Myro:Air - Airplay / UPnP Streamer with Wolfson WM8741 DAC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 75 Old 05-14-2013, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey there,

Just wanted to get some feedback from the forum about a new product we're releasing soon -- Myro:Air (http://www.myroair.com). Feel free to post any questions or comments here and I'll answer them.

Thanks!
Danny
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post #2 of 75 Old 05-15-2013, 03:03 AM
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Not something I'm in the market for but no DLNA DMR support ?

A lot of devices from Windows, XBMC to Android devices only 'play to' using DLNA digital media renderers. Being airplay only greatly limits the number of applications that can use of the device.
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post #3 of 75 Old 05-15-2013, 08:40 AM
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I'm a Mac guy and I might be interested but I cannot find any description of what this device is on our website. There is some description of the bridge but I'm not interested in Sonos or Russound stuff... So a link (or a post here) describing what this is would be useful and appreciated.
Mike

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post #4 of 75 Old 05-16-2013, 05:28 AM
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There are no specs and not many useful pictures. All I know is your device supports Airplay....
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post #5 of 75 Old 05-16-2013, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

Not something I'm in the market for but no DLNA DMR support ?

A lot of devices from Windows, XBMC to Android devices only 'play to' using DLNA digital media renderers. Being airplay only greatly limits the number of applications that can use of the device.

Planning on enabling support for DLNA streaming but trying to keep it focused on AirPlay for launch. The architecture is capable of being a full audio media streamer as well -- again focus on a few things first and do them great.
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post #6 of 75 Old 05-16-2013, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mnilan View Post

I'm a Mac guy and I might be interested but I cannot find any description of what this device is on our website. There is some description of the bridge but I'm not interested in Sonos or Russound stuff... So a link (or a post here) describing what this is would be useful and appreciated.
Mike

Try http://www.myrocontrol.com/myroair/ -- it has the details listed. The elevator pitch is: A device that streams AirPlay audio using the highly respected Wolfson WM8741 DAC (typically found in $500+ standalone DAC) with 2-way metadata and transport control for Home Integrators (via RS232, RS422 and IP).

(this pitch would be to technical audio/integration people wink.gif)

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Originally Posted by kneedragger View Post

There are no specs and not many useful pictures. All I know is your device supports Airplay....

That's fair -- specs will be posted soon. The audio portion includes Wolfson WM8804 S/PDIF Transceiver allowing it to output both Optical (bypassing the DAC) and the output from the WM8741 via RCA. Since AirPlay uses a Lossless codec you can be sure the output will be the best possible.

The primary reason I created this is because while Sonos and the other media streamers are great -- I'm tired of maintaining/syncing multiple servers accounts -- I use my iOS devices as the source and I AirPlay to my whole house audio system. My iOS devices have my music library (locally or via cloud) as well as other services I used like Pandora, Amazon, Rhapsody, Podcasts -- then I manage my single device that is with me all the time -- when I leave the house, I continue in my car, etc.

From home-to-work, it's seamless.

I wanted the best possible audio output and 2-way control/metadata on the keypads and touchscreens already in my home. Not sure how many others out there share my vision, but I'm sticking to it biggrin.gif
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post #7 of 75 Old 05-16-2013, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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post #8 of 75 Old 05-17-2013, 05:23 AM
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mavromatis:
ALL you've got is an elevator pitch. And, I'm NOT "technical audio/integration people" so I can't comment on your dohickey...
Mike

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post #9 of 75 Old 05-17-2013, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Mike,

If you have specific questions feel free to ask. Sorry I didn't respond with something useful to you.

It's an AirPlay streamer that offers high-end DAC (the thing that converts The digital bits to analog sound waves your ears can hear) and offers custom integrators the ability to two way control and metadata.

If there is something more you'd like/want I would be interested in hearing it.

Best,
Danny
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post #10 of 75 Old 05-18-2013, 12:04 AM
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I don't get it. My AVR Pioneer SC-1522 is Airplay enable. I can access my server from it, Pandora, iTunes, iPhones, iPads, internet radio, etc. Furthermore, I can play music in 3 different zones. There are many devices out there that can do Airplay. So, I am wondering why would anyone would want to buy this device! As some others have mentioned...I went to your website, which is vague.

The only two things that I got from it was: 1) It does Airplay, and 2) It plays Apple Lossless files. As I mentioned before, my AVR does that already, and many other do as well for less than $600.

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post #11 of 75 Old 05-18-2013, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for you input GusGus. Perhaps this early video might clear things up -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEHlG08I-QE&sns=em

Tough crowd, but appreciate the honesty. Also wanted to mention this is not a mass marketed product and tailored to the mid to high end marketplace where audio quality and connectivity is the most critical. These will be manufactured in the U.S.A. -- something I'm very proud of.

As for the "there are many devices out there that can do airplay" statement - there isn't one that does what Myro:Air does. Provide audio passed through a high end DAC ($13 raw part were as what is in most products cost pennies) and highly controllable 2-way and metadata not possible on other devices like Myro:Air can. Here is a standalone DAC that has the WM8741 in it - $479! It could be that those "features" don't add any value to you which is understandable.

AirPlay is license by Apple and only is on certain AV Receivers (embedded) and standalone speakers. Then there is the Apple Express and Apple TV. That covers the licensed, legal products.

Again, thank you for your input.

Best,
Danny
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post #12 of 75 Old 05-18-2013, 08:36 AM
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Danny I watched the video last night. I don't know anything about DAC or its advantages for sound quality. So, may be if you could explain why would your product be better to play music than using my SC-1522? My wife and I don't really care for metadata. We usually use Pandora or iTunes / AirPlay to play music.

So, may be if you can educate me a little more about DAC, I will be able to understand the necessity for your product and the price tag.

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post #13 of 75 Old 05-18-2013, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

So, may be if you can educate me a little more about DAC, I will be able to understand the necessity for your product and the price tag.

Sure! I'll try to keep it as high level as possible.

Most audio originates as analog sound waves -- vocals, instruments, etc -- obviously not the synthesized stuff as that is digital to start -- the analog stuff is "mastered digitally" at the source which means it's recorded/encoded into 01010101's -- I'll stay out of the "codec" formats as that is a whole different subject, lets just assume these are Apple AAC audio files purchased from the iTunes store. It's up to the playback device to turn those back into something our ears can hear -- anytime you plug in headphones, RCA or speaker jacks into an audio source that is the "analog" side of the product that ran the digital signal through some DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). All the burden falls on the DAC manufacture to recreate the digital sound back to it's original analog sound wave we can amplify and hear. There is a lot of technology and art that goes into that -- Wolfson is a very well venerated DAC manufacture and offers many types of DACs. We've chosen the WM8741 which is their "flagship" DAC -- top-of-the-line -- most expensive -- best signal-to-noise-ratio -- adjustable filters all the stuff that probably means nothing to you but to the audiophile it's porn. What it all means is that the analog sound coming out of the device is amazing (this is subjective and each person has there own preferences -- you can google WM8741 and see audiophiles discussing it's merits, etc).

There are a lot more details like types of capacitors used, power supplies, grounding planes, etc -- all that goes into creating a great audio device. The reason why devices are so inexpensive these days is that a they are mass produced in China and use parts that are "good enough" for the masses. I wanted to create the best possible sound and give full control to the user while maintaining the convenience of AirPlay. I was tired of managing media servers in my house when all my audio is stored on my iPhone or in the cloud (iCloud/Match, Pandora, Rhapsody, etc).

While the audiophile may give flack for "you're feeding garbage quality sound into the device" -- Apple uses a Lossless codec for AirPlay so if you provide great quality to Myro:Air your ears can be sure it's getting the best possible audio output via the WM8741 DAC.

Hope that helps some?

Best,
Danny

P.S. Here is a video explaining audio DACs on YouTube: http://youtu.be/VmTNGGSLoS0
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post #14 of 75 Old 05-18-2013, 11:01 AM
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Thanks for that explanation. I didn't even know how important a good quality DAV is. Now, it makes me wonder what my AVR uses.

I like your product, and it makes sense, but the price is a little high for consumers like me. Or should I say, how can I convince my wife to let me spend $600 dollars on a unit like this lol.

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post #15 of 75 Old 05-18-2013, 12:04 PM
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Hi Danny,

This sounds very interesting. I have a couple of questions:

1) Will this be IP controllable as well as RS-232?
2) Do you have any information you can share on the protocol
3) Do you envision releasing any type of Crestron Module at the time of launch? Do you plan to integrate with the Crestron Core 3 media player.

Looks like a great way to integrate Airplay into a Crestron whole house audio system.

Definitely interested in the pre-order.

Bryan
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post #16 of 75 Old 05-18-2013, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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1) Will this be IP controllable as well as RS-232?

This is possible with the system architecture -- however -- for launch was not planning on enabling it (this may change) as our experience with network control is that it leads to all sorts of support calls/issues with people calling up asking why it's not working --- TCP/IP control relies on the controller to have a network stack outside of the actual control protocol. Plan is to launch then issue a firmware update to enable -- but again -- we may release the IP control as part of the main release as we see new control systems utilizing IP control over RS232.
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2) Do you have any information you can share on the protocol

The RS232 control will be very simple ASCII commands via 9600 baud. The connector we are using is the same as the type Crestron uses (the little green phoenix 3-conductor plug -- same G/TX/RX pin-out). Will be releasing the protocol document soon.
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3) Do you envision releasing any type of Crestron Module at the time of launch?

Yes. I personally program Crestron systems and have created modules for Core2 processors (CP2E, Pro2, etc) so that will be provided at launch.

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Do you plan to integrate with the Crestron Core 3 media player.

I haven't done much with any Core 3 processors yet -- but am current with all the Crestron programming software -- what should I be looking for to get started?
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post #17 of 75 Old 05-18-2013, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

Thanks for that explanation. I didn't even know how important a good quality DAV is. Now, it makes me wonder what my AVR uses.

I like your product, and it makes sense, but the price is a little high for consumers like me. Or should I say, how can I convince my wife to let me spend $600 dollars on a unit like this lol.


Hmmm... unfortunately I can't help there as I'm struggling to convince my own wife that the time I'm spending on this project and away from the family is worth it biggrin.gif
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post #18 of 75 Old 05-19-2013, 12:08 AM
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While Airplay has some great functionality, I tend to question it's market place within the high end community of audiophiles as there's no support for HiRes files and all content is upsampled to 16/48.......most importantly native Redbook rips from 16/44.1. Not sure from a DEV standpoint gearing towards a premium DAC is a direction worth pursuing.

Now an Airplay device the market is missing is an Airplay client device that includes a built in amplifier section, allowing the end user to select their own speakers such as stand alone shelf system types, in walls, whatever. Simple, stand alone, with a volume knob and headphone jack, quality class D architecture, auto on/off sensing. That's a device I'd pay a few $$$ for instead of having to combine Airport Expresses with extra gear for complicated cluttered zones.
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post #19 of 75 Old 05-19-2013, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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While Airplay has some great functionality, I tend to question it's market place within the high end community of audiophiles as there's no support for HiRes files and all content is upsampled to 16/48.......most importantly native Redbook rips from 16/44.1. Not sure from a DEV standpoint gearing towards a premium DAC is a direction worth pursuing.

I see it a bit differently -- a good DAC is still important no matter what the source or the destination (e.g. home distribution system or the dedicated audio only listening system). The conversion of the digital signal to analog is still something you need and the higher end DACs like the WM8741 still make the sound better. There is a lot of debate around the subject even in the mobile phone space there are some Android phones that use a new Wolfson chip and it's getting attention -- so I think there is still merit to including the best possible DAC in a consumer product -- even if it's being fed by ripped CDs turned to MP3. I personally use the highest quality assets over AirPlay and they sound stunning through the WM8741 DAC.

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Now an Airplay device the market is missing is an Airplay client device that includes a built in amplifier section, allowing the end user to select their own speakers such as stand alone shelf system types, in walls, whatever. Simple, stand alone, with a volume knob and headphone jack, quality class D architecture, auto on/off sensing. That's a device I'd pay a few $$$ for instead of having to combine Airport Expresses with extra gear for complicated cluttered zones.

With Myro:Air 80+% of the design would still be used for a device you are looking for -- quite frankly a Class D (or T) amp with banana plug/binding posts is more trivial to design. Plus, you could just take the RCA outs and plug into those new low-cost but high-quality amps that have been out for a while like the Lepai Class T LP-2020A+ -- it's like $30!!!!
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post #20 of 75 Old 05-19-2013, 04:09 PM
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......that's assuming that one wants a multi box setup which in my experience from the practical side of things isn't where Airplay's usefulness lies.

I run my Airports and ATVs optical outs to my existing gear....and yes they sound good enough for my purposes. Now the the Airports use AirTunes......which is bit perfect 16/44.1 for redbook
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post #21 of 75 Old 06-16-2013, 11:46 PM
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So, what's the status for this?

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post #22 of 75 Old 06-17-2013, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

So, what's the status for this?

You can follow status on twitter http://twitter.com/myrocontrol as well as our blog http://www.myrocontrol.com/myroair/blog

Preproduction units are ready and working. In progress are the Crestron module and finalizing serial control protocol for 3rd party automation control. Case preproduction check begins this week - should have schedule soon. Then it's off for certification. PCB assembly is lined up and will be done locally (Seattle, WA).

We will soon be opening up preorder so folks can reserve the special limited edition launch version with hand struck badges with serial numbers 1-100. The badges/nameplates are handmade in New Jersey and each are hand riveted onto the case.

This has been an exciting process of sourcing U.S. based companies to work with - most pieces are made and assembled in the U.S.A. - obviously the components used come from many different countries - Wima capacitors Germany, other passives from Asia, etc.

Will be posting videos showing features soon as well.

Thanks!
Danny
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post #23 of 75 Old 06-17-2013, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mavromatis View Post

You can follow status on twitter http://twitter.com/myrocontrol as well as our blog http://www.myrocontrol.com/myroair/blog

Preproduction units are ready and working. In progress are the Crestron module and finalizing serial control protocol for 3rd party automation control. Case preproduction check begins this week - should have schedule soon. Then it's off for certification. PCB assembly is lined up and will be done locally (Seattle, WA).

We will soon be opening up preorder so folks can reserve the special limited edition launch version with hand struck badges with serial numbers 1-100. The badges/nameplates are handmade in New Jersey and each are hand riveted onto the case.

This has been an exciting process of sourcing U.S. based companies to work with - most pieces are made and assembled in the U.S.A. - obviously the components used come from many different countries - Wima capacitors Germany, other passives from Asia, etc.

Will be posting videos showing features soon as well.

Thanks!
Danny

I don't do tweeter....too much commercial crap. I suppose I follow the blog once in a while. Thanks.

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post #24 of 75 Old 06-17-2013, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't do tweeter....too much commercial crap. I suppose I follow the blog once in a while. Thanks.

I agree -- not to side track the conversation, twitter is an interesting forum. Still trying to determine how people use it. Seems like tons of noise without much useful conversations. It's only valid if you check it minute by minute -- snapshot of time and if you miss something within a certain window of when it happens then, well it seems you missed it for good.
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post #25 of 75 Old 06-20-2013, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's a video showing the preproduction unit outside it's case - fully functional. Enjoy!

http://www.mavromatic.com/2013/06/myroair-airplay-streaming-device/

Awesome! Talked to the wife about it, she still isn't sold in the idea....specially when I told her the price. I am really getting into playing more music than watching movies now. I'm actually thinking of selling my current speaker set up, and getting speakers geared more towards music.

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post #27 of 75 Old 06-20-2013, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome! Talked to the wife about it, she still isn't sold in the idea....specially when I told her the price. I am really getting into playing more music than watching movies now. I'm actually thinking of selling my current speaker set up, and getting speakers geared more towards music.

Totally understand on the pricing issue -- due to economies of scale and choice of components and choosing to go U.S. Made -- our pricing is what it is. Apple can sell a $99 AppleTV because they have scale and factories lined up, not to mention more money that any other company (I can think of) and can leverage R&D from other products, etc -- even release a product for a loss if they so pleased.

A small company, like Myro Control, does not have this luxury or scale to get better pricing. On the flip size -- we can focus on higher quality audio output/components, niche feature sets like RS-232 control and RNET for certain markets (home automation/control), less quantities and keep U.S. workers busy because we are not a public company, with no shareholders demanding we squeeze every penny.

I've actually become more fascinated with the science behind DACs and audio quality with this project -- like anything -- the more you are exposed to, the more you can compare other experiences to. Like wine -- a box of Franzia is delicious if that is all you have experienced. Sometimes I wonder if I should have just kept that old boombox from the 80's -- it sounded great at the time biggrin.gif
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post #28 of 75 Old 06-20-2013, 06:23 PM
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Yes, I completely understand.

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post #29 of 75 Old 06-24-2013, 07:37 AM
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Danny:
Sounds like you are getting close to releasing your Myro:Air device. I wish you luck with your endeavor. I am still curious about the nature of your endeavor however...

I have looked at the videos but I am still not clear how this device would fit into my systems and what its advantages might be. For example, at present I stream from my (or my wife's) computer, iPad or iPhone using iTunes. We employ a half-dozen Airport Express modems through an Apple Extreme for our wireless network. We can play music to our own offices, the bedroom, the living room, or out by the pool. One weak link in this - aside from occasional network dropouts - is the quality of the gear on the receiving end with everything coming from the source at 16/44.1. Another weak link is that we have way too much music for it to be stored on any one device so we have different stuff on the computers, on each iPhone and on each iPad - but that's another issue that I don't think your device addresses. The interface with the sound (content selection, play/pause/stop, and volume) is either the computer or the iPhone or iPad device itself. We can employ Airfoil to play one or all locations at the same time. I can play one signal to the living room and my wife can play another out by the pool.

I understand your device is not a high resolution device, so it won't help me get , say 24/96 files from my computer to play anywhere. I use MOG at my desktop to listen to music frequently (I am a musician) and it would be nice to be able to stream that to any or all of our playback locations but MOG charges $5 per month per i- device to be able to receive the MOG signal and then to stream over Airplay (don't know if AirFoil will work with this scenario, haven't tried...). It sounds to me like your device will enable me to send ANYTHING (except hi-res content) I can play on my computer to at least one playback location. If this is the case, this is interesting and might be useful. However, controlling my computer from the living room or out by the pool is problematic. We tend to listen to whatever is available on the i device we have with us at the time...

In your videos, you have a Russound device that seems to be integral to your design (this is not clear to me yet) and controlling the content selection and starting/pausing/stoping the stream from the computer to a remote listening location seems to be its function. It looks like the Russound device is an in-wall device - although you stress that "all this is happening wirelessly" - so I'm having difficulty envisioning how this Russound device "fits in" and if there are any alternatives, e.g., software running on i devices that we already have... Do we need to carry around a Russound device with us when we're in the house? Or do we put Russound devices in every location where we have an Apple Express outfitted stereo system?

In short, I have some ideas about what Myro:Air does but don't know whether my ideas are accurate or not and I have a lot of questions about the capabilities of Myro:Air in my house with my audio systems and my wireless network. Any clarity that you can bring to my misconceptions or insight you can provide for my questions would be helpful.
Thanks,
Mike

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post #30 of 75 Old 06-24-2013, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnilan View Post

I understand your device is not a high resolution device, so it won't help me get , say 24/96 files from my computer to play anywhere.


We currently feed the Wolfson DAC the digital bits feed by AirPlay stream. The Wolfson WM8741 DAC does the rest of the magic as does the output stage/opamp circuitry -- bottomline here is that the analog output quality would be somewhat equivalent to using an Airport Express with an optical out cable connected to a standalone DAC -- we also add the ability to control the AirPlay device through the two-way control protocol (also offer a 2.1A USB port so you can plug your USB cable - lighting or 30-pin to charge and output/control via USB instead of AirPlay). We also have a WM8804 S/PDIF transmitter IC onboard that outputs optical in parallel so you can also plug the Myro:Air into a receiver or other DAC while the analog output is functional as well (Apple Express - it's one or the other).

We plan on extending support to as a DLNA streamer as well -- but that may come at a later date -- still being determined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnilan View Post

However, controlling my computer from the living room or out by the pool is problematic.

In your videos, you have a Russound device that seems to be integral to your design (this is not clear to me yet) and controlling the content selection and starting/pausing/stoping the stream from the computer to a remote listening location seems to be its function. It looks like the Russound device is an in-wall device - although you stress that "all this is happening wirelessly"


I should have been more careful with the "all this is happening wirelessly" statement -- while Myro:Air has the ability to support WiFi, we have opted to disable this for launch because of potential support issues we find with dealers in the fields. Our product will be placed in cabinets and racks where signal will be attenuated so we feel providing wired support keeps the system integrity and long term stability in installed systems. However, the statement is directly related to how the AirPlay stream and control is happening -- wirelessly. In the video, my MacBook is connected wirelessly to the network and wired from the network to Myro:Air. Same goes with iPhone/iPad -- wireless to the network, then wired from the network to Myro:Air. 2-way control is done over the AirPlay stream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnilan View Post

- so I'm having difficulty envisioning how this Russound device "fits in" and if there are any alternatives, e.g., software running on i devices that we already have... Do we need to carry around a Russound device with us when we're in the house? Or do we put Russound devices in every location where we have an Apple Express outfitted stereo system?

Going to get into the weeds here a bit -- bare with me:

The Russound is a whole house audio system with a controller and keypads -- showing an example using "Myro:Link" which is our port that allows one to interface with systems like Russound's RNET - we offer plug-and-play support for Russound out of the box. Homes with a Russound system have keypads in their home that are in conveniently placed locations so this completes the control of AirPlay devices. The Russound controller has an RS-232 port which can control RNET devices (like Myro:Air) -- most people have a Russound system connected to an HAI or Crestron, etc so the Myro:Air metadata and control would be available to those control systems via the Russound.

We also offer direct RS-232 control via Myro:Air, so Crestron and other systems (even computers) can get metadata and control the AirPlay stream. We prefer control via RS-232 because the only way it would not function is if the power is off to the unit -- not if the device is not online. The RS-233 bus can respond to devices with network issues, etc. Plans are to release IP control after launch, but right now we are trying to keep things as simple as they can be -- and as you can see it can get very complex.

Bottomline here is -- you would still need some control system to control your remote AirPlay device through Myro:Air -- perhaps a Control4, RTI, Crestron system?

I know some may say it's blasphemy to connect a Russound Controller/Amp to a "high-end" audio output from a Wolfson DAC as any benefits would be lost -- I disagree, because the whole rule of garbage-in-garbage-out logic still applies. If anything it just lessens it's full audio potential but the gains are that of 2-way control and metadata to keypads. We felt this was a good balance of best possible audio out quality and control. I have B&W speakers connected to my Russound system as well as Monitor Audio and the audio feed from Myro:Air is stunning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnilan View Post

In short, I have some ideas about what Myro:Air does but don't know whether my ideas are accurate or not and I have a lot of questions about the capabilities of Myro:Air in my house with my audio systems and my wireless network. Any clarity that you can bring to my misconceptions or insight you can provide for my questions would be helpful.
Thanks,
Mike

That's for the interest -- this has been a very fun project and I personally cannot wait until more folks can experience it for themselves.

Thanks!
Danny
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