I've been burning DVD-A disks with FLACs downloaded from HDTracks (stereo LPCM at 96/24 and 192/24) and iTrax, (96/24 5.1 LPCM).
But, as I discovered last night, my DVD-A authoring program, Cirlinca's HD-Audio Solo Utra, can't be told to write a 6-channel DVD-A (at least from discrete mono files) at greater than 48/24 per channel. I have commercial DVD-As that the Oppo confirms are 5.1 96/24, so it's not a limitation of the DVD-A format, and Winamp says the iTrax FLACS are "96/24 Surround."
I had read here that one of the 93's abilities was to play flac files without even bothering to make a DVD-A.
So I simply copied the flac download of an iTrax album to a DVD as files and put it into the Oppo.
Up came a very different sight than when playing it as a home-made DVD-A, which was a blank screen, with the Info button functional. Instead, the Oppo opened up on its Browser screen with the Music icon highlighted.
Clicked on that, navigated my way to the flac files and clicked on the first one.
Sounded great, and displayed the track tags in the flac - and a thumbnail of the album cover that iTrax must have built into the flac.
Unfortunately, the info button is not active in this mode, and the front panel doesn't display the sampling rate and bit depth, so none of that information is available.
On the other hand, making a DVD of flacs takes a whole lot less time than a DVD-A.
Then came the next step. Last night, someone here had praised a very light-weight DLNA server called oShare that doesn't even have to be installed or build a database of your music. You just unzip it into a folder, add folders to share to its top screen, and your music is available immediately - as long as it's in a format the Oppo understands, since it does no transcoding. So I set that up.
Back at the Oppo, I went to My Network, found that server, and browsed to the folder containing the iTrax download of the same album.
Once I got to the same folder of flacs as I had written to the DVD, the experience was identical to playing that folder burned to a DVD.
With oShare, I won't have to make DVDs at all!
The advantage of this over Plex in my theater is that while the Plex client in my Roku can play the files in their native form, it then has to turn them into lossy Dolby Digital to send them to the amplifier over the optical SPDIF link. It's that last step that kills it, in terms of audio quality.
There are lots of other things the Roku can do that the Oppo can't do at all. Any chance that there'll be a TuneIn or Shoutcast client for the Oppo? My favorite radio station is WBGO-FM, "Jazz 88" in New Jersey, over 200 miles from where I live. Internet radio is how I listen to it.
WBGO sounds nice through TuneIn on the Roku - it might sound nicer through the Oppo, but since it's only a 128kbps MP3 stream on the internet, it may be that's the weakest link - not the Dolby Digital link to the amp.
Edited by Philnick - 7/27/12 at 10:43am