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Integrating NL and ML in the new age

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steve1977
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steve1977 posted on Fri, Apr 19 2019 7:55 AM
We’ve had similar discussions on this forum some years ago. With many new developments, i’m curious what’s possible by now.

In an ideal world, i’d be able to use the b&o app to play music across all my b&o devices including both ML and NL. I love the “join” feature and like to use it from the app or device itself. Let me start with my understanding and hope others can comment:

1) Google voice assist: if i play music using google assist on my BS1, i cannot “join” other b&o devices. The only thing that works is to cast to a group (“hey google play to speaker group a”). This only works for CC/CCA enabled devices. B&O app cannot be used and “join” is not possible. Join/app also not possible if i were to use deezer? Also not on my spotify connect devices?

2) DLNA: works through the b&o app, but there is no app that allows to use google voice assist with a dlna server?

3) ML/NL: i’d like to play music to my “old” BVs (ML), but don’t want to turn them on and don’t want the screen on once i cast to them. The ml/nl allows me to join audio casts (e.g., a dlna stream from my bs1). that works through the app. There are two things that didn’t work. Still not?

* I cannot stream from app to ml/nl (neither deezer nor dlna). used to work in the old b&o app, but now only “join” works

* Manual “join” at ml/nl not possible with BV (only if connected to PL speakers)

4) Core: Would i be in a better position if i were to replace the ml/nl with a core?

5) How would it work if i were to add a CCA to the line-in of the ml/nl?

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Hiort
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Hiort replied on Fri, Apr 19 2019 9:07 AM
steve1977:

1) Google voice assist: if i play music using google assist on my BS1, i cannot “join” other b&o devices. The only thing that works is to cast to a group (“hey google play to speaker group a”). This only works for CC/CCA enabled devices. B&O app cannot be used and “join” is not possible. Join/app also not possible if i were to use deezer? Also not on my spotify connect devices?

When you use the GVA feature, you use the Chromecast protocol and the sources within Chromecast (including Deezer). That’s why you cannot join from other B&O devices. You are outside of B&O multi room functionality.

 

 

 

 

Livingroom: BL3, BL11, BV11-46 Kitchen: Beosound 1 GVA, Beocom 2 Bathroom: M3 Library: A6, Beocom 6000 Bedroom: M5 Office: Beocom 2 Travel: Beoplay E8 2.0, Beoplay P2

Tassos
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Tassos replied on Fri, Apr 19 2019 12:11 PM

Hello Steve,

I can not comment on the questions you made, at least not at all of them (every setup can be an "ecosystem' of its own) but I can share my setup and opinion.

I own a Beoplay V1, a moment, a beovision 6-26, a beomaster 6500, a beogram 5000, a couple of beolabs, a beolink pc, some beolink ml/mcl converters  an NL/ML converter and a BLI (Beoliving Intelligence).

All ML products are connected together via an ML distributor and all NL products are connected to my router. The NL/ML converter is connected to both the ML distributor and the router and makes the link between ML and NL products.

The goal of my setup is to have all sources available at all rooms and be able to operate them via mobile app and ir remotes.

To achieve so I had to fiddle around with the nl/ml converter a lot and finally I came up with a solution which achieves the previously mentioned goal with a twist. The twist is that to initiate on an ML product an NL source you need to use video sources. For example when I press V.AUX on my beo4 my beovision 6-26 will play the pattern play source from my moment. To do so you need to "declare" the NL/ML converter as a video master. The result is that the ML products will "see" as audio sources the audio sources of the ML audio master, in my case the beomaster 6500. Then you can assign at the video sources of the nl/ml converter the audio sources of the nl products.

There still are some tricky parts like the fact that beomaster will play phono when n.music is selected but the beolink pc will play net music but these are not of a big concern to me as my beolink pc is quite far from my beogram so I am not listening to LPs while I am working in the office.

The beotech part of this site was very helpful along with steve from sounds heavenly who procured all cables for my setup. The rest is imagination and trial and error.

As far as the google assistant is concerned I am not using it although it is possible since the BLI communicates with IFTTT. The reason I am not using it is that my mother language as well as my wife's is Greek and it seems very funny to speak two languages in our house.

About the DLNA: I own two NAS, one qnap and one sinology. They both can be used as DLNA music servers but you have either to install the twonky app on them which is a bit of a struggle or use a plex server as the DLNA server. I am currently using the latter but it is not very stable. 

If you follow a similar setup your video ml products will start without the screen being turned on.

The NL/ML converter is installed in my living room along with the moment and beomaster/beogram. All ml products are connected to the converter along with an ir eye. The Powerlink socket of the nl/ml converter is connected to the line in of the moment. The moment is declared to be in the same room with my beoplay v1 (although this is not physically true. The reason is that I want it to be ir blind). Furthermore the beomaster is opt.0 so it can not receive ir commands. All other ml products are opt.6

I hope this was helpful or at least inspiring for you to try and make your own setup the way you want it to function. At the end this is the reason why we love B&O....everyone has an installation that can match no other! ;-)

steve1977
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Thanks for your replies. I’ll study your setup and it indeed provides a lot of inspiration!!! I may end up buying more ;)

One Q - are you using the b&o app? If so, did you find a way to play anything to the ML/NL connected devices via the b&o app? Not “join”, but only to the ml/nl connected device.
Tassos
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Tassos replied on Fri, Apr 19 2019 3:22 PM

Hello again :-)

I am using both the B&O app and the Beoliving Inteligence app. They actually are quite similar.

As far as the nl/ml converter it does not support playback of any source like deezer etc. but if you want to add a deezer source for example you can hook a chromecast device on the line in. Then make the right adjustement through the gui of the converter so it turn on when you select the chromecast to play.

steve1977
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Interesting idea. Have you tried it? Would this allow me to join other devices to this deezer stream? (cast from deezer app to CCA over line-in to ml/nl playing on bv7 connected over ml). There may be sync issues?
Tassos
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Tassos replied on Fri, Apr 19 2019 4:53 PM

I haven't tried it as I am trying to use only one app. The B&O app before I purchased a BLI and now the BLI. As far as syncing you can play with it on the converters gui. At my setup I have never had issues with audio sync except with the beovision 6-26 which is in my bedroom and the only way to listen that it is not synched is if you stay at the corridor which leads to the living room. 

Another idea that came to my mind which will permit you to add deezer etc to the line in of the converter and being able to control it through the B&O app and IR remote is to connect a beosound essence or core. I can not find of any use of this kind of setup other than making the converter a source of deezer etc.

Finally I believe if you connect a chromecast to the line in of the converter you will be able to make your beovision 7 join the experience if you program the converter to play line in when a specific source is selected. For example:

Let's say that you have only the converter and the Beovision 7. At the sources visible to ML page of your converter you can program it so when you press n. music for example what the converter should do is to play line in. If you do so though you would have to start the chromecast first and then choose n.music from your beovision. Whereas if you get an essence (mkii is the multiroom version) or a core you can program the converter so when you press n.music deezer should start for example.

To make it clearer.

The chromecast scenario.

You select n.music at your beovision 7. What will happen is that beovision will ask the converter to play n.music. Your converter will be programmed that when n.music is asked then is should play whatever is on its line in. So the beovision will turn on (without the display being turned on) and start playing the converter's line in. If you haven't started streaming something to your chromecast you will hear nothing. As soon as you start a stream from your mobile to the chromecast you will be able to listen it on the beovision.

The core/essence mkii/moment scenario.

You select n.music at your bv7. bv7 asks the converter to play n.music. The converter is programmed to play music (at our case deezer) from the core/essence mkii/moment. When asked to play n.music. the core/essence mkii/moment starts playing, your bv7 turns on with its display off and you have sound from your beovision.

If you are planning to play around a bit try to use a chromecast at the begging so you get familiar with the converter's possibilities. Then you can revisit your needs and goals and decide if it makes sense to buy a core/essence mkii/moment.

Don't forget that you will have to be patient. When something doesn't work usually you need to unplug from mains and replug the ml products. This is done cause every time you plug them to mains they run a "discovery procedure" let's say, of your other ml products.

ML is great fun cause it is a bit more demanding than NL as far as installation is concerned. NL is much easier and straight forward.

steve1977
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Thabks for your helpful sharing.

I’d like to avoid using the bone/beo4 for audio. I like your idea to add a core/essence, but it’s a fairly pricy idea and not sure it would even work to reach my idea.

Initially, i was “sold” to just switch from NL to CC. I thought that’d be a great way to combine old and new b&o devices as well as even non-b&o. Most speakers now allow CC and others can easily be integrated via CCA. Unfortunately, the CC experience is far than great. I need to restart the A9 all the time to make it work and switching from one speaker group to another is a pain. So, i’m back to appreciate the b&o app ;)

Im still annoyed that b&o removed the feature to play deezer to the ml/nl. it used to work with the old b&o app. But it’s how it is.

Another issue with this potential new setup is that i cannot get non-b&o or old b&o devices integrated. For example, i truly love my very old BS1 (the old model from decades ago). Is there any way to get it into a b&o multi-room? Through core, ml/nl, essence or any other idea how i can bring this into the world of b&o. Obviously, i could get it into AP2 or CC, but i’d be looking for a way to get it into b&o app world.
steve1977
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I set up my ml/nl again, but it doesn’t seem to. r cable to deliver the basics i was looking for.

I have the ml/nl connected to my router and to my BV7 via ML. I’m not using PL and line-in for now.

Fired up the b&o app and see what it can do with the ml/nl converter. Unfortunately,i had to realize that it cannot “join” other sources. Also, it cannot play any NL sources.

Have you ever tried this? Just technically not feasible?
Tassos
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Tassos replied on Mon, Apr 22 2019 2:48 PM

Which NL products do you have? The nl/ml converter is used to integrate nl and ml products. If you only have a bv7 and the nl/ml converter there is not much you can do.

The way I have integrated nl and ml products in my setup is the following:

All nl products connected to the router.

All ml products connected to the nl/ml converter except the beomaster 6500 which is not an ml product but a datalink product. To make it communicate with ml products and the nl/ml converter I used a beolink converter (https://www.beoworld.org/prod_details.asp?pid=983).

The nl/ml converter is hooked to both the router and the ml network. 

ML/NL converter does not function as a source but as a "translator" between nl and ml products. The only situation in which it functions as a source is to play whatever you have connected on the line in. You need to have an audio master (it doesn't matter if it is ml or nl) so you can have access to music sources. An audio master can be a moment, a core, a beomaster , etc.

As far as the beosound 1 is concerned it is not compatible with the ml protocol so there is not much you can.

You can use the beotech site to check the compatibility of different products. 

if you don't mind sharing with us the products that you have I can help you further.

steve1977
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Thanks Tassos for your kind reply.

Let me share with you my setup and also what I am trying to accomplish:

NL devices: A9mk2, 2xBS1mk2, 2xM3

ML devices: BV5, B7, BC2 (connected via ML to the BV5)

2 MN/NL converters

Other devices: Beolit 12, BS1 (old), various CCA dongles, ATV

 

My primary goal is as follows: (1) Play music from B&O app to as many devices as possible (same as you, I'd like to avoid using several apps), (2) Avoid turning on BVs manually and avoid having the screen go on when playing audio.

I succeeded with the old Beo Music app (at least partially), but struggle to do so with the B&O app. My issues are two-fold: I cannot "join" the BVs connected to ML/NL converter. E.g., I play DLNA on my A9 and would like to press "+" in the B&O app to have the BV5 join playing the same music. I can do this with the M3, but not the ML/NL (BV5). Second issue is that I cannot start a stream on the BV5 (ML/NL). E.g., I'd like to select and play DLNA on the BV5 (ML/NL) with the source being the A9. This doesn't seem to work either.

Getting the BS1 back into the mix would also be great. If this requires me to buy a Core or Moment or something else, I'd be willing to consider. I love my old BS1 (and also my Beolit 12). Don't want to give them up.

I had already dropped the B&O app and thought that going with chromecast audio is the solution to all my issues. All devices above work with chromecast audio (natively or through a dongle). The issue is that the implementation of chromecast in the A9 seems flaky (I need to restart every day). Besides that, I cannot "join" or just add one speaker or remove one speaker (work-around switching between speaker groups is very buggy). And lastly, I couldn't use the "touch to join" function that I have with the BS1 (and M3?).

Funny enough what is holding me back is how much I still enjoy the BV5 and also the old BS1. I don't really like the new B&O TVs. I'd be willing to give up my BV7 and replace it with a NL television to improve my setup, but not my BV5. Also not my Beolit 12 or old BS1.

Any thoughts how to further improve my setup appreciated.

Tassos
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Tassos replied on Tue, Apr 23 2019 7:22 AM

Hello Steve,

first things first. There is no way (at least to my knowledge) that you can add an ml product (say bv7) to the b&o app. What you add to make it work is the nl/ml converter. In other words if you want to control everything from the b&o app then one of your converters (or both of them) needs to "feed" the ml product.

To make it even clearer. You need to connect the output of the nl/ml converter to one of the inputs of your bv or your bc in order to be able to control it via the app. What you are really going to control is the nl/ml converter but the sound will come out of the bv. Think the converter as  a chromecast that you connect to the aux of your bv or bc. The output of the nl/ml converter is simply one of the Powerlink sockets (remember that each Powerlink socket carries both left and right channel). The input of the bv/bc can be any input that allows sound to pass.

If you start play music say on your m3, have you ever tried to choose CDV on your bv5?

CDV is a button you can add to your beo4. CDV is the command that older products understand as "join"

In any case try to start slowly. For example connect all ml products and the converters (leave the nl out) play around with them. Then add the nl products one by one so you get a grasp of how the communication between nl/ml 

I am not currently at home so I can not give any more detailed suggestions.

If I were you I would try to connect one of the converters to the bc2. Then when you choose one of the nl sources from your b&o app the converter will start play....it will feed the aux of the bc2 which will start play music through the speakers you have connected to it. If you have your bc connected only to the bv and use the speakers of the bv then it will play through these speakers as if it plays a local source of music.

do you know in which opt is your bv5 your bc2?

Soren
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Soren replied on Tue, Apr 23 2019 8:54 AM

Tassos:

If you start play music say on your m3, have you ever tried to choose CDV on your bv5?

CDV is a button you can add to your beo4. CDV is the command that older products understand as "join"

Hi

just a little correction.... CDV is the old command for DVD, if you need JOIN on an old Beo4 you have to  choose CD2

Søren

Tassos
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Tassos replied on Tue, Apr 23 2019 9:02 AM

Totally right Soren! My mistake!

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