Squeezebox and Ambisonics

How can we get multi-channel Ambisonic playback out of the Squeezebox?

If there was one set-up, one combination of player/amp/speakers that Ambisonia could recommend (or even sell) as a good and guaranteed way to access Ambisonic surround (sourced from the Internet) … then this would be a huge boost for Ambisonics.

The Squeezebox Duet has both optical and coaxial S/PDIF output. I think S/PDIF is a maximum of 2 channels only. Could the optical and coaxial spit out 2 channels each? Probably not …. and even if it could, what amplifier would understand that?

As Hugh mentions, it would be great to have a DTS or AC3 encoder hacked into the Squeezebox … but I suspect this is not going to be possible (I’m willing to be convinced otherwise 🙂 ).

And anyway … the “killer feature” is going to be a system that can spit out 8 channels for full periphony. Maybe 2 Squeezeboxes … each spitting out an AC3 stream (= 8 channels) ? hmmmm .. messy.

Even if there was only 1 amplifier on the market that could send 8 channels from optical (ADAT?) … and that coud be hooked up to the Squeezebox to deliver ambisonic sound from files downloaded direct from the Internet ….

hmmm … there’s got to be a solution somewhere …

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4 Responses to Squeezebox and Ambisonics

  1. Pingback: inguz audio » Blog Archive » Squeezebox and Ambisonics

  2. Michael Chapman says:

    “I think S/PDIF is a maximum of 2 channels only.”

    It probably is officially (think it also has a 20-bit word-width limit
    but is often used at 24 (perhaps an expert can comment)).

    In practice though CoreSound squirt out 4-channel A-format
    from their box for the TetraMic
    (four channels at 24/96).

    So what you are asking does not seem ridicumous …


  3. Michael Chapman says:

    OK the URL got killed:


  4. The problem there is that the Amplifiers wont understand it.

    The question then is how can one convert 4 channels on SPDIF into a 4 channel format that Amplifiers can understand?

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