Monday 14 December 2020

Maybe the best gadget I've ever bought?


Fairly insidiously, Amazon has taken over my house.  I now have various iterations of FireTVs connected to each TV, and almost every room has an echo device.

I'm not complaining really, these are great pieces of technology, and voice control is a lot more useful that I would have envisaged a few years ago. 

And the FireTV is excellent - easy to use and supports everything I use on a regular basis; Netflix, Kodi, Spotify, Emby Amazon Video and more. However, there's one thing that' been bugging me -  it's lack of true bit-streaming of extended sound formats. I use Kodi quite a bit for my media library, and there are many titles in there with fancy surround formats that just don't make it out to my AV system unscathed.

This is only an issue in my Home Cinema which has a full 7.1.4 system that can make best use of such soundtracks (everywhere else is plain old stereo).

I've been reading about the nVidia Shield for a while and finally bought one to see if it could replace the FireTV in this room. Here's how I got on with it...

Sunday 13 December 2020

Marantz / Denon IP Control in Node-Red

I'm enjoying my recently acquired Marantz AV8805 processor which is now the heart of my Home Cinema. My previous trusty SR7010 receiver is still working hard as a power amp, driving surround and height channels.

One of the challenges of running in this kind of configuration is that both units respond to the same remote control signals. I have switched off remote receiving on the SR7010 as I just want it to behave as a power amp. However, as the 7010 has no trigger inputs (alas, only outputs), the problem remains of how to power up the SR7010, and power it down, in tandem with the AV8805.

Here's the end result;

Here's how this was done in Node-Red....

Saturday 5 December 2020

Set up Sky Fibre Broadband with Unifi USG

I recently moved from eir to Sky for TV, phone and broadband. My old eir modem supported bridging which allowed it play nice with my USG and the rest of the Unifi network. Unfortunately, the Sky modem does not support bridging. The usual advice online is to eliminate the Sky hardware and add a dedicated modem such as the Draytek V120. This is not an option for me as I'm also subscribing to Sky Talk, and that passes through the Sky modem.

That leaves only one option: configure the Sky modem with DMZ pointing to the USG WAN IP address. The downside is that this setup introduces double NAT which may impact some gaming setups, port forwarding etc., but it's the only way I could get interoperability...