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Better streamed sound – advice please!


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I am hoping a knowledgeable someone here will give me some much needed advice.

I subscribe to Medici TV – a Paris based classical music and live concert streaming service (On-line classical music videos: Opera, ballet, concert). Medici states that it broadcasts in MPEG-4 with AAC audio.

My PC laptop is bog standard: Windows 7 home premium, 64bit, Intel Core I3 2.4Ghz with 4Gb RAM. Graphics card / sound devices are just whatever the laptop came with. Output via HDMI to TV and Ferguson-Hill hi-fi. We have high speed broadband and the video is described as high def.

What I would like is advice about how to get the best sound out of the received signal. Can I install better software? A better decoder? Are Macs better fitted for decoding MPEG and AAC or can the PC software/hardware be improved? Would it be best to use an external codec? Or is the MPEG4 / AAC stream relatively poor quality and not possible to improve?

I would be so grateful for any advice. To anyone who could help me get the best sound – a million extremely sincere thank yous in advance.

Best wishes,

Chris

East Sussex, UK

 

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I am hoping a knowledgeable someone here will give me some much needed advice.

I subscribe to Medici TV – a Paris based classical music and live concert streaming service (On-line classical music videos: Opera, ballet, concert). Medici states that it broadcasts in MPEG-4 with AAC audio.

My PC laptop is bog standard: Windows 7 home premium, 64bit, Intel Core I3 2.4Ghz with 4Gb RAM. Graphics card / sound devices are just whatever the laptop came with. Output via HDMI to TV and Ferguson-Hill hi-fi. We have high speed broadband and the video is described as high def.

What I would like is advice about how to get the best sound out of the received signal. Can I install better software? A better decoder? Are Macs better fitted for decoding MPEG and AAC or can the PC software/hardware be improved? Would it be best to use an external codec? Or is the MPEG4 / AAC stream relatively poor quality and not possible to improve?

I would be so grateful for any advice. To anyone who could help me get the best sound – a million extremely sincere thank yous in advance.

Best wishes,

Chris

East Sussex, UK

 

Try a Google Chromecast (power it with a powerbank for improved SQ) plug it into the HDMI port of your TV and use an Android device (phone or tablet) to stream from.

https://www.google.com/intl/en_my/chromecast/tv/

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Try a Google Chromecast (power it with a powerbank for improved SQ) plug it into the HDMI port of your TV and use an Android device (phone or tablet) to stream from.

https://www.google.com/intl/en_my/chromecast/tv/

It is not clear to me from your post how you send the audio to the HiFi system.

Is the chain PC-->HDMI cable -->TV-->Hi-Fi?

 

If this is the case, you might want to consider "splitting" the video and audio paths.

For example using a USB DAC connected to your PC and going into the hi-fi form the DAC.

 

You would be in a situation like this

 

Video: PC-->HDMI cable-->TV

Audio: PC -->USB DAC-->Hi-Fi

 

In this way you would avoid using the TV built in DAC and you most likely would gain in audio quality.

Which USB DAC? There are many choices.. a good entry level could be the AudioQuest DragonFly black or red... but really it is up to you, also depending on how much you are willing to spend.

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  • 10 months later...

Many (most?) HD TVs have a digital out (mine is Toslink) to connect to an AVR.  The one review I found on Ferguson Hill negates this possibility (analog only inputs).  So either go the route of Franz159 recommends or upgrade the AVR and digitally connect the audio.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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