"Play to" vs. Streaming from receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-13-2014, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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"Play to" vs. Streaming from receiver

I am a media streaming novice. I have a Pioneer AVR and have my computer set up as a media server. I was wondering what is the difference between using the Pioneer's on screen menu to browse the files and playing them from there vs using the "play to" function on my computer? What provides higher sound quality and which is better overall? Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-14-2014, 04:37 AM
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No difference at all.

Play To is DLNA DMC (digital media control).

The Pioneer when browsing the PC server is a DLNA DMP (digital media player) accessing a DLNA media server.

So it's all the same technology.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-14-2014, 07:24 AM
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Agree with Alx330, in that there should be no difference in sound quality when streaming music files.

However, if it's important to you, the majority of UPnP/DLNA streamers do not support gapless playback when used in 'play to' aka push mode, only in pull mode. Also, very few UPnP/DLNA controllers actually support gapless anyway. Gapless playback under push mode requires both streamer and controller to support it (and has nothing to do with the UPnP/DLNA media server, btw). For example the push to DLNA controller via the built-in Windows or WMP doesn't support gapless.

John

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post #4 of 9 Old 06-14-2014, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the quick, knowledgeable replies!!
I suspected they were the same quality (they sound the same to me and are using the same method as you guys said). One more question... Why when I use the "grab" method from my AVR the bitrate is around 300-400 Kbps but when using the "push" (play to) method, it's reading above 10000 Kbps?? Thanks!
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-15-2014, 08:03 AM
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I'd suggest that the DLNA server that you are using is possibly transcoding to a lower resolution format, in pull mode. It's probably using an incorrectly set profile for your AVR, as it appears to be able to support playing the files natively (the AVR should support the same file and resolutions when used in both pull & push modes).

The use of the DLNA controller in push mode is most likely 'hiding' the AVR from the DLNA server, hence it not selecting a profile which might cause transcoding.

Exactly what UPnP/DLNA server, UPnP/DLNA controller application (for push mode) and file formats are you using?
Also, what's the actual Pioneer model?

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post #6 of 9 Old 06-15-2014, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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First of all, I made a typo in my last post, in pull mode its reading around 1,400 Kbps, NOT 10,000.

I use my desktop computer for my UPnP/DLNA server, simply using Win 7's built in "play to" feature. My receiver is the VSX-1021 with Pioneer's wireless adapter.

Funny thing is, all of my music (as of now) is right from my iTunes folder, so they are all iTunes ACC. Nonetheless, most my songs are around 250-300 Kpbs. Therefore both ways are still playing ABOVE my songs bitrate.

Also, in push mode it says the format is L16 while in pull mode it says ACC.

NOTE: When I go into my devices panel on my computer and look up the properties of my AVR, under model and model # it just says "Digital Media Client". I'm not sure if this is normal or not but I thought i'd mention it.

Last edited by Sterlingr; 06-15-2014 at 11:12 AM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-15-2014, 02:52 PM
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OK, I suspected that the bitrate was high even for hi-res lossless stereo music files, hence the reason for asking the file types you are actually using.

Ironically, it looks like the built-in Windows 7 UPnP/DLNA media server is transcoding in push mode, rather than pull mode, so opposite to my original thoughts (which were based on my guess of you using a lossless music file format, rather than something like AAC)! Good news is that L16 is the standard stereo 16 bit depth / 44.1kHz sample rate LPCM audio signal format, which is what PCM streamers produce from lossy music file formats like AAC anyway.

So there's no loss in sound quality with the Windows 7 push to mechanism transcoding the AAC files to L16, when streaming to your Pioneer receiver. Windows has picked up on the AVR's capabilities of supporting L16 over DLNA, but somehow not AAC too, hence the reason for its media server transcoding AAC to L16.

L16 with its resolution of 16 bit /44.1kHz also matches your observed bit rate of around 1400 kbps (stereo 16bit/44.1kHz actually equates to 1411.2 kbps to be precise).

Only mystery is why your around 250 - 300 kbps AAC files which are not being transcoded in pull mode, are being observed with slightly higher bit rates of around 300-400 kbps. Since the AAC files aren't being transcoded, their bit rates should be unchanged. Are you still saying you are seeing the slightly higher rates in pull mode?

Last edited by Cebolla; 06-15-2014 at 03:01 PM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-15-2014, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Yep, I just tried it again to make sure I was not losing my mind. The AVR read 315 kbps on a 290 kbps song...

What (if any) are the quality differences between L16 @ 1411Kpbs and ACC @ around 320 Kbps?
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-15-2014, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterlingr View Post
What (if any) are the quality differences between L16 @ 1411Kpbs and ACC @ around 320 Kbps?
Depends what the source quality producing the L16 stream is. For example, if its the same AAC 320 kbps file is being used as the source, then there is no quality difference. If on the other hand for example a CD quality WAV file is the source, then the L16 stream will be of the same quality as it is CD quality resolution and the AAC will be inferior as it's lossy.
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