HiFiBerry DAC or USB soundcard?
#1
I need to upgrade my brother's RPi as he's noticing the poor quality of the audio output.

I was thinking of getting him the HiFiBerry DAC for his Model B (non-plus) http://www.hifiberry.com/dac and they even have a pre-configured image of OpenElec 4.1.6. He will have to continue using Gotham for a while, even if the DAC was compatible with Helix, as the skin he uses, XTV-SAF, won't be made Helix compatible by it's author until it's stable, or at least out of beta.

However, I then read something about needing to disable/blacklist LIRC to get the DAC to work and I think the remote he uses (same as mine) depends on LIRC, so I'm not sure it's an option anymore.

Does anyone know about this and if it's true, can you recommend a USB soundcard that works reliably with OpenElec Gotham as an alternative?
Reply
#2
The best solution is a hdmi to analog audio splitter. You can use omxplayer or dvdplayer.

An ALSA card (USB or I2S) means only dvdplayer is supported (not a problem - it works well with Helix but may struggle with raw Blu-Rays - most 1080p content is fine).
I2S should be more efficient that USB (driver uses DMA), and doesn't compete with USB disk or network bandwith, so Hifiberry would be preferable to USB.

Don't worry about LIRC. If the gpio pin is not explicitly specified it defaults to 18 which conflicts with I2S on a B+. You just need to change to a different GPIO pin and it will be fine.

We believe we are able to improve the analogue audio quality with a firmware update. Not ready yet, but perhaps in a few weeks.
Reply
#3
See here for changing LIRC GPIO pins:
http://openelec.tv/forum/124-raspberry-p...igi#124199
Reply
#4
(2014-12-05, 13:41)popcornmix Wrote: The best solution is a hdmi to analog audio splitter. You can use omxplayer or dvdplayer.

I looked at those but they're really expensive.

Quote:An ALSA card (USB or I2S) means only dvdplayer is supported (not a problem - it works well with Helix but may struggle with raw Blu-Rays - most 1080p content is fine).

I'm not sure if that limitation won't be a problem. I'll have to check that my brother is able to play everything with dvdplayer first. He doesn't use anything like raw Blu-ray, or even 1080p content as he's still running an old CRT TV but I seem to recall he had problems playing some low-bitrate clips sourced from youtube or something and he had to experiment to see which player worked for those. We were using Plex Server and the XBMC Plex addon to play those originally but at some point the experimental XBMC Gotham builds made that no longer necessary.

Quote: I2S should be more efficient that USB (driver uses DMA), and doesn't compete with USB disk or network bandwith, so Hifiberry would be preferable to USB.

Yeah, that's the main reason I'd prefer to go that route, even though a USB adapter would be less hassle.

Quote:Don't worry about LIRC. If the gpio pin is not explicitly specified it defaults to 18 which conflicts with I2S on a B+. You just need to change to a different GPIO pin and it will be fine.

From what HiassofT posted in the other thread that you linked to, it seems it doesn't affect USB dongle IR receivers, even though we have to use LIRC for them, only IR receivers wired to the GPIO header, so that's one thing I don't have to worry about Smile

Quote:We believe we are able to improve the analogue audio quality with a firmware update. Not ready yet, but perhaps in a few weeks.

Sounds great but as I said, my brother's going to be stuck on Gotham for a while until the author of xTV-SAF updates his skin to be compatible with Helix, so any fixes to Helix won't help him at the moment. He has only recently said to me that he thought the analog output had got "noisier" though and I only updated him to Helix recently (before realising that xTV-SAF wasn't compatible yet), so I wonder if there could be anything in the Helix builds that degraded the quality compared to Gotham? I've put him back on Gotham stable now anyway, so perhaps he'll notice the quality's improved if that's the case.
Reply
#5
I'm having second thoughts about the HiFiBerry DAC and am looking for suggestions for reliable USB DACs for OE Gotham but I've started a thread on the OE forum, so to avoid duplication if anyone has any advice about USB DACs that work reliably with OE Gotham, you might want to post there. Up to you though, I'm happy to receive your advice here as well Smile

http://openelec.tv/forum/124-raspberry-p...d-usb-dacs

(2014-12-05, 13:41)popcornmix Wrote: We believe we are able to improve the analogue audio quality with a firmware update. Not ready yet, but perhaps in a few weeks.

Is this the fix you were referring to? https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware/issues/324

If so, it may be that my brother was affected by the issue whilst he was running Helix but now I've reverted him to Gotham I don't think he'll be affected by this bug will he? I'll ask him when I next talk to him whether he's noticed it's improved since I reverted him.
Reply
#6
(2014-12-10, 01:13)doveman2 Wrote: Is this the fix you were referring to? https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware/issues/324

No. What I referred to is something new.
Reply
#7
(2014-12-10, 01:55)popcornmix Wrote: No. What I referred to is something new.

Ooh, cool Smile
Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average



Logout Mark Read Team Forum Stats Members Help
HiFiBerry DAC or USB soundcard?00
This forum uses Lukasz Tkacz MyBB addons.