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post #931 of 961 Old 05-01-2020, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobone View Post
Airplay is significantly less sensitive to latency issues in your Wifi network with version 5.35.
Interesting... would this explain the static “popping” noise I hear occasionally?
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post #932 of 961 Old 05-01-2020, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wardjk View Post
When I click "Discover", the message below the button just says "Device not found". What is "NuvoBridge" and how can I tell if it started? Everything used to work.

The Windows System log didn't give me any clues unless I wasn't looking for the right thing. It has many entries for Service Control Manager with the message "The Autonomic Controls Media Control Server service terminated unexpectedly. It has done this 1 time(s)." but this have been happening occasionally ever since I upgraded to Windows 7 which started a new log.

I don't know how far back this problem goes because I haven't used the MPS4 with my NuVo system in weeks. I suspect it happened today when experimenting as described in my previous post.

Bobone might have some ideas about this too.
NuVoBridge.exe is a remnant of the 5.0 software, and used to run as a separate service to the MCS application. It has been integrated into 5.35 and is no longer separate. In many ways, the earlier separate NuVoBridge was fantastic to have, because it generated it's own log files of inbound and outbound NuVoNet calls, and in an important way these files were our key to decoding how the enhanced NuVoNet menu system worked. I doubt we would ever have fully understood the intricacies and quirks of the menu calls without it. These calls have now been hidden in the latest versions of MCS, and are no longer logged (that I have seen). An interesting takeaway to this is that Autonomic clearly continued to develop and support NuVoNet even after NuVo/Legrand pulled the plug on further MPS4 software releases.

I have occasionally had this problem with lack of discovery of the NuVoNet COM port, which occurs when I fiddle with settings, and some times everything just stops working. I feel like it's gotten slightly more fickle under 5.35. I've only ever successfully fixed the problem by digging deep into my Windows knowledge-base, which I've been accumulating since 1980. In all that time, the nugget of knowledge that has solved the most Windows-related issues for me, by far, is this: "When in doubt, reboot. Failing that, reinstall". I've had to do both on occasion when I got myself into a weird state with MCS - though thankfully, not recently.
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post #933 of 961 Old 05-02-2020, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Preston Edwards View Post
Interesting... would this explain the static “popping” noise I hear occasionally?
Yes!
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post #934 of 961 Old 05-02-2020, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
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@wardjk , ultimately it is the xml settings that are important. The configuration utility is mainly an editor when it comes to the Nuvobridge settings.
Try text-editing them directly (the com port variable) and restart the Services and make sure that they don’t fail and that you get 4+1 servers running (applications).

Reinstalling/repairing with the installation exe is also a god idea from xs10shl.
It will however completely wipe out any additional firewall settings, so be prepared to hook up directly to the MPS4. (This is a pain for me, so I avoid).

Last edited by Bobone; 05-02-2020 at 03:32 AM.
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post #935 of 961 Old 05-02-2020, 08:11 AM
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@Bobone , @xs10shl , @wardjk

Thanks for all of your help again! I figured it out. The USB-to-serial adapter was successfully installed in XPe, but it was disabled in the MCS Utility. I was able to enable it there and make sure the settings (e.g., com port, baud rate, parity) exactly matched the XML code @wardjk provided in the NuVoBridge.xml file. Then the communication worked!

While I don't think I'll have a need to access the Configurator often it's great that I can do this via the VNC session as opposed to having to wire it in directly.

To summarize steps:

- Connect USB-to-serial adapter to any USB port of the back of the MPS the serial passthrough port.
- Install drivers if necessary
- Install Configurator. On XPe, I needed to install .NET v4 Framework also.
- Enable the new virtual COM port in the MCS Utility. Save/reload.
- Make sure the settings listed for that COM port in the MCS Utility match exactly what's in NuVoBridge.xml.
- Open Configurator and choose "Retrieve" configuration

Let me know if any questions, comments or if I left out a step.
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post #936 of 961 Old 05-07-2020, 10:35 AM
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Thought some of you in this thread would be interested to know that Airplay 2 & Apple Music support is coming to the Nuvo PP series via firmware update this summer.
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post #937 of 961 Old 05-09-2020, 12:17 PM
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Nuvo concerto system is making a motor type sound through the speakers. Tuner locks into station. But loud sound like a motor comes out of the speakers. Was working fine, but bad storm possibly lightning strike, then system stopped working correctly. Tuner was bench tested fine.
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post #938 of 961 Old 05-10-2020, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mikepe View Post
Nuvo concerto system is making a motor type sound through the speakers. Tuner locks into station. But loud sound like a motor comes out of the speakers. Was working fine, but bad storm possibly lightning strike, then system stopped working correctly. Tuner was bench tested fine.

Some thoughts: are you using a Concerto or Grand Concerto? Do you have any other sources configured, and do they produce the same noise? Are only tuner commands failing, or any/all commands? I'm not familiar with the Concerto, and I don't think the architecture is identical to the GC, but the first thing I'd try is switching the sources around to see if it's an pre-amp input issue. Control is another matter - if the Concerto stopped sending commands to the tuner, you might have a bigger issue. If the master unit is damaged, the cheapest solution woulbe be to replace the unit with one purchased off ebay, or migrate to an alternate platform.

For the next storm, invest in a power strip which can help isloate your equipment from power surges, so it doesn't happen again, of course.
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post #939 of 961 Old 05-10-2020, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
Thought some of you in this thread would be interested to know that Airplay 2 & Apple Music support is coming to the Nuvo PP series via firmware update this summer.
Thanks for the update. I frankly didn't know Legrand still maintained the code for the PP platform.
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post #940 of 961 Old 05-10-2020, 12:14 PM
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Thanks for the update. I frankly didn't know Legrand still maintained the code for the PP platform.
they're still releasing new products on a regular basis. Three new rack mount players this year, also the DIN rail mounted players coming out this summer. They released a sound bar last year. A new rack mount player a year or so before that. They added Alexa skills last year also. The app is updated on a somewhat regular basis I would say.

I think many people probably don't follow along with the because its not a DIY system, not that it can't be, but that's not the channel its sold through.
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post #941 of 961 Old 05-10-2020, 12:37 PM
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they're still releasing new products on a regular basis. Three new rack mount players this year, also the DIN rail mounted players coming out this summer. They released a sound bar last year. A new rack mount player a year or so before that. They added Alexa skills last year also. The app is updated on a somewhat regular basis I would say.

I think many people probably don't follow along with the because its not a DIY system, not that it can't be, but that's not the channel its sold through.
GC wasn't really a intended as a DIY system either, AFAIK. MPS4 certainly wasn't sold that way. Folks who invest in new Legrand products now should consider what happens a few years down the road, based on their track record with NuVo and On-Q. I predict we'll see a "NuVo Player Portfolio Integration, modernization, and preservation" thread at some point.
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post #942 of 961 Old 05-10-2020, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by xs10shl View Post
GC wasn't really a intended as a DIY system either, AFAIK. MPS4 certainly wasn't sold that way. Folks who invest in new Legrand products now should consider what happens a few years down the road, based on their track record with NuVo and On-Q. I predict we'll see a "NuVo Player Portfolio Integration, modernization, and preservation" thread at some point.

3rd party control systems moved to IP based control. GC couldn’t do it, so they had to develop the PP system for that. The On-Q is a great little system, but the hardware can’t keep up with modern trends. It won’t get airplay. It won’t get amazon music, Apple Music, etc.

PP will be around as long as the current home control systems support it.


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post #943 of 961 Old 05-10-2020, 02:27 PM
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3rd party control systems moved to IP based control. GC couldn’t do it, so they had to develop the PP system for that.

I get what you are saying. We're of course splitting hairs here, but a Digi One SP can turn almost any equipment newer than 50 years old into an IP-based control, for about $150. I agree the newer PP system is more malliable, but IMHO the app software already is 2 or 3 generations behind, and that should be viewed as a warning sign to prospective purchasers.
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post #944 of 961 Old 05-11-2020, 04:39 AM
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I get what you are saying. We're of course splitting hairs here, but a Digi One SP can turn almost any equipment newer than 50 years old into an IP-based control, for about $150. I agree the newer PP system is more malliable, but IMHO the app software already is 2 or 3 generations behind, and that should be viewed as a warning sign to prospective purchasers.

Can I ask what you feel is 2-3 generations behind? And I ask this because I’m a contractor that sells Nuvo, and i value your feedback on that.


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post #945 of 961 Old 05-11-2020, 11:34 PM
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Can I ask what you feel is 2-3 generations behind? And I ask this because I’m a contractor that sells Nuvo, and i value your feedback on that.
Good call on my bluff - 2-3 is clearly a slightly unfair assessment. Take these comments as nothing more than a good-natured harmless ribbing, and let's see how my middle pair holds up: start with the fact that the App looks very 5-years-ago. It counts as its strength a "horizontal of music service providers", but offers little in the way of co-mingling their individual offerings and unique strengths, opting instead to treat them like disparate bucketized "channels of channels".

Digging deeper - I think the Spotify App works in the PP environment through Spotify Connect, but what if I want to use the Sonos App and Sonos Connect as my main interface to my music? How about YouTube Play/Music? Others?

Along with @Bobone , I've personally prototyped keypad-and-metadata-functional interfaces to Sonos*, CCA*, Squeezebox*, as well as control alternatives via Apple Shortcuts. All of these compliment the existing telnet interface to NuVoNet built-in to the MPS4. (*These currently require Homeseer to work, but that's a product of my laziness - there are no barriers to creating MPS4-native interfaces to these systems quickly and easily). @jautor wrote a very nice GC<->PP interface in python, to show how seamlessly the two systems could interoperate. Thanks to research by @Bobone and others, Airplay now works, and Spotify Connect works. Not to be misunderstood - I'm personally bummed that I had to spend time doing much of the work instead of NuVo. But with all this now working thanks to a handful of enthusiasts, It just seems that there is no feature advantage to throwing it all away like they did, and leaving us to fend for ourselves - disenfranchised clients without any migration path.

Unfortunately, I also believe our days of interoperability are numbered, but that has little to do with Legrand, I can see a time where only those with access to the encrypted APIs of the walled gardens will be left, and that makes me sad.
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post #946 of 961 Old 05-12-2020, 04:49 AM
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Digging deeper - I think the Spotify App works in the PP environment through Spotify Connect, but what if I want to use the Sonos App and Sonos Connect as my main interface to my music? How about YouTube Play/Music? Others?
I think I would need some experience with those apps to fully understand the differences. I do like the app for what it is. My biggest complaint is the process for selecting aux inputs as a source.

As for the keypads; it would’ve been great to see the GC style keypads function with PP. However, in a very recent conversation with Nuvo, it was stated that the majority of installs by far in the US are not using keypads. I think that’s a terrible idea, but those are the choices being made by production builders using this system. They are still popular in other markets, but it leaves me with the impression there isn’t much incentive to do further work on keypads.

Lastly, if you go through any of the online training or webinar sessions, 3rd party control drivers are a major highlight. It seems to me they are very focused on integration with other systems to control Nuvo. They are constantly testing and tweaking the PP system as needed even if we don’t see interface changes in the app.


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post #947 of 961 Old 05-13-2020, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by xs10shl View Post
Folks who invest in new Legrand products now should consider what happens a few years down the road, based on their track record with NuVo and On-Q. I predict we'll see a "NuVo Player Portfolio Integration, modernization, and preservation" thread at some point.

It is going to be ugly. If the apps are not kept up to date by the publisher they will stop working on new versions of Android as time goes on. Hacking .apk files, de-compiling java code in order to patch and repackage, encrypted APIs, and so forth.... will not be easy. What we are doing now with re-installing and tweaking the Mirage application on an unprotected windows PC is a piece of cake by comparison.

My semi-dedicated theater: The EXASCALE CINEMA
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post #948 of 961 Old 05-18-2020, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Preston Edwards View Post
@Bobone , @xs10shl , @wardjk

Thanks for all of your help again! I figured it out. The USB-to-serial adapter was successfully installed in XPe, but it was disabled in the MCS Utility. I was able to enable it there and make sure the settings (e.g., com port, baud rate, parity) exactly matched the XML code @wardjk provided in the NuVoBridge.xml file. Then the communication worked!

While I don't think I'll have a need to access the Configurator often it's great that I can do this via the VNC session as opposed to having to wire it in directly.

To summarize steps:

- Connect USB-to-serial adapter to any USB port of the back of the MPS the serial passthrough port.
- Install drivers if necessary
- Install Configurator. On XPe, I needed to install .NET v4 Framework also.
- Enable the new virtual COM port in the MCS Utility. Save/reload.
- Make sure the settings listed for that COM port in the MCS Utility match exactly what's in NuVoBridge.xml.
- Open Configurator and choose "Retrieve" configuration

Let me know if any questions, comments or if I left out a step.
Hello Preston,

Your procedure was very interesting!
My goal is to be able to run the GC configurator on the MPS4 (Win7) and through a virtual port and splitter access the GC.

I did not succeed. No matter what I tried, I consistently got the "COM1 error".

I also put my real adapter in a USB socket, but the GC configurator did not react any differently although new ports appeared in the device manager.
- to be honest, I never connected the GC to it. The failure was so immediate that I do not think that the Configurator even tried opening the new port.

As a comment to your procedure, my understanding was that the settings in the NuvoBridge.xml/MRAD.xml relate to the board port (COM1 or COM2) communicating with the internal Nuvo NNA card.
These settings are not necessarily the same as between the GC and the MPS4's NNA card.

Questions:
1) how does the GC configurator react when the GC is not attached?
2) how sensitive is your success to the MCS port settings apart from enablement?
3) would you consider testing my idea with a free port splitter such as VSPE?

Thx,
Bob

Last edited by Bobone; 05-18-2020 at 02:36 PM.
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post #949 of 961 Old 05-18-2020, 03:09 PM
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Hello Preston,

Your procedure was very interesting!
My goal is to be able to run the GC configurator on the MPS4 (Win7) and through a virtual port and splitter access the GC.

I did not succeed. No matter what I tried, I consistently got the "COM1 error".

I also put my real adapter in a USB socket, but the GC configurator did not react any differently although new ports appeared in the device manager.
- to be honest, I never connected the GC to it. The failure was so immediate that I do not think that the Configurator even tried opening the new port.

As a comment to your procedure, my understanding was that the settings in the NuvoBridge.xml/MRAD.xml relate to the board port (COM1 or COM2) communicating with the internal Nuvo NNA card.
These settings are not necessarily the same as between the GC and the MPS4's NNA card.

Questions:
1) how does the GC configurator react when the GC is not attached?
2) how sensitive is your success to the MCS port settings apart from enablement?
3) would you consider testing my idea with a free port splitter such as VSPE?

Thx,
Bob
Preson, have you tried saving to the GC? For me, that's usually where the GC Configurator starts complaining about being unable to reach the GC.

I can give it a try tonight as well. I would expect that (unless you use your port-splitter, as you said you've attempted) once the MCS opens the port, it will have total control of the port until the service shuts down, and the configurator could not open it simultaneously. As such, I'm not understanding why the mrad file configuration should matter, because MCS would need to be off in order to open the COM port to begin with. Now if it was In addition, I've always had issues going through the MPS4 passthrough, so I just use that for Homeseer now. I had hopes for a universal solution through the MPS4 COM port, but I personally change configurations so infrequently, that I never bothered to develop it further, and just stuck with the "plug directly into the GC" method.

There's only a handful of things the configurator does that we don't know how to emulate using the API, such as macros and A/V codes, and the ability to alter the messages that are printed on the keypads in response to button presses. (although you can simulate these messages in software using the MSG command.) Right now, I still load the GC configuration on Homeseer startup, but there's no real reason why it couldn't be the other way - Homeseer configures the GC every time it boots. That said, I'm probably going to stick with my current method for now if I can't get it to work thru the MPS4 using Preston's technique.
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post #950 of 961 Old 05-19-2020, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I managed to get some sort of reaction. First by shutting down the MCS entirely, then again by fiddling with the MPS4 real and virtual ports while the MCS is running.

By tracking a VSPE log, I could see that that the Configurator starts with the following commands (when not reporting the COM1 error):

1) *VER
Which results in both the GC-version and MPS-version (NNA) being reported back. The path through the MPS4 directly to the GC seems to work (somewhat)!

followed by
2) CM* or possibly CM*#?

Either CM* renders the standard GC error response "#?"
or
"CM*#?" is some sort of strange/botched command.

The odd syntax lies in a "#?" response without a preceding CR?!
In any case, nothing else happens thereafter.

Maybe the MPS(NNA) filters out CM* in which case my whole objective gets crippled...
Spying on a working set-up would of course be best.


(BTW, it might be possible to follow the port traffic on Telnet as well).

Last edited by Bobone; 05-19-2020 at 01:28 PM.
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post #951 of 961 Old 05-19-2020, 10:05 PM
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I follow this thread periodically so am not completely up to speed...but...

The Grand Concerto is a nice whole house audio matrix amplifier. Still very relevant and usable.
The streaming player is out of date, unsupported and should be taken to the dumpster.
It's admirable on the reverse engineering that some of the forum users have figured out, but that's hundreds of hours to basically have an out of date player that limps along. For a Hobby and for a Learning experience, cool.

The way we use the Grand Concerto is we use DLNA players as inputs to the GC. Then the automation software allows the user to pick who they are (to display their favorites), Where they want to listen (the Living room), and What they want to listen to (Pandora) and finally, their Pandora channel. With that, we send the right stream to the player, and set that Input to the Living room speakers.
If you paid yourself $1 / hr....you would be far ahead buying it and expanding on something that is "modern" and supported. Your Time / Hobby can be spent customizing the user interface and adding more functionality into the SYSTEM (not necessarily just audio).
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post #952 of 961 Old 05-20-2020, 01:02 AM
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I follow this thread periodically so am not completely up to speed...but...
You make some some points which would be considered fair by some people, and I can only speak for myself here, but putting a dollar sign on the utility of the experience in "exercising the mind" doesn't resonate with me personally. My training is in Computer Science, but I spend my days wasting my mind away in unrelated dull work. Free-time projects like this are both stimulating and fun. And I really think we've added a fair amount of life to our systems - I'm running the 11/2019 version of the Autonomic software on my Win10/64 MPS4, which can do pretty much everything I need or want it do to, including run Homeseer. And as for extensions, I've got my NuVo iPhone Shortcuts (sort-of) working, so that was a fun project too.

That said, I've always felt that from a UI experience, anytime you have to unlock your phone or touch many screens do do anything automation-related, you've lost the user-experience battle. So I rely more heavily on the keypads in daily use, as I find them to be quicker.

Only since you brought it up - ONLY! - do I feel compelled to defend our honor, and point out that the stone you throw on our efforts from the comfort of your 2-person glass house appears foolhardy to me. IMHO, you have clearly a very nice expandable system, with a nice UI and good support. In an earlier time, I might have considered it on that basis. That said, I've previously vetted your system and scoured your support site for tells on what others were saying on the condition and quality of your offering. From what I can gather, there appears to be only one person, or maybe two, writing most of the code and providing programming support. If that is indeed the case, what happens if the main programmer dies*, gives up, becomes incapacitated, or otherwise stops supporting the system? Would we not then be in the same place you correctly point out we are in today? Stuck with an unsupported system we paid good money for, and forced to fend for ourselves as the system drops out-of-date? Please clarify if my assumptions are mistaken, and I'll re-evaluate my conclusions.

In contrast, Homeseer with the GC is kinda-sorta crap, with a decent VB.NET implementation that isn't 100% .NET compatible, but good enough that I can bang on it fairly heavily for my programming needs. It's ace-in-the-hole is a good deal of 3rd party support. Ergo, there's far less long-term risk attached to it's purchase because of its wide adaptation rate and active contributory user base, and it is because of those reasons that it is, for me, the safer "play" - pun intended.


* BTW, not my wish by any means. This is only to emphasize that IP know-how at a small (and sometimes even large) software company does occasionally hinge on a single developer's knowledge-base.
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post #953 of 961 Old 05-20-2020, 02:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry smoothtlk, I find your comments less to the point for a few reasons:

- The Grand Concerto and Essentia is the starting point for everyone here. Few would choose Nuvo today, but we all have done a serious investment. Not only in equipment, but holes in our walls, cabling, etc... Not to mention user habits. Avoiding to rip it out has been a main objective.

- I also vetted your software two years ago. It looks nice, but for my needs I was not convinced that I could not get locked into a new unsupported system after some time. NuVo owners are perhaps extra sensitive to this...
I therefore went looking for a platform that had a large enough user base and functionality that would provide some robustness. Starting with a standard HomeSeer set-up together with a ChromeCast audio, it literally took an afternoon to produce the first fully working solution. My wife still likes it best! Plus I know that I can adapt to an ever changing music eco-system thanks to the world's community of problem solvers. This is very powerful.

- Finally, we stumbled across the upgrade path of the Nuvo MPS4 last fall. The result is outstanding and makes the need for HomeSeer redundant for many.
It is true that we have spent some time to refine the upgrade process, but for any new person willing to upgrade, it is now quite straight forward. For the price of a SSD and an evening's work, you prolong the life and versatility of your Nuvo system considerably. Nothing matches that additional effort in my humble opinion.
It would therefore be a major error for anyone with a nuvo streamer (MPS4) to take it to a dumpster.

In my mind, adding voice control is perhaps my next frontier. For the time being, Apple, Google and Amazon seem to have an edge and I need to consider my next steps. My need is not very big yet, so I am not in a hurry.
If I could add a small microphone to my keypads (or somewhere else) connected to some central intelligence connected to the GC, I would find it quite elegant.
But then again, using Siri and iPhone short-cuts to control both Spotify and the GC is perhaps the easiest path forward. Our lives have undeniably become more phone centric.
To be continued...
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Last edited by Bobone; 05-20-2020 at 03:23 AM.
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post #954 of 961 Old 05-20-2020, 10:54 AM
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MPS4 configuration problem fixed

I just fixed the problem that I reported on 1-May-2020. Until then, my MPS4 had successfully been running v5.35. Afterwards, I was not able to get the MPS4 to communicate with the GC and the Mirage app was not able to connect. From the beginning of my troubleshooting, I had ensured that the settings in my xml files were as they should be and that services and corresponding processes were running. I had already gone through the post-upgrade configuration steps by Bobone and xs10shl several times but nothing worked. I had not yet taken the scorched-earth approach of reinstalling v5.35 but even after having done so, that, along with going through reconfiguration several times again, didn’t fix the problem. Reinstalling didn’t adversely affect my ability to connect remotely. At one point, the zone list in the Mirage app was oddly populated with the four MPS4 output names instead of the zones normally sent by the GC even though I could see the names and corresponding settings logged after retrieval from the GC. I think I ultimately stumbled upon some strange sequence of steps that solved my operational problems but when I click "Discover", the message below the button still says "Device not found". I’m hesitant to touch configuration now that I have it working again. As Bobone said of the web configurator 'The "Source Settings" tab is toxic and making any selection will require you to redo the first iteration', I think there must be other things that are also toxic when touched.
Here are some key excerpts from the "MPS4 SW update guide (5.35)" by Bobone that I think helped fix my problem (although not necessarily in this order):
  • Control server tab: Make sure that all serial control ports are disabled.
  • In"Audio System" select "Other Mirage Amp". This will destroy your current MRAD.config settings, but is OK for now.
  • The Airplay settings should now get populated with your zones. Select which zones to appear in music apps.
  • Now, in "Audio System" select "None". Necessary, but not enough to restore the correct MRAD.config settings.
  • No need to save. The zone selection(s) are flagged in the registry as soon as you modify them. Kill browser tab

I probably made other changes (also previously documented procedures) before I noticed most aspects working as needed. I wish there was a clearer way to determine the cause of problems and deliberate actions that can be taken to fix them.
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Last edited by wardjk; 05-21-2020 at 08:27 PM.
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post #955 of 961 Old 05-20-2020, 11:59 AM
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As I said, I find the effort and result admirable.
And am total believer in the DIY / hobby / learn aspect.
Just not a believer that the hours spent provide the same level of result if negating the learn / hobby positives.
The same hours will result in a much more capable system if the effort was spent in a path that has a future. And one would learn just as much (or more) and it would still be part of this hobby of ours.

Kinda like "reinventing the wheel". Why spend the time to get not quite where an inexpensive, readily available product is. I like to spend the limited time on things that don't exist.

Anyway, these are just my humble opinions. I can just imagine if the talent and effort spent here was spent on something new where it could end up. I have seen same efforts at keeping things alive with many products. Audiotron, SageTV, BeyondTV etc. All now essentially dead. TONS of brilliant effort and now most all have moved on. But, like those projects and recovery efforts, cool stuff.

Not sure why "homeseer" gets injected into the responses....HS is good people with a good product. One of the better ones. Our beginnings, our resources, strategies, our customer bases are very similar scale. So, I appreciate what they have done. As far as support...we and HS have been around longer than most of the companies that attend CES / CEDIA / Infocomm. No plan on going away. This is what we enjoy to do, and I think both companies do a pretty good job of it.
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There are no perfect solutions in tech. There is always something 'new and better' coming along that promises to revolutionize everything. Many of those things get abandoned or have core functionality removed by the manufacturer or 'big tech' company in surprisingly short order. But in the context of this thread, we have found something that works for us and we are working to help each other out to keep it working for us. So there is no need to come in here and tell us that our "talent and effort" would be better spent elsewhere. To continue in this line of commenting is just trolling and AVSForum is better than that.

My semi-dedicated theater: The EXASCALE CINEMA
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post #957 of 961 Old 05-23-2020, 05:51 PM
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On to happier topics, I've been reading up on the new Airplay 2 crack, and I hope to see some more github development on this front ASAP. Once the libraries are in place (probably just in time for Apple to announce Airplay 3) it's probably worth investingating a Zone-specific service that runs on the MPS4. This way, each Zone will look like an Airplay 2 speaker to your favorite music app, and you'd be able to use the protocol to control your GC, which would be a neat trick. To work, it would likely require a bit of a hack where one of the "NuVo Airplay 2 speakers" is really an Airplay 2-enabled input to one of the 6 GC sources, and the rest are just phantom Airplay 2 speakers that only accept commands and translate them into NuVoNet Zone commands.

The "Phantom Zone" piece already works today - the easiest way we have to use Airplay 2 on the GC that I'm familiar with is to plug in an Airport Express Audio-out into one of the GC zones, and select that specific Source from the independent Zone controls. Using this method, there's currently no means to intercept metadata or provide keypad-based transport control than I'm aware of. Although, It may also be possible to use another music server in place of the Airport, which gives access to the metadata, like a Heos or Sonos.

I'm not yet sure that Airplay 2 is a needed feature for me. Support for Airplay and Spotify Connect is decent, but Airplay is not super reliable for me, and the latency is a drag.

[edit] Thinking a little more about this now, I'm not sure there's much advantage to Airplay 2 over using a CCA with the NuVoBridge over Homeseer (except for the fact that Google is notorious for dropping all support for their products with 2 weeks notice, which gives me a little anxiety over CCA's future interoperability with casting. Sound familiar? Thankfully it's only a $40 piece of trash at that point)

What we have already does a fairly decent job gluing the interface between Chromecast and Nuvo. The main difference is that an Airplay 2 solution would remove the HS piece from the equation, unless someone wrote a multi-channel HS plugin for it.
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Last edited by xs10shl; 05-24-2020 at 11:08 AM.
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post #958 of 961 Old 05-25-2020, 01:19 AM
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Airplay 2 update: I spent a few hours working through the APIs on my Marantz receiver with Heos, and it turns out that it was pretty straightforward adding Airplay 2/Heos support to the Homeseer NuVoBridge as a supported source, with keypad & metadata support. There are some tricky steps to go through to assure that the Airplay 2 request doesn't commandeer the system if someone else is using it (and I'm not sure I have it exactly working), but I think I have a path to make it work, even if someone is using the receiver for other content. It's our main media room receiver, so it's frequently used to watch movies and play video games. But is has multi-zone support, so I shove the Heos output on to a unused zone, and feed the GC as a pre-amp.

The way this works for now is that Airplay 2 is treated as a single source in the GC, and the multi-room distribution is handled by the GC. But what it buys me is almost *zero* latency from any Airplay 2 app I've tested. I haven't stress tested it fully, but for now it's working pretty good - certainly better than Airplay.

Side note- I've found that Using Airplay 2 and casting simultaneously from the same App (in this case, YouTube Music) can cause something to screw up in my system, requiring a CCA power cycle.
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post #959 of 961 Old 05-25-2020, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for bringing recent developments with Airplay2 to my attention!

Before I found the XML settings for Airplay in version 5.0 and long before 5.35, I had an Airplay engine running on my MPS4.
I implemented the Shairport-sync solution found on Github and ran it on the Linux emulator Cygwin on my MPS4s V1 & V2 with Win7.
All of this sounds very advanced, but it was actually not. I had no prior experience of Github projects, Linux or Cygwin.

I got metadata running nicely in the same way as with a CCA, but had some problems using command and control with Cygwin. The developer helped me out, but he never really cracked it. Shairport does however support this on most other Linux platforms as well as full multi-speaker support. My guess is that it would work well on Windows Subsystem for Linux.

The shairport solution had better buffer handling than the 5.0 implementation of Airplay, hence fewer (no) occasional scratching sounds.

With 5.35, we again got a better Airplay implementation, so I paused the shairport solution.

From my experience, Airplay with 5.35 is now working according to Airplay specs and the intial 2 second buffering is standard. This might be what you call latency?
- if you have any audio problems I would recommend tuning the buffer size in the Autonomic Controls Remote Configuration settings (Telnet port 23).

However, and this might be what you refer to, there are some quirks when using Airplay and Spotify Connect to directly address individual speakers.
Mostly it works fine, but at times I notice a few irritating problems with Spotify Connect:
- on my iPhone 7, I cannot discover all zones, only the latest one. Works fine for other members of the family (newer iPhones).
- the problem above might have something to do with which wifi AP I am using. I have three different brands in my network...
- sometimes I need to do the operation twice. The first time the zone is fired up, but the connection is not transfered = no music
- seldomly, when I choose 1 zone, they ALL fire up. This can be very stressful. Especially when testing in the middle of the night!
The latter problem may happen more often after a reboot, but my statistics are weak.

I imagine that these problems are due to timing of instructions on the MCS and might therefore be similar for Airplay?
I have made a few attempts to trace the logs, but have not been able to find the core problem.
Maybe more memory or CPU could solve the issues?

In any case, the problems are not major and I find these features fantastic!
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Last edited by Bobone; 05-25-2020 at 01:34 AM.
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post #960 of 961 Old 05-25-2020, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobone View Post
From my experience, Airplay with 5.35 is now working according to Airplay specs and the intial 2 second buffering is standard. This might be whatyou call latency?

Yes, that 2 second pause is not there when using Airplay 2, from what I've tried. Ive found Spotify Connect to be better than Airplay, but I rarely get to use Spotify, because my daughter commandeers the account . . . at all times.


If you have a recent Denon or Marantz receiver (post 2016, I think is the cutoff) I'll gladly share the Airplay 2 solution, but I'll need a few days to clean it up.
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