*Official* Google Chromecast AUDIO owners thread - Page 18 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #511 of 880 Old 05-22-2017, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jamieuk147 View Post
How do you bypass the DAC in the Chromecast? I would prefer to use my receiver
Connect using a mini-toslink cable.

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post #512 of 880 Old 05-22-2017, 06:22 AM
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Great thanks!!

Could I just ask if this can handle the high bitrate of tidal hifi?

If so will order
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post #513 of 880 Old 05-22-2017, 06:37 PM
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The spec page says 94KHz/24bit:
https://support.google.com/chromecas.../6279377?hl=en

Not sure if that applies only to the DAC or also to digital out use.

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post #514 of 880 Old 06-14-2017, 09:24 AM
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Thoughts on running 7 zones with Chromecast

So we're building our house and i'm 99% certain that I'm going to be using Chromecast Audio as my streaming solution for WHA.

I'll be running a 6 zone amp from niles along with a Russound P75 to power everything.

My plan is to have the Niles amp running 6 zones or 2 speakers each and the Russound powering 1 zone (family room) with 4 speakers.

So, this means i'll be running 7 Chromecast.

Anything to be cautious of? Was planning to just run off wifi, do i need to be concerned about signal strength running that many chromecast? I thought i read somewhere that by wiring one chromecast to ethernet it can improve reliability? Is this the case? We're building, so i can run ethernet to the audio closet if needed.

Going with Chromecast as its the easiest way to get WHA where i can control zones and volumes remotely without spending thousands... all in, looking at just over $200 for the chromecasts and that will allow me to cast to each zone and control the volumes...

Just looking to use this for general listening and parties, running Polk RC80i for the entire house.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Also, was planning to control all this using an Ipad, are there any major differences in using an android device that would make it worthwhile to purchase an android pad?

Thanks for the beginner questions.
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post #515 of 880 Old 06-16-2017, 03:09 PM
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Here's my experience with the CCA. I have two. One is in my family room and it is fed by my Windows 10 laptop which runs Plex (which has access to a network hard drive with mostly FLAC audio files) and Google Play Music. This CCA is connected via its analog output to a 1977 Yamaha CR-2020 receiver and a pair of similar vintage NS-690 mkI speakers.

The second CCA is in my main rig in my man cave. I control it with an Android tablet running Plex and Google Play Audio.
It has the same access to my network drive. It feeds a Cambridge Audio DACmagic Plus via toslink connection.

The CCA's internal DAC will be perfectly fine for 99% of the people out there. As a matter of fact, I am listening to it streaming Google Play Music as I type this. I find it quiet, dynamic and very musical. Claims of the internal DAC sounding "bad" are pure BS, or the CCA has not been setup properly (make sure high dynamic range is set to on).

The CCA has definitely been my favourite purchase of the year
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post #516 of 880 Old 06-16-2017, 04:02 PM
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Here's my experience with the CCA. I have two. One is in my family room and it is fed by my Windows 10 laptop which runs Plex (which has access to a network hard drive with mostly FLAC audio files) and Google Play Music. This CCA is connected via its analog output to a 1977 Yamaha CR-2020 receiver and a pair of similar vintage NS-690 mkI speakers.

The second CCA is in my main rig in my man cave. I control it with an Android tablet running Plex and Google Play Audio.
It has the same access to my network drive. It feeds a Cambridge Audio DACmagic Plus via toslink connection.

The CCA's internal DAC will be perfectly fine for 99% of the people out there. As a matter of fact, I am listening to it streaming Google Play Music as I type this. I find it quiet, dynamic and very musical. Claims of the internal DAC sounding "bad" are pure BS, or the CCA has not been setup properly (make sure high dynamic range is set to on).

The CCA has definitely been my favourite purchase of the year
Did you turn on the high dynamic range to improve the DAC output more? I think alot of people miss this option.
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post #517 of 880 Old 06-16-2017, 05:07 PM
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Did you turn on the high dynamic range to improve the DAC output more? I think alot of people miss this option.
Yes - I mention it in my post.
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post #518 of 880 Old 06-19-2017, 09:57 AM
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I use CCA with Spotify Premium connecting via optical to my Parasound Halo Integrated. Setting Spotify to the Extreme (320KBPS)setting it rivals CD quality. I was considering the Oppo Sonica or another dedicated streamer but I'm completely satisfied with the CCA and Spotify Premium. In Fact, I bought a second CCA just for a backup or use in another system. Great little unit.
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post #519 of 880 Old 06-20-2017, 08:08 AM
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I use them throughout the house. I have one in the bedroom system, one in the gym in the basement, one in the living room system, one in the computer system, and one in the main system upstairs.

For the price, this is an incredible device. For parties, dinner music, background music, whole home audio, etc.. these are great! The ONLY place that I don't feel satisfied with the CCA is for critical listening in my main system. I tried adding an iFi spdif ipurifier to the mix and it seemed to make a slight improvement, but it still didn't satisfy. I returned the iFi and I think I'm going to pick up a Bluesound Node2 for my main system.

Don't get me wrong, these things really are great, but I just don't think it's up to the task of being a reference streaming source for my main system, and for $35 that shouldn't be a slight on this device.

Main System: Vizio P70 4K TV. Selah Vigore Speakers. KEF Q100 Rear L/R, Mirage BPS 400 LFE Sub. (2x)Rythmik FM8 Subs. Denon AVR-X4500H Receiver. Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Integrated (2 channel). Oppo BDP-103. Zappiti Mini 4K HDR. GIK 242 Panels, Tri Traps, Monster Bass Trap. Various Vicoustic Desktop: Dynaudio BM6A mkII. Paradigm SUB10 w/ PBK. Cambridge DACMagic+ DAC. GIK 242 Panels, Monster Bass Trap Master Bedroom: Vizio M55 4K HDR. BG Radia In-Wall/Ceiling Speakers (5.2.2). NAD T758v3 Receiver
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post #520 of 880 Old 06-20-2017, 11:06 AM
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I am having trouble seeing what can be improved over a CCA provided its running bit perfect material (FLAC via optical) into a higher quality DAC that is doing all of the heavy lifting including reclocking.

I run these things everywhere at home, I love the convenience. Regarding quality, on very resolving gear I've compared FLAC on the CCA to CD on a cheap Sony bluray both running digital out into the DAC, I cant tell any difference. Conversely running FLAC next to a 320 bit MP3 is easily identifiable, provided I'm in critical listening mode. I don't want to come across as saying that I couldn't experience better with a different streamer and know that a cheap bluray player isn't exactly the best comparison point, but I would want to be convinced properly before spending the money a high end streamer is asking.
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post #521 of 880 Old 06-20-2017, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by plasma_fan View Post
I am having trouble seeing what can be improved over a CCA provided its running bit perfect material (FLAC via optical) into a higher quality DAC that is doing all of the heavy lifting including reclocking.
Support for gapless playback of consecutive audio file tracks, would be the one major improvement.
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post #522 of 880 Old 06-20-2017, 02:01 PM
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Support for gapless playback of consecutive audio file tracks, would be the one major improvement.
Very true! My comment was along the lines of sound quality, but gapless playback would be significant.
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post #523 of 880 Old 06-20-2017, 04:48 PM
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The problem with the CCA is that it's digital output has very high jitter. So even by using it's digital output into a separate DAC, you may not be doing yourself any favors.

For a $35 product, it's not the end of the world. For my main 2 channel rig, it doesn't quite cut it. In comparing Tidal HiFi through the CCA to my Cambridge DacMagic + to actual CD's through my Oppo BDP-83 to my Cambridge DacMagic + there is a notable difference in my system.

Aside from dedicated critical listening, I love these things!

Main System: Vizio P70 4K TV. Selah Vigore Speakers. KEF Q100 Rear L/R, Mirage BPS 400 LFE Sub. (2x)Rythmik FM8 Subs. Denon AVR-X4500H Receiver. Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Integrated (2 channel). Oppo BDP-103. Zappiti Mini 4K HDR. GIK 242 Panels, Tri Traps, Monster Bass Trap. Various Vicoustic Desktop: Dynaudio BM6A mkII. Paradigm SUB10 w/ PBK. Cambridge DACMagic+ DAC. GIK 242 Panels, Monster Bass Trap Master Bedroom: Vizio M55 4K HDR. BG Radia In-Wall/Ceiling Speakers (5.2.2). NAD T758v3 Receiver
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post #524 of 880 Old 06-20-2017, 05:56 PM
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If I'm planning to run 7 of these for my WHA, should I connect all 7 to Ethernet? Afraid that running 7 off wifi may cause issues? Advantage to run all 7 on Ethernet? Thanks


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post #525 of 880 Old 06-20-2017, 06:07 PM
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Support for gapless playback of consecutive audio file tracks, would be the one major improvement.
There is an Android app call Hi-Fi Cast that allows you to play your own files gapless on CCA. To accomplish this it actually streams the audio to the CCA instead of just letting the CCA access the files directly. The downside of that is you must keep your android device connected and it uses a bit more battery. The audio quality is not affected. I've used it and it works well (you must select the option in settings).

It is a shame that desktop apps like PLEX & others don't support gapless streaming.
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post #526 of 880 Old 06-20-2017, 06:10 PM
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If I'm planning to run 7 of these for my WHA, should I connect all 7 to Ethernet? Afraid that running 7 off wifi may cause issues? Advantage to run all 7 on Ethernet? Thanks
7 on wifi should be no problem at all as long as they are in range. That's good because CCA has no ethernet port.
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post #527 of 880 Old 06-20-2017, 06:14 PM
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Google sells an Ethernet adaptor for CCA, so I was considering adding that to the system....



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7 on wifi should be no problem at all as long as they are in range. That's good because CCA has no ethernet port.





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post #528 of 880 Old 06-21-2017, 04:45 AM
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There is an Android app call Hi-Fi Cast that allows you to play your own files gapless on CCA. To accomplish this it actually streams the audio to the CCA instead of just letting the CCA access the files directly. The downside of that is you must keep your android device connected and it uses a bit more battery. The audio quality is not affected. I've used it and it works well (you must select the option in settings).
Indeed, the Hi-Fi Cast Android app itself plays the FLAC files (gaplessly) and what gets cast to the CCA is its bit perfectly mirrored audio output (as a continuous PCM stream), rather than the individual FLAC files themselves.

A very similar get around can be done with the Windows foobar2000 audio file player, if you install the foo_out_upnp plugin component. The foo_out_upnp plugin was originally intended to provide foobar2000's audio output for standard UPnP/DLNA streamers, but you can also use it with the CCA if you install BubbleUPnP Server and you configure it to create a DLNA renderer for the CCA.

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It is a shame that desktop apps like PLEX & others don't support gapless streaming
I think you may have chosen the wrong desktop application to mention as a typical example. Unlike decent audio file playing desktop applications (eg foobar2000, JRiver Media Center, iTunes, etc), PLEX's built-in media file player is renound for not supporting gapless playback, so its audio output would be useless to use as a 'gapless supporting get around' for casting to the CCA, anyway!

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post #529 of 880 Old 06-21-2017, 05:41 AM
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A very similar get around can be done with the Windows foobar2000 audio file player, if you install the foo_out_upnp plugin component. The foo_out_upnp plugin was originally intended to provide foobar2000's audio output for standard UPnP/DLNA streamers, but you can also use it with the CCA if you install BubbleUPnP Server and you configure it to create a DLNA renderer for the CCA.
Thanks, Its a bit of an ugly workaround, but I'll check that out.

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I think you may have chosen the wrong desktop application to mention as a typical example. Unlike decent audio file playing desktop applications (eg foobar2000, JRiver Media Center, iTunes, etc), PLEX's built-in media file player is renound for not supporting gapless playback, so its audio output would be useless to use as a 'gapless supporting get around' for casting to the CCA, anyway!
Oh, i know PLEX doesn't support gapless at all, which part of the reason why I said it was a shame, as otherwise it is better than many options as far as simplicity, user interface, multi-client and CCA integration.
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post #530 of 880 Old 06-21-2017, 09:14 AM
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The problem with the CCA is that it's digital output has very high jitter. So even by using it's digital output into a separate DAC, you may not be doing yourself any favors.

For a $35 product, it's not the end of the world. For my main 2 channel rig, it doesn't quite cut it. In comparing Tidal HiFi through the CCA to my Cambridge DacMagic + to actual CD's through my Oppo BDP-83 to my Cambridge DacMagic + there is a notable difference in my system.

Aside from dedicated critical listening, I love these things!
Don't get me wrong I am aware of the jitter reports on these things and on the average DAC I agree with what your saying. It has been my understanding that with a DAC that reclocks or upsamples, jitter on the DAC input shouldn't matter (or at least not much). I would assume the DacMagic + should fit the bill here, but your experience with the CCA vs Oppo says otherwise. I'm not trying to defend a cheap streaming device as being a top quality performer, I'm a consumer that wants the most from his system without blindly spending.

There have been enough negative and positive comments regarding the CCA when used on better quality systems that I would like to calibrate my own expectations, unfortunately that costs the money I don't want to spend without certainty...
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post #531 of 880 Old 06-21-2017, 12:26 PM
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Oh, i know PLEX doesn't support gapless at all, which part of the reason why I said it was a shame, as otherwise it is better than many options as far as simplicity, user interface, multi-client and CCA integration.
Plex is a bit like the CCA in that it's very unusual these days for an audio file player, be it software or hardware, not to support gapless playback.

Incidentally, using the BubbleUPnP Server method allows you to use the CCA to stream audio files from any UPnP/DLNA media server on the network using any UPnP/DLNA controller app on the network. It then becomes a question of installing it on a networked device that is already powered up whenever you need to use the CCA - hence the reason why most choose to run the BubbleUPnP Server on their NAS if they are able.
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post #532 of 880 Old 06-21-2017, 03:13 PM
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How are people setting/configuring these?
I have one at the moment in my shop but am unsure the best/easiest interface means to get my music from my HTPC to it


Been using Audials to get radio to it from my phone but its spotty..... I am working on a Wifi booster solution at the moment


Any guides or tutorial links would be greatly appreciated
Thanks

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post #533 of 880 Old 06-21-2017, 10:00 PM
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Don't get me wrong I am aware of the jitter reports on these things and on the average DAC I agree with what your saying. It has been my understanding that with a DAC that reclocks or upsamples, jitter on the DAC input shouldn't matter (or at least not much). I would assume the DacMagic + should fit the bill here, but your experience with the CCA vs Oppo says otherwise. I'm not trying to defend a cheap streaming device as being a top quality performer, I'm a consumer that wants the most from his system without blindly spending.

There have been enough negative and positive comments regarding the CCA when used on better quality systems that I would like to calibrate my own expectations, unfortunately that costs the money I don't want to spend without certainty...
Pardon my jumping in, but by 'jitter' do you mean repetitive, transient dropouts? I'm not trying to correct; I'm trying to understand. Because I've just hooked up my own multi-zone CCA system and I'm getting something like that. It seems worse in the more remote location. That is, more remote from my router & phone; need to confirm the latter with more testing. However, it comes and it goes. Seems worse when I start up the system, but I can't figure out why that would be.

Then again, I have multiple issues. 1) I'm casting from my Android phone and CCA is requiring Miracast in order to work. From what I've read, that's not even possible. But I can't get it to cast straight from any app (mostly using Pandora One and Android Music). Could my rapid-fire dropouts be related to this?

Then there's 2) I was using Bluetooth previously, but to multi-zone that involves a whole lot of re-transmitting BT signals with multiple receivers & transmitters and I just figured CCA would be better. But I did think I could do both concurrently. That's no big deal.

All opinions welcome. I'm the opposite of an expert at this.
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post #534 of 880 Old 06-22-2017, 07:45 AM
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Pardon my jumping in, but by 'jitter' do you mean repetitive, transient dropouts? I'm not trying to correct; I'm trying to understand. Because I've just hooked up my own multi-zone CCA system and I'm getting something like that. It seems worse in the more remote location. That is, more remote from my router & phone; need to confirm the latter with more testing. However, it comes and it goes. Seems worse when I start up the system, but I can't figure out why that would be.

Then again, I have multiple issues. 1) I'm casting from my Android phone and CCA is requiring Miracast in order to work. From what I've read, that's not even possible. But I can't get it to cast straight from any app (mostly using Pandora One and Android Music). Could my rapid-fire dropouts be related to this?

Then there's 2) I was using Bluetooth previously, but to multi-zone that involves a whole lot of re-transmitting BT signals with multiple receivers & transmitters and I just figured CCA would be better. But I did think I could do both concurrently. That's no big deal.

All opinions welcome. I'm the opposite of an expert at this.
Jitter is tiny timing errors in the digital domain. A quick google search of 'jitter audio' or something similar will get you more information.

To me it sounds like your dropouts are because of Miracast, your phone is being a true middleman in the setup and that can get shaky at the best of times. What version of android are you on and do you have the google home app installed? Any app with support should have the cast icon that you tap and select the destination, individual CCA's or groups created. To create groups you need to go into the home app and select devices from the menu, you will then be put into a new screen that will let you select devices, adjust individual device settings, and create groups.
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post #535 of 880 Old 06-22-2017, 01:37 PM
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One thing to mention is if you are using an optical Toslink cable to connect to your stereo or amp then you will be bypassing the DAC in the Chromecast and using the one in the connect stereo/amp. If your using an analog cable then your using the DAC in the Chromecast.

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Here is everything you'd ever want to know about that chip. Happy reading!
http://www.akm.com/akm/en/file/datasheet/AK4430ET.pdf

This was also a fun read: The teardowns of both Chromecast versions. The Audio is remarkably similar internally, but minus the HDMI and plus the addition of the DAC.
https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Chro...Teardown/50189
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Does anyone know anything about this DAC (AKM AK4430 192kHz 24-Bit Stereo DAC) in the Chromecast Audio?
I'm not too familiar with the world of DACs so I'm unaware of AKM as a manufacturer on the whole.
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post #536 of 880 Old 06-22-2017, 02:25 PM
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To me it sounds like your dropouts are because of Miracast, your phone is being a true middleman in the setup and that can get shaky at the best of times. What version of android are you on and do you have the google home app installed? Any app with support should have the cast icon that you tap and select the destination, individual CCA's or groups created. To create groups you need to go into the home app and select devices from the menu, you will then be put into a new screen that will let you select devices, adjust individual device settings, and create groups.
Thanks for your response. I agree that Miracast is likely the problem--as near as I can determine, it's casting the phone data from Pandora (for example) to my Chromecast 'HomeGroup' (which I set up) and that's a roundabout way to get results, as you say. My LG V10 phone is using Android 6.0.

Originally I tried casting straight from Pandora, using the icon as you describe. However, every time I do, I immediately get this message: "Your cast session with Chromecast HomeGroup has ended." And it's dead in the water. I don't even know how I struck upon Miracast as a (sort of) solution.

Since I've been typing this response, I tried it again, with the same results. However now (Miracasting again) there are suddenly no dropouts. No idea how long that will last. Meanwhile, I'm catching up on this thread--I'm 417 posts into it at the moment

ETA: Sorry--forgot to add--yes I'm using the Google Home app.

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post #537 of 880 Old 07-07-2017, 07:26 PM
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FWIW, turns out the phenomenon I was describing is generally called 'stuttering'. It's very much a known feature/bug in the Chromecast Audio universe and many threads have been started (and then locked) at the Google Product Forums. Since this has been going on for years it seems as though there's no solution for it. The Google reps visit each thread and say 'thanks for the info, try restarting your components/routers' etc.

The main consistency I've noted is the more speakers in a CC group, the more stuttering. People walking around the house seem to have an effect too. But the stuttering is always limited to particular speaker pairs. That is, a momentary dropout will affect one zone and not another, which keeps playing properly. But they happen a lot.

https://productforums.google.com/for...st/SMRX6JAtJbE

Also note that Google says the system range is limited to 15 feet. Not great if you're planning on grouping several rooms, though my experience is better than 15 feet.
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post #538 of 880 Old 07-07-2017, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electone View Post
Yes - I mention it in my post.
Everyone using the analog out to a receiver should turn on the high dynamic range option, but it has no impact if the SPDIF output option is used. Doesn't hurt to turn it on, though.
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Living room: Samsung PN60F8500, Sony X800M2, Roku Premiere+, Revel W763, Revel M16, Hsu HB-1 MK2, RSL C34E, Rhythmik D15SE, Denon X4200W; Zone 2: Speaker selector, Yamaha RX-V495 (1999); Bedroom: Panasonic P50U54, Oppo BDP-80, Chromecast Audio, Advent Legacy III (1994), Denon 2310ci; Cabin: Roku 3, NHT Super Zero (1996), Hsu VTF-2 MK4, Denon 1712
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post #539 of 880 Old 07-08-2017, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Archguy View Post

Also note that Google says the system range is limited to 15 feet. Not great if you're planning on grouping several rooms, though my experience is better than 15 feet.
The range for normal operation is anywhere within your wifi coverage area. 15 feet is probably only for pairing/setup/guest mode direct connection, it is definitely not a wifi restriction.
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post #540 of 880 Old 07-08-2017, 02:10 PM
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Thanks. That makes a whole lot more sense. I was really wondering.
Since I now have six zones, you'd think I'd have remembered that by now!

There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey. --John Ruskin
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