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DLNA Server Box with LAN Output


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Does anyone use or know of a box ( beside the obvious bigger NAS, CAPS, MacCAPS, JPlay solutions) designed for audio that can be used to run a DLNA server with a LAN output? A low power, low-electrically-noisy (LEN?), low process solution.

 

An SOtM sMS-100 Mini Server type but with a LAN instead of an USB output?

 

This in conjunction with a LAN input DAC might be a sweet setup.

 

Cheers

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Does anyone use or know of a box ( beside the obvious bigger NAS, CAPS, MacCAPS, JPlay solutions) designed for audio that can be used to run a DLNA server with a LAN output? A low power, low-electrically-noisy (LEN?), low process solution.

 

An SOtM sMS-100 Mini Server type but with a LAN instead of an USB output?

 

This in conjunction with a LAN input DAC might be a sweet setup.

 

Cheers

May I ask what attracts you to an "sMS-100 type" device rather than a NAS, CAPS, etc? A DLNA server requires a full computer of some form or another.

 

Your closest might be the J.River iD. Also, not an off the shelf solution, but you could use something like a RaspberryPi or Beagle Bone board with an external HDD. Or (for example) take a ASUS VivoPC and fit a large HDD inside.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I certainly agree with Eloise. The box running a UPnP/DLNA media server has nothing to do with the audio playback process as it only supplies the UPnP/DLNA renderer with the music files over the network. It's the renderer that does the actual music playing and hence it is only that device that deals with the digital audio signal that gets passed to the DAC.

 

I think that you may have misunderstood how UPnP/DLNA network streaming works, if by these sorts of statements you actually think that realtime digital audio signal data is being streamed over the network, rather than non realtime file data (ie the fact that the audio file data can be used to produce a realtime digital audio signal is not relevant to the UPnP/DLNA network streaming process):

An SOtM sMS-100 Mini Server type but with a LAN instead of an USB output?

 

This in conjunction with a LAN input DAC might be a sweet setup.

John

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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May I ask what attracts you to an "sMS-100 type" device rather than a NAS, CAPS, etc? A DLNA server requires a full computer of some form or another.

 

Your closest might be the J.River iD. Also, not an off the shelf solution, but you could use something like a RaspberryPi or Beagle Bone board with an external HDD. Or (for example) take a ASUS VivoPC and fit a large HDD inside.

 

Eloise

 

Hi Eloise,

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

 

It is more of a thought to do with the benefit I have heard from keeping the box ( in my current case a MacCAPS) that is attached to the DAC as low noise, low process as possible. To avoid as much electrical noise from reaching the DAC as possible. With a NAS (Synology running Media Server) only 2-5 processes are running during file serving, which is a tenth of the most tweaked Mac out there currently. But it still is a 72W computer not optimized electrically.

 

JRiver's Id looks interesting, and I have a few open questions for them on another thread. It might not output through the LAN though.

 

Am even considering just ripping the NAS apart for use of its mobo, OS and apply similar CAPS tweaks to the rest: metal case, SATA filters, fanless, separate LPSU and isolation for the drives and mobo, 3M sheets, etc.

 

Although it might not make any difference at all if I just put a wifi bridge (lpsu powered) in between NAS and DAC.

 

And there is the deep end......:)

 

Cheers

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I certainly agree with Eloise. The box running a UPnP/DLNA media server has nothing to do with the audio playback process as it only supplies the UPnP/DLNA renderer with the music files over the network. It's the renderer that does the actual music playing and hence it is only that device that deals with the digital audio signal that gets passed to the DAC.

 

I think that you may have misunderstood how UPnP/DLNA network streaming works, if by these sorts of statements you actually think that realtime digital audio signal data is being streamed over the network, rather than non realtime file data (ie the fact that the audio file data can be used to produce a realtime digital audio signal is not relevant to the UPnP/DLNA network streaming process):

John

 

Hi John,

 

Thanks for your input. Indeed the file serving, as opposed to real-time audio streaming, function of a DLNA server might negate the need for such a specialty box. A wifi bridge might be all that is required to provide the DAC the necessary isolation. Unless it is hardwired perhaps? Yes, LAN has inbuilt transformers, but I have had a benefit from LAN Isolators.

 

Cheers

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If you are of the belief that electrical noise from a NAS can traverse a network; just use a CAPS type build as a UPnP server. Use multiple drives if needed for space backed up individually and don't worry about RAID.

 

Ripping a NAS apart and using its motherboard is likely not going to do anything for noise and will be expensive.

 

KISS is usually the best option.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Tranz:

Eloise and the onion guy are right. Once you separate the file storage via Ethernet from the machine actually attached and "rendering" to the DAC, most of the tweaks you like to do will not be heard. All the hard work you have put in on your MacCAPS is effective because you are quieting/cleaning/minimizing for the computer generating realtime the signal to your DAC.

 

To illustrate:

You may recall my long experiments with the SQ differences between FireWire drive enclosures (all from OWC, but with different combinations of interfaces on them) and how the FW400 port sounded best. This of course was beat by internal SATA, then SD, then RAMdisk, etc. But once I disconnected all drives from the music computer and took files via a direct Ethernet connection (no EN switch) to another machine sharing drives, the differences between those drives (the same ones from first FW attached tests) went away. Does not matter if the shared drives at the desktop computer are internal SATA, RAMdisk, any daisy-chained FW, heck, even USB. Can't hear a difference. And better PS for the drives at the desktop computer end makes no difference (but did for same drive when connected to music computer). One disclaimer: My desktop computer/drives are not on the same AC circuit or even same house sub-panel.

But the Ethernet settings and the quality of the EN cable between the machines does matter--it's the the line actually connected to the player computer.

 

So do some experimenting first to hear what does and does not matter. But don't expect to fall in love with the SQ from any DLNA set up! ;)

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If you are of the belief that electrical noise from a NAS can traverse a network; just use a CAPS type build as a UPnP server. Use multiple drives if needed for space backed up individually and don't worry about RAID.

 

Ripping a NAS apart and using its motherboard is likely not going to do anything for noise and will be expensive.

 

KISS is usually the best option.

 

Thanks Eloise.

 

I guess sometimes in this hobby the constant nagging to improve is a detriment and triggers OCD. :)

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Tranz:

Eloise and the onion guy are right. Once you separate the file storage via Ethernet from the machine actually attached and "rendering" to the DAC, most of the tweaks you like to do will not be heard. All the hard work you have put in on your MacCAPS is effective because you are quieting/cleaning/minimizing for the computer generating realtime the signal to your DAC.

 

To illustrate:

You may recall my long experiments with the SQ differences between FireWire drive enclosures (all from OWC, but with different combinations of interfaces on them) and how the FW400 port sounded best. This of course was beat by internal SATA, then SD, then RAMdisk, etc. But once I disconnected all drives from the music computer and took files via a direct Ethernet connection (no EN switch) to another machine sharing drives, the differences between those drives (the same ones from first FW attached tests) went away. Does not matter if the shared drives at the desktop computer are internal SATA, RAMdisk, any daisy-chained FW, heck, even USB. Can't hear a difference. And better PS for the drives at the desktop computer end makes no difference (but did for same drive when connected to music computer). One disclaimer: My desktop computer/drives are not on the same AC circuit or even same house sub-panel.

But the Ethernet settings and the quality of the EN cable between the machines does matter--it's the the line actually connected to the player computer.

 

So do some experimenting first to hear what does and does not matter. But don't expect to fall in love with the SQ from any DLNA set up! ;)

 

Hi Superdad,

 

Thanks for the feedback. In your experimentation, it looks like moving the harddrives and its activity on a different box (whether another Mac or a NAS) and connecting through a quality LAN ( or perhaps even a 5Ghz AC wireless) provides benefit and ideal isolation. Perhaps even more than the Thunderbolt externally powered solution I use now. But in that case you still had a buffer between harddrive box and the box connected to the DAC. For those DACs with an ethernet input, I wonder if attaching the NAS directly to the DAC input will provide a different outcome. Of course it is all just thoughts right now and experimenting is key, but these LAN DAC inputs are a scarce item (for a technical reason?) and not cheap.

 

Your DLNA point scares me somewhat, as I thought that is the only method available this point. ( Beside Focusrite Rednet style or your wip design) Is there a reason why this would cause audible issues, assuming the network bandwidth and memory cache is big enough?

 

Cheers

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No apologies necessary, honestly. Yes it's definitely an onion (and certainly not a virus) ;)

 

No, I was actually laughing at the irony of it all. Cebolla is Spanish for onion and being half Spanish the guys at school used to call me (Spanish) Onion. The nickname stuck and my use of the Spanish version of it as my username is because there are lots of Onions in English speaking forums, but very few Cebollas. So either Onion, Cebolla or John is fine.

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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