Originally Posted by batpig
I think he was asking about doing it from the source, eg selecting zone 2 as the destination from iTunes or an iPhone, or as the PlayTo endpoint from windows. So it would just start playing in zone 2 without having to touch the receiver controls in some way. You can't do that, although you can access network features from zone 2 on the receiver side (eg using the smartphone app to fire up Pandora in zone 2).
I figured as much, but thanks a lot for the confirmation.
Note that you can't fire up AirPlay in zone 2 directly without hijacking main zone temporarily. The entire receiver behaves as one "AirPlay speaker" so at the initiation of streaming the main zone will also flip to Airplay. But after it initiates you can then turn off main zone or turn to a different source.
Well that's interesting though. If one's goal is to start "all zones" playback for music, then it'd work. Wouldn't that be the same for UPnP / Play to though?
In other news, I managed to set up my new X4000 this weekend. Overall I'm pleased, although it's still surprising how "lateral" a move I made from the Onkyo 818 to the X4000. They are very close in terms of features but also in terms of how they work in general. I don't want to make a detailed comparative review of the two units as I had only a few hours of usage on the X4000, and I think I massively under-used the 818 in the past months.
But at first sight, I think I preferred the looks and build of the 818; although I greatly appreciated the smaller size and weight of the X4000 during set up. I should have read the manual before using the unit as it took a surprising amount of time before understanding how to change listening modes (I'm new to Denon so it took a lot of fiddling around before finding about the long-press on mode buttons).
My principal reason for the switch was for AirPlay and ease of use during UPnP playback, and the receiver fits the bill. It indeed turns on automatically when AirPlay is engaged or UPnP play to is used. Browsing my UPnP media server seems much faster and smoother on the X4000 and the Denon app than on the Onkyo. I didn't make the network stack crash yet on the Denon
I had a bit of trouble using BubbleUPnP, where it couldn't advance tracks in a playlist at first, but it looks like it was a temporary glitch after all. Is the X4000 supposed to support gapless playback? While the gab is smaller than on the Onkyo (3 sec pause) it's still there, unless there's an option to turn on or something. One thing I like is that the volume is correctly reflected on the BubbleUPnP app when changed on the receiver; this was not the case with the Onkyo. During setup, the network setup part actually failed (it could not connect to the test station). I decided to skip that part after a while, only to discover that network was actually working all right (got the web interface, net radio, etc.).
The Denon app... well I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it works, and is quite responsive. On the other hand, it's a bit of a mess visually and in terms of how it's organized. It can be used to build a queue / playlist, which is super nice. But the interface for doing so is awkward to say the least (just try deleting an entry in a playlist...). I also like that you can access the whole setup menu from the web interface.
In terms of sound, I only used 3 points yet for the Audyssey calibration (it was late and I didn't want to disturb the family); also we just made our Christmas tree and it's in front of one speaker, and we had to move furniture around. I'll have to run the full 8-position measurements after Holidays anyway. Using that calibration, the sound was noticeably different than from the Onkyo (which also had XT32 but not SubEQ HT) calibrated with 8 positions. The dialogs are much clearer (not sure if it's only the center channel that is set at a higher level, or if Dialog Enhancement or Dynamic Volume is engaged by default, I'll have to check that out). Bass is noticeably reduced even with Dynamic EQ on (and yes, this is after ensuring my mains are set to small, and with the crossovers set as before). I bumped the subs level, but it looks like you can't do this with multi-channel PCM sources (the corresponding audio option submenu is grayed out). I have yet to make a frequency response measurement but I wonder how SubEQ HT did -- I never managed to quite fix my crossover-area dip with the Onkyo.
- Is there a way to enter a net radio station via its URL? (either from the app or the web interface)
- I figure that all -- or perhaps most... or many? -- setup options are set for the current source? Is there a way to apply a setup option for all sources?
- Am I alone with the back button not working on some setup submenus? In some of them I have to exit setup (using the setup menu) instead of backing up one step. This is with the latest firmware available through the net (the upgrade took 45 min but was successful).
- Is there a way to adjust the sub levels when a source is sending multi-channel PCM?