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Playmaker very unreliable: Any alternative?

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davelarue
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davelarue posted on Sun, Dec 13 2015 12:03 AM

After a year of playing, my playmaker has been very unreliable - with drops every other song. My airport express had no issues whatsoever. After lots of reading and troubleshooting, i'v given up.

Now, 4 years after the release of the playmaker, is there a better alternative that airplay-enables my b&o speakers (with the same quality and simplicity as the playmaker) ?

 

 

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davelarue
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Don't agree. The product doesn't work by design. It might work reliably under certain conditions, where there is little interference. But, this wasn't clear when it was marketed and sold. 

Its like buying a car with square wheels. You have to buy a new car with round wheels later...and then saying 'sorry, this is a discontinued product'. 

Sorry for the rant. Love my beolabs, and they are anyway keepers. 

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Fri, May 13 2016 5:52 PM

davelarue:

Don't agree. The product doesn't work by design. It might work reliably under certain conditions, where there is little interference. But, this wasn't clear when it was marketed and sold. 

Its like buying a car with square wheels. You have to buy a new car with round wheels later...and then saying 'sorry, this is a discontinued product'. 

Sorry for the rant. Love my beolabs, and they are anyway keepers. 

Mine works quite well, thankfully, after a rocky start that was due to a background program on my PC that would hog the network resources. Once I eliminated that it works quite well. I still tend to get the occasional dropout on iTunes via my PC, but not on streaming Spotify from my iPad or phone. Not sure about that one. I'm about to rework my PC music server so will see what happens. I also am fortunate enough to live where I can't even see a neighbors wifi signal, since I live on about 3 acres of property my neighbors are all nice and far away. No worries about loud music or movie nights!

Still and all, B&Os reputation for wifi is not great.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

Irvine
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Irvine replied on Tue, May 17 2016 9:06 AM

 The problem is the DAC converter in the airport express is just inferior, and by quite a bit. The sound quality with the playmaker is far superior, but it is intermittent and can be buggy. The essence and essence mark II seem to have solved that, but at a much higher price point. I have them both and like them both very much. Playmaker, though, takes time and energy to keep working properly.   The sound quality of the playmaker so much better than the airport express that it brings out the beauty of the device that you connected to. Mine is connected from a Playmaker to a BeoSound Century and it has never sounded as good, even with compact discs. 

Irvine
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Irvine replied on Tue, May 17 2016 9:09 AM

 I had the same experience with my PC and with my iPhone. There are occasional dropouts when I stream from my PC but none from my iPhone. I'm not sure why that is but I now make it a point to use the iPhone instead. Also, I can use Pandora with the iPhone but that won't work with the PC. The sound quality on Pandora is also when usually good, notwithstanding the fact that  it is streaming at probably a lower bit rate. 

Andrew
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Andrew replied on Tue, May 17 2016 1:27 PM

Since my original post I've acquired a Playmaker because I wanted the additional input available with it - and I can confess that it sounds better than the AE/Cambridge Dac that I had and works flawlessly - it is hard wired in which seems to be best as no drop out. There are so many factors that affect Wifi - in London despite being on Virgin and massively fast speeds I get problems - in part due to the number of other wifi signals and the amount that is wireless on my router there. In the country the speed is much slower, but wifi works perfectly - I suspect because there isn't the amount of conflict. I also found that switching off 5Ghz made things much more reliable and better signal throughout the house. Anyway, just my observations, but I do think Playmaker is good and shouldn't be thrown aside, if you are having problems streaming then possibly it is not the playmaker and anything else you have would also have the same problems.

davelarue
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I see everyone's points. Thanks guys. Lets close this discussion. To recap:

- Playmaker works best wired, not wireless because of 2.4 ghz. For those with the router a distance from the PM, use a wifi extender and wire it.

- Essence mk2 seems to be the best alternative

 

XavierItzmann
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In our case:

1.  The Mac works about 1/2 the time with the Playmaker

2.  The Mac is latest generation with latest software

3.  The wireless router is Cisco and it sits 5 metres away from the Playmaker

I still think the Playmaker is a substandard product.

 

 

 

 

 

XavierItzmann
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In our case:

1.  The Mac works about 1/2 the time with the Playmaker

2.  The Mac is latest generation with latest software

3.  The wireless router is Cisco and it sits 5 metres away from the Playmaker

I still think the Playmaker is a substandard product.

 

 

 

 

 

Irvine
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Irvine replied on Sun, May 29 2016 7:40 AM

 I think you are right. Sadly, the price point, size and compatibility were all great features. They just could not get it to work reliably over a period of time. The only success I've had with mine is that I literally plug it directly into the router so that the wireless defects don't interrupt the performance.     The sound is really superior, especially to the Apple airport express. When it works, it's wonderful.   The essence is so expensive that it isn't really the right alternative.   In a way, this is exactly what happen with Beolit 12, too. Wonderful product, but they couldn't get it to work reliably.  So many bugs; week hinge on the so many bugs; week hinge on the rear door; very poor wi-fi; power plug poorly mounted so it broke loose from the chassis. All of these things could have and should have been solved in the testing phase. Instead, they rushed the product to market and everyone that bought one wound up having to deal with it. Not a good example.  Beolit 15 is actually much better. But it took quite a while and a lot of it iterations  before they worked out the bugs with that product, and only because of the new software does it avoid being so bassy that it's unpleasant to listen to. 

jk1002
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jk1002 replied on Sun, May 29 2016 7:51 AM

Playmaker will work in many cases, in some environments there is just too much interference from other networks or wireless devices. Attaching a bridge and use 5ghz or connect straight to router helps. This has nothing todo with distance to router.

Note that apple delayed the chipset for 3rd party vendors with 5ghz wifi which can improve throughput in some instances, so all devices supporting airplay were actually limited to the sometimes tricky 2.4 ghz wifi. If your playmaker didn't work, chances are other airplay devices didn't either. For me, nothing worked, I live in a condomand hadve 25 or more wifi networks around me.

 

A9 was the first device that had an improved chipset and when released it was one of the first airplay speaker supporting 5ghz.

 

so i think we have to give b&o a break here. 

 

 

 

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