Author Topic: Bad news from the Funkausstellung  (Read 4936 times)

Dogmatix

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Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« on: 13:19:09 | 04 September, 2015 »
I learned today at the Qualcomm (ex-CSR) stand at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) that existing Reciva radios, whether with Barracuda or Stingray boards, cannot be upgraded to receive the new BBC HLS streams. The boards simply do not have the power to decode the new formats, and drop-in replacement boards are also not possible.

That is, of course, not to say that there won't be Qualcomm/Reciva products in future which can decode the new streams. Far from it.

The good news is that the Reciva database will continue to be maintained. 

[I did visit the Frontier Silicon and Pure stands to ask about their plans for BBC reception, but no-one at was available at those stands who had any idea about the problem.]

Looks like it is up to us, then, to put pressure on the BBC to maintain the current mp3 streams as long as possible. Not that the BBC will take the blindest bit of notice.

PS: AudioBlock is jumping ship - all their new internet radio products are Frontier-based.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

castalla

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #1 on: 14:04:51 | 04 September, 2015 »
Pure already has BBC hls .... has done since the beginning.

As does squeezebox - try LMS with the layesy UPnPBridge plugin?
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drgeoff

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #2 on: 15:51:57 | 04 September, 2015 »
.. and drop-in replacement boards are also not possible.
I'm struggling to come up with a valid technical reason for that. But no shortage of commercial reasons for "not possible".

As for the existing boards not being "powerful"  enough, let Qualcom release the source code and we'll see if that is true.  :)

castalla

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #3 on: 16:16:20 | 04 September, 2015 »
It's a lost cause ... if QC have made that decision. 

Better to concentrate on workarounds, imho.
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drgeoff

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #4 on: 00:09:52 | 05 September, 2015 »
I agree that both the BBC and Qualcom decisions are probably lost causes. But that doesn't invalidate what I wrote.

Dogmatix

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #5 on: 01:37:08 | 05 September, 2015 »
Pure already has BBC hls [...]

Just not in particularly nice radios. There was only one on display; it wasn't even stereo.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

Dogmatix

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #6 on: 01:40:02 | 05 September, 2015 »
.. and drop-in replacement boards are also not possible.
I'm struggling to come up with a valid technical reason for that.

It has to do with the inadequacy of the board connectors for fast signals. It would need something like the SIMM slots used in computers.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

Dogmatix

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #7 on: 01:41:34 | 05 September, 2015 »
I agree that both the BBC and Qualcom decisions are probably lost causes. But that doesn't invalidate what I wrote.

I don't see how it is Qualcom's fault (or Frontier's or anyone else's) if the BBC decide to change to a streaming format incompatible with 99% of sold internet radios.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

castalla

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #8 on: 02:43:18 | 05 September, 2015 »
Pure already has BBC hls [...]

Just not in particularly nice radios. There was only one on display; it wasn't even stereo.

Agreed.  The Pure menu display is also very primitive.  Our Pure is simply a standby device if everything else goes awol   Wouldn't want to use it as a main device.

I'm still surprised that few Reciva owners seem to have tried or had success getting UPnPBridge working.   
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drgeoff

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #9 on: 02:51:37 | 05 September, 2015 »
.. and drop-in replacement boards are also not possible.
I'm struggling to come up with a valid technical reason for that.

It has to do with the inadequacy of the board connectors for fast signals. It would need something like the SIMM slots used in computers.
That does not make sense. There is no requirement for the signals to or from the board to be any faster than currently. The signals are:
1. USB to/from Wi-Fi dongle
2. USB to/from ethernet if present
3. Digital audio to the DAC.
4. Inputs from push buttons and rotary control
5. Data outputs to display
6. Control to display backlight.

None of those needs to run faster to cope with HLS.

I can imagine that the current boards might not have enough
1. Processing speed to decode HLS in real time
2. Enough RAM to handle HLS
3. Enough ROM (firmware) to store new HLS code in addition to what is still needed for non-HLS stations.
A new board with faster CPU,  more RAM and more ROM can meet any of those three problems. Chip technology has advanced greatly since the Barracuda module was designed so there is no problem to meet any of the above increases within the size and supply current constraints.

As I said, there are many possible/commercial reasons not to provide a fix but I would prefer that QC said that instead of "blind them with science" untruth.

drgeoff

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #10 on: 03:25:42 | 05 September, 2015 »
I agree that both the BBC and Qualcom decisions are probably lost causes. But that doesn't invalidate what I wrote.

I don't see how it is Qualcom's fault (or Frontier's or anyone else's) if the BBC decide to change to a streaming format incompatible with 99% of sold internet radios.
What point are you trying to make?  I have not, here or anywhere else, attempted to attribute blame to any entity other than the BBC for the consequences of the BBC decision.

Dogmatix

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #11 on: 08:11:08 | 05 September, 2015 »
I was at the IFA again today; again, no technical person available at Frontier (just a lady to make appointments for trade visitors). However, Revo are there with their (rather nice, but pricey) new internet radios, Frontier-based, and I was told there that these radios could and would be updated for BBC's new streams (unlike older models with Frontier chips, and, of course, even older ones with Reciva boards).
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

castalla

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #12 on: 05:12:06 | 09 September, 2015 »
Pure already has BBC hls [...]

Just not in particularly nice radios. There was only one on display; it wasn't even stereo.

Agreed.  The Pure menu display is also very primitive.  Our Pure is simply a standby device if everything else goes awol   Wouldn't want to use it as a main device.

I'm still surprised that few Reciva owners seem to have tried or had success getting UPnPBridge working.

I've been trying to get the Pure One Flow working with upnpbridge - it sort of works (but there are a lot of control issues which the dev is attempting to figure out).

However, prolonged use of the Pure has thrown up some serious problems with its network performance.   Listening to a live stream - the stream tries to reconnect (at random intervals) - usually fails, and then all other devices on the network are blocked from the internet UNTIL the Pure is unplugged when all the devices immediately resume.  Bizarre..

I suspect some bug in the Pure's network routines. 

All in all, the Pure is a real clunker.
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Dogmatix

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Re: Bad news from the Funkausstellung
« Reply #13 on: 12:37:13 | 21 September, 2015 »
Just to muddy the waters a bit: I have inquired of some brands what their state of play is.

Sangean wrote: "Our (and Roberts) current and future models with the Frontier Sillicon solutions could be upgradable to support the new BBC Stream. The Reciva solutions won’t be able to decode the new stream" (remember that aside from the older WFR-20/WM201, Sangean and Roberts also had alarm-clock sized Reciva radios on offer, which used v265 or v266 firmware and may have used Stingray modules).

Roberts wrote that "without additional information regarding the release of the BBC’s latest plans (MPEG-DASH implementation), we cannot confirm compatibility with a 100 per cent certainty", but "would 'guess' that our internet radios currently on sale are able to provide support for this format" and added that "devices using Reciva tuners may experience difficulties."

Revo, as previously reported, said much the same.

Pioneer, who have Frontier modules in some of their AV receiver/amps of which I have one, have previously said that there will be no updates.

Grace have answered a query on their Facebook page, but their answer contradicts what others have said: "all of the currently sold Grace Digital radios have the ability to get HLS streams." Also, "Grace is reviewing various alternative module providers including Frontier." Sounds like Grace is also thinking of considering whether they ought to investigate the possibility of wondering whether they should ponder jumping ship. (They also point out that the Grace units in Amazon.co.uk are offered there by dealers over whom Grace have no control; Grace are not selling directly to the UK themselves.)
« Last Edit: 01:59:49 | 23 September, 2015 by Dogmatix »
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.