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Adding internet radio to a Russound RNET system

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Some friends have a Russound CAM6.6T system to which they'd like to add Pandora and/or other internet radio capability. I'm aware of the Russound SMS3 server, but its internet radio capabilities seem extremely limited relative to its exorbitant cost, and they already have a Russound iPod Bridge so they have no use for the mp3 playback capabilities of the SMS3.

After a little googling, it seems the Logitech Squeezebox Radio and the Grace Digital Tuner Internet Radio are the most promising solutions, but I'm wondering which will integrate better with the Russound system, or if there is something even simpler/better out there. Simplicity and reliability are the primary goals.

Their installer has limited experience with Russound so I want to make sure I understand what the options are before I make any suggestions on what they should do.

At first glance the Squeezebox Duet looked great, but because the remote is Wifi based and not IR based, they would effectively need to buy an extra remote for each room if they want to be able to control it remotely and wouldn't be able to use the Russound control panels. Am I wrong about this? For that reason, I am looking at the Squeezebox Radio with optional IR remote (even though it has a built-in speaker we don't need).

The Grace Tuner device seems very similar but a little cheaper since it includes the remote and doesn't have the superfluous speaker. But I'm having trouble finding reviews.

Any thoughts on which is better for this application?

Also I'm wondering how well they can integrate control of one of these devices into the UNO-S2 keypads. Is it possible to program the CAM6.6T so that the same internet radio device shows up as more than one source--say one source for Pandora and another for "regular" internet radio--so they can program the keypad to do different things in Pandora mode vs. regular internet radio mode? For example, I'd ideally want to use the +/- keys as the thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons for Pandora, but use those same keys to cycle through favorite "stations" in "regular" internet radio.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 22
Look into casatunes. It has been mentioned before I don't own one, but it does support internet radio.
post #3 of 22
I have a Russound CAV6.6 and wanted 2 things: Internet Radio and the ability to utilize both the Russound and the home theater system in the family room--with the same source at the same time. I considered Casatunes, Squeezebox, and Sonos. Each of these options, however, required me to spend more than I wanted to.

I decided to try an Apple Airport Express. It's basically a wireless router with an audio output that allows you to stream audio through an external amp. Since I also have an Apple TV connected to the home theater, it made sense to at least give it a try.

It works great! I can stream anything from iTunes on any of our (non-Apple) computers--including Internet radio. The Apple TV can also stream through the Airport Express. The only thing I was missing was support for services like Pandora or last.fm that aren't supported through iTunes or Apple TV. I found a cheap software utility called Airfoil from Rogue Amoeba that allows me to stream anything through the Airport Express.

So I have the Airport Express connected to the Russound, and use it as a separate source. Because the Apple TV can stream to the Airport Express, and is connected to my home theater, I can listen through the home theater system in the family room, while playing the Airport Express source in other rooms at the same time. It works great in either scenario. I find that I use it most frequently to stream from the Apple TV--mainly because it lets me use both sound systems at the same time.

I've had only two problems. The first is that I can't control anything but volume through the Russound keypads (so far). This isn't a big problem because I can use the Remote app on my iPhone to control iTunes or the Apple TV to switch stations, playlists, etc. The second problem is that the Airfoil application has proven to be a bit flaky and requires more fiddling than I'd like to get it to work repeatably. Neither was a show stopper for me.

The biggest advantage is the total cost: about $125.

Jeff
.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'd not seen Casatunes before. That's very much the sort of thing I'm looking for, although I hate the idea of having to leave a Windows machine running all the time for it to work (or having to wait for it to boot when they want to use it). If only they made a Casatunes "server" that was more stripped down instead of being a full-fledged PC. Although I suppose I could build my own....
post #5 of 22
I recently bought a Western Digital HD Live (HDTV Live). This solved a few things for me but did add some limited Internet radio capability.

Bascially, its a small $120 box that you plug into your TV that will allow any content from your network, attached USB drive, and some limited internet streams to play on your TV. I take the output from the TV and run it back to Russound.

It specfically plays Pandora and Live 365 and I stream the video to other TV's connected to Russound which is pretty cool. So when I play Pandora in my house, I also get the video aspect on all the TVs in the house as I want.

Additionally, there is a software app for $40 called, PlayOn. This 3d party app, provides additional Internet streaming including: Netflix and Amazon. There are a number of other streams too.

The thing I have not been able to do is learn the IR remote control to for the remote that comes with the WDTV Live. Not sure what I am doing wrong but if I can control it via keypads that would be perfect.

I also looked at many other attachments: MC11, Sonos (which is great but $$$$), squeezebox, and some Creative stuff. Did'nt like them for reasons already discussed on the board.
post #6 of 22
Take a look at Myro:Bridge (http://www.myrobridge.com). It solves the issue you're having.

Best,
Danny
post #7 of 22
Isn't russound comming our with a music port type device to do this?
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by programmergeek View Post

Isn't russound comming our with a music port type device to do this?

Nothing that is public... Plus, waiting for something is different than something already shipping.

Cheers,
Danny
post #9 of 22
You do realize the OP's question is a year old, right?

Maybe it hasn't been released, but there is a press release on the Russound streaming product:

http://www.russound.com/pdf/press_re...-31-013111.pdf
post #10 of 22
Hehe, Danny looking for Myro business.

That Russound music server looks cool, FM tuner included, for those few local stations that don't stream.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
The OP may be a year old, but we're still looking for a good solution and this new Russound product sounds promising.

Since the OP, the Grace Tuner has become more widely available and seems to get pretty good reviews so that's become the leading candidate. But they'd be "flying blind" using it, since although they could presumably teach the remote codes to the Russound, the Russound control panels aren't going to give any visual feedback. That might be acceptable if we just program in a few favorite stations for them to toggle through, but I could see them wanting to use Pandora to "discover" new music, which obviously isn't going to work well if they can't see a display to see what it is.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by themicah View Post
The OP may be a year old, but we're still looking for a good solution and this new Russound product sounds promising.

Since the OP, the Grace Tuner has become more widely available and seems to get pretty good reviews so that's become the leading candidate. But they'd be "flying blind" using it, since although they could presumably teach the remote codes to the Russound, the Russound control panels aren't going to give any visual feedback. That might be acceptable if we just program in a few favorite stations for them to toggle through, but I could see them wanting to use Pandora to "discover" new music, which obviously isn't going to work well if they can't see a display to see what it is.
I could add Grace Tuner support to Myro:Bridge if you guys are interested. That would bring you control and metadata to the RNET bus.

@neurorad, just trying to help people get 3rd party "smart sources" added to their system. I'd love Russound to come out with products fast... But from past experience they typically don't compete with price or features when it comes to Sonos, Apple or other "commodity" devices. Myro:bridge makes Russound systems more relevant. Plus, the Myro:Bridge can also be paired with Octava or Wyrestorm HDMI matrix switchers. Something Russound has not announced a solution for.

Best,
Danny
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Would the myro bridge actually be able to display the info from the Grace's LCD panel on the Russound keypads?

The system in question is a CAM6.6T with UNO S2 keypads.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by themicah View Post
Would the myro bridge actually be able to display the info from the Grace's LCD panel on the Russound keypads?

The system in question is a CAM6.6T with UNO S2 keypads.
Yes, that is exactly what Myro:Bridge is designed to do. You can see videos on the website (or YouTube).

I have put in the request to get the API for the Grace player. If they provide the metadata, I can get it to display on the keypads (plus control).
post #15 of 22
I just got the API docs for the Grace, let me know if you guys want me to get a unit and write firmware for the Myro:Bridge to support it on your Russound RNET system.

If I get enough requests, it will make it worthwhile.

I should add, that we already support Sonos ZonePlayers, however, if folks like the Grace player, we can add support for that as well.

Best,
Danny
post #16 of 22
If we wanted to control SONOS, itunes and a matrix would one bridge do it all or do you need one per? what if we have stackable russouns cav6.6s?

Any special pricing/discounts for AVS users?
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcu View Post

If we wanted to control SONOS, itunes and a matrix would one bridge do it all or do you need one per? what if we have stackable russouns cav6.6s?

Any special pricing/discounts for AVS users?

It's 1:1 mapping. The firmware and protocol for each type of device is very different, you can daisy chain them with no problems.

There are no issues with supporting multiple controllers (i.e. 2 CAV's). Just split or pass the audio through each controller.

As for special discount... we can work something out... not sure what the protocol is here for specials. Who do I need to get approval from?

Best,
Danny
post #18 of 22
thanks for the quick reply....as for the matrix, any chance of getting it to work with cheaper matrix. I know octava is great, but also $1000-1500. Some on ebay sell for under $400. I know these are probably no name, china made that might have no communication ports, but I thought I would ask anyway
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcu View Post

thanks for the quick reply....as for the matrix, any chance of getting it to work with cheaper matrix. I know octava is great, but also $1000-1500. Some on ebay sell for under $400. I know these are probably no name, china made that might have no communication ports, but I thought I would ask anyway

We support the following right now: Wyrestorm, Atlona, GrandBeing, Key Digital, Gefen and Octava

If you can send over the control protocol we can add support for other units as well, no problem. The Key Digital units we had in for testing are amazing as they have all sorts of bells and whistles (including lip sync and analog outputs).
post #20 of 22
It looks like on the Grace WiFi radio has an ethernet port, would it connect to the Myro through the ethernet port for RNET data? Thanks
post #21 of 22
Best solution I've found for Pandora in a whole home A/V system is the Tivo Premier. You might also want to double check all the TV's or BD players installed both of those also include Pandora support depending on the model. Odds are something on the system already has Pandora and just needs a firmware update and an internet connection.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mavromatis View Post

I just got the API docs for the Grace, let me know if you guys want me to get a unit and write firmware for the Myro:Bridge to support it on your Russound RNET system.

If I get enough requests, it will make it worthwhile.

I should add, that we already support Sonos ZonePlayers, however, if folks like the Grace player, we can add support for that as well.

Best,
Danny

I'd be interested in Grace player support!
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