necessarily mean wireless will sound better.
Discovered I actually had JRiver version 18, not v19 like I thought. Wasn't sure about any new improvements I'd benefit from on v19 but, just to be on the safe side before I start downloading hi-rez files, I decided to update to v19 anyway since it was only $26.
Jerry, a computer proficient friend stopped by Sunday and, within 15 minutes, had the Oppo 105 recognized by and listed as the playback device on JRiver. So, I've reached another milestone by now being able to go into JRMC on my laptop and 'push' ripped CD files to the 105 wirelessly. Yahoo!
After having some issues with my setup(I described the setup in an earlier post) I decided to simplify connections and get things functioning and stable by taking my VTL preamp temporarily out of my system. I'll probably add the preamp back in once I determine how best to do it. I really like the combination of the VTL, with NOS Mullard tubes, and my ClassD Audio amp and want to somehow incorporate it back in.
So, after taking the VTL out, I now have the Oppo directly connected to my amp through the 105's 'dedicated XLR outputs and my amp's XLR inputs. I used a pair of Audioquest cables and prefer the secure attachment of these plugs.
The system is sounding very good under this setup but I can't honestly claim that this direct connection, or the use of decent XLR cables, improved the sound of my system when compared to all RCA cables being used. However, I did have to adjust the 'trim' level on my main speakers under the Oppo's 'speaker configuration' setup menu after noticing the 5.1 surround sound was slightly out of balance. The front left & right mains were slightly louder than the other 3 speakers. I adjusted the 'trim' to -3.0 db on both Magnepan 2.7 front mains to compensate and all is sounding very good. My theory is that the XLR cable connection method actually did lower the noise floor which caused the front mains to sound louder than the other 3 speakers that are connected via RCA unbalanced connections.
As I currently see my journey, I still have a few steps to take before I can start enjoying hi-rez WAV and FLAC music downloads:
1. Finalize my backup and storage strategy then buy and install it. Almost ready to order a Synology DS112 or Qnap TS-119P NAS ($170-180/Amazon)with a Seagate Barracuda 2 TB HD($89/Newegg) as storage and a 2TB Seagate Backup Plus($99/Amazon or Newegg)) as the backup solution.
2. Complete configuration of JRMC, including setup of Folders based on resolution. I'm currently thinking of creating 5 initial Folders: 1. my ripped CD collection in 16/44.1 2. 24/96 FLAC files. 3. 24/96 WAV files. 4. 24/192 FLAC files. 5. 24/192 WAV files. This could change as I gain knowledge of, and experience with, JRMC.
Once these 2 steps are completed, I'll finally be able to move on to the fun part of downloading and enjoying hi-rez music. My final step is finding high quality download sites at reasonable prices. I'm aware of AIX, HD Tracks and Bluecoast records.
Again, thanks to everyone on this thread and my friends, Jerry and Dave, for helping me get this far on my journey thus far.
Please let me know of any good, well engineered hi-rez recordings and/or sites you're aware of. I prefer acoustic rock, jazz, r&b, blues or really any music that is well played and recorded and portrays a 3 dimensional soundstage that gives that 'you are there'or 'they're in the room' illusion.
Tim - for some of the best sounding downloads that meet your criteria I would strongly suggest that you check out Sound Liaison
. While they currently only have four titles available, they are all superb recordings made in true 24/96 resolution. I wish there was more content as well done as these!
I'll definitely check out Sound Liaison. I'm keeping a list of potential good sites and good recordings and SL is now on it.
Thanks a lot, Bill.
If anyone is still interested, I took another couple of steps on my computer audio journey on Tuesday 2/4/14:
1. Ordered a Synology DS112j NAS and a Seagate Barracuda 2TB internal 3.5" hard disk drive. Best Buy had a good price of $252, but was even a few dollars less at Amazon, Newegg and B&H Photo. Synology also offers a DS112 (no "j" suffix) 1-bay NAS that has twice the internal memory (512 vs 256) and 2 USB 3.0 ports as compared to the DS112j's 2 USB 2.0 ports but also costs between $30-50 more. Since the Seagate Backup Plus (see #2 below)uses a USB 2.0 connection anyway, I thought any net increase in speed would not benefit me very much so I decided to save the money instead. If this was for work rather than home use, I probably would've chosen the marginally increased speed.
2. Ordered a Seagate Backup Plus 2TB external backup hard disk drive. Bought it from BB for $94, it was a good price but Amazon was even a bit less. I wasn't too concerned over a few dollars since I earn 'Reward Points' through BB, one's nearby and it was simpler placing 1 order for all.
Equipment should arrive in a week or less. My skilled friend, Jerry, will help me setup and configure everything. I'll post again after additional progress is made.
If nothing else, this thread may serve as a guide to future computer audio newcomers. Is that a light at the end of this obsessive tunnel?
Tim - the 512mb should be ok. You never need the entire track in the buffer - just enough to prevent gaps in the playback.
Bill - thanks for the heads up on Sound Liason - gonna check that out :-)