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What (non-b&o) remotes are usable with the PLAYMAKER?

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tuttivini
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tuttivini posted on Sat, Oct 8 2016 9:37 AM

Beoworlders,

I'm thinking of replacing my AV-receiver (Marantz NR-1602) with a Playmaker.
The reason is I want to simplify things and because I think the dac in the Playmaker should be better than the Marantz dac (I hope to reach better/clearer sound)

(I finally found a mk2 model that I can buy second hand locally)
The Playmaker will connect directly  to my Beolab 8000's mk2 in the living room.
 I will use the analog line in to connect to my (non-b&o) tv, so all sounds from the tv, go to the Playmaker.
If I like the setup/sound, I will buy a second playmaker (if available second hand), and connect it to my beolab 6000's, which are in my kitchen (I now use the zone2 option for them on my marantz).

The only main concern for me is: How can I control the volume easily?
If I use the Playmaker with Airplay on my iPads/iPhones, I always use the hardware volume buttons on those Apple devices to control the Airplay volume, so that's easy.
But what if I want to control the volume when I use the Playmakers line-in (when watching tv)?

I don't want to use the volume scrollwheel on the Playmaker, because I want to place it out of sight and because I don't want to get up/walk everytime I want to change volume offcourse.

I'm looking for a simple remote controller to do this job (In think the only commands are volume + and volume -, because the source switching and powering the beolabs on and off are done automatically?

 I don't want to buy a Beo4 for this simple job (We wouldn't use all buttons, except volume)
(If I want to setup the Playmaker once, for things like loudness, bass, treble, I can borrow my parents Beo4) 

What would be the best/simplest remote control to perform this job?

Where is the infrared eye located on the playmaker?
If placed out of sight, I'm going to use a infrared extender cable, like this:
http://www.irblaster.info/usb_powered_ir_repeater.jpg 

If this isn't possible, how can I control the line-in volume, without touching the scrollwheel on the Playmaker? Using an app? (I thought the beosetup app is only for the setup, not for controlling) 

I would love to find a good looking minimalistic remote for this simple job ->

I've read that the Essence remote will partially work, but this is not a good remote for me, because I want to pick it up/hold it in my hands while sitting on the couch)

Would the Beoplay A8 remote work?
http://approvedusedbang-olufsen.com/beoplay-a8-remote-control-silver-new.html 
(is this infrared and gives the correct ir volume up/down signals? Will play, next track, etc also work?)  

Or any other (ir-programmable / non-b&o) remotes with good design (like the simple Apple TV remote) up to this task?

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Guy
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Guy replied on Sun, Oct 9 2016 5:37 AM

By the way, STB brackets do a wall-mount for the PlayMaker that would work in your setup, but I would simply drill holes in the PM's plastic back and clip it into place - either that or just use double sided tape.

tuttivini
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@ Duels, Jeff and Guy: Thanks for the compliments on my setup / wall / furniture.

The 'cabinet' on the left of the TV is a bio-ethanol-fire-place, cutout (recess) in the  floating wall.
On the photo's it is off, so no flames... (made another photo with the fireplace on)

In the future, if I don't like the ethanol-fire-place anymore, I can remove it and place a beosound ouverture/3000 for example in the recess. Would also look great.

@Guy: Thanks for testing your PM in similar postition. If this works with a Beo4, it would indeed be a good option.
Would the Beoplay A8 remote be as powerfull as the Beo4? Anyone tested this/has this remote?
Otherwise a second hand Beo4 is, like Jeff and you described, my best option.

You asked for a picture of the underside of the floating shelf.
I made one for you. Here it is:

As you can see, I made the sides of the floating shelf thicker. 7cm thick with anodised aluminium strips on all visible sides.
This way, there is space where I can hang things out of sight underneath. I think the playmaker can be placed out of sight where the Marantz is placed (in sight). I will sell the Marantz if the PM sounds equally or hopefully even better. 

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Oct 9 2016 3:11 PM

Ah, an alcohol fireplace! Brilliant! Very stylish, you have a wonderful eye for design. And I almost said that the hole would be a perfect place for an Overture or such, if you tire of the fireplace that would look very good there.

I have a large, modern fireplace that is one of the main focal points in my mid-century styled house, which I have a gas fireplace in with a remote control. The flames come up out of large river rocks, it's 90 deg to the right of my TV/audio setup. Before I had the gas installed I considered an alcohol insert, but since the house is on natural gas it was convenient to do a gas fireplace.

Jeff

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

Guy
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Guy replied on Sun, Oct 9 2016 5:44 PM

Thanks for the shelf underside photo!  Interesting!

Do you control the lighting remotely?  The LIGHT function could be useful if you get a Beo4, provided that you get the right accessories.

tuttivini
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@Jeff: thank you about the compliment for my 'eye for design'. A lot of hours have gone into designing and building this 'wall', but it was so much fun to do and the Beolab 8000's just 'belong' in front of this wall.
Maybe a center speaker on (or hanging under) the shelf would finish it, but centerspeakers like the 7.1 / 7.2 are quite big. A model like a modified BL6000 laying flat on the shelf would look great (something like a BL3500 as a center speaker?). And of course a subwoofer. But still looking for a local secondlife dealer which has both the BL2 and the BL11 on demo, so I can listen to both, before I decide which one I want to buy.

A gas-fireplace would be my ideal fireplace... Like you have. With a remote. Wow!
Unfortunately, when I build the floating wall, it was almost impossible for me to make a gas connection on that location.

@Guy: Yes, I control all my lightning in the living room, dining and kitchen remotely. In the shelf underside photo you can see a remote receiver which controls the ledstrips behind the floating wall.
It's a simple system from COCO (Click On Click Off), nothing fancy/hightech-domotica, but works great. All my wall switches are from this brand and in every lightsource is a receiver/dimmer. With one touch on the remote I can switch everything off if I leave the house/go to bed/etc. I also have a app on my phones/tablets. You can select scenes, set timers, switch everything on/off, dimm, etc. with the app.

Back to the PLAYMAKER: Do you guys think the PM will deliver a better sound-quality (dac), compared tot my mediocre Marantz NR1602 receiver?
(Unfortunately the second hand PM I found locally is already sold. But I've seen another one. Little more expensive but still interesting for me to buy and then buy a Beo4 or Playmaker remote somewhere) 

Guy
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Guy replied on Sun, Oct 9 2016 9:08 PM

tuttivini:

@Guy: Yes, I control all my lightning in the living room, dining and kitchen remotely. In the shelf underside photo you can see a remote receiver which controls the ledstrips behind the floating wall.
It's a simple system from COCO (Click On Click Off), nothing fancy/hightech-domotica, but works great. All my wall switches are from this brand and in every lightsource is a receiver/dimmer. With one touch on the remote I can switch everything off if I leave the house/go to bed/etc. I also have a app on my phones/tablets. You can select scenes, set timers, switch everything on/off, dimm, etc. with the app.

I thought I recognised the COCO receiver/relay.  I use a Lightmanager Pro from JBMedia which receives the Beo4 light commands and controls the RF switches including those from the COCO system. Very similar functionality although I didn't get a wifi-bridge (I make do with the Beo4).  Unfortunately, JB Media no longer make a Lightmanager version that is B&O IR (455kHz) compatible.

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Mon, Oct 10 2016 4:46 AM

Question, how do you connect the Marantz to the BL8000s? I had thought that Marantz didn't have preamp outs, are you using a speaker level to line level convertor? I don't think the DACs in the Marantz will be inferior to the Playmaker, generally I think differences in DACs are overblown and except in extreme cases illusory (one of those being the Apple Airport Express, which doesn't sound good running its internal DAC, but I suspect that's due more to the analog output stages and noisy environment inside the tiny box). If there's a sonic difference in the PM and Marantz I'd suspect it's would be a result of how the Marantz is connected to the BL8000s if you're using speaker level outs. 

Not sure how you get easily adjustable, and feedback on where the settings are set, using a PM as opposed to the Marantz for things like tone, loudness, etc. Also, in some environments the PM can be problematic with respect to wifi connectivity. Mine had issues, even though I can't even see my neighbors wifi. I tried setting a static IP address, then found for my case the issue was my laptop. I could stream from my iPad fine, then found I had a process on my laptop that would periodically seize control of the network card and cause severe dropouts. Removed it and I don't have issues now. Something to consider. 

Jeff

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

leduds
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Answered (Not Verified) leduds replied on Mon, Oct 10 2016 7:19 AM
Suggested by leduds

Hi Tuttivini,

nice set up indeed. Due to a breakdown of my V1, I recently bought a 55" Samsung. This is my first non B&O TV, but I was not ready to spend neither 2000 Euros for changing the main electronic board of the V1, neither to buy a nice Horizon.

Anyway, the point is that I had to connect my Lab17s on it, through a Playmaker. The only solution that was found by my dealer was to put an A/C converter. I had the same problem as you have : what to do with my Beoremote 1 when I have just to control volume up and down ? I just opted for the Beosound / Beoplay 8 remote, and can confirm that it works fine.

Another solution could be the Essence remote on IR mode ???

Cheers,

Beocom 6000 - Playmaker Mk2 - Beolab 17 - Beoremote Essence - H8 - H5 -  Beoplay A1 - Beoplay M5

tuttivini
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@Jeff:

The Marantz NR1602 has two line level outputs for the front speakers.
So I connected my BL8000's directly with good quality RCA cables.
This way I can also use the audyssey measuring microphone to use room corrections.

The NR1602 also has a 'ZONE2' output, but unfortunately this is only possible on high level output.
I connected a high-to-low converter to this high-level zone2 output and ran the wires to my kitchen.
In the kitchen I have two BL6000's, so I can play everything I want through the zone2 option.
Works great, but I definitely can hear a quality difference in sound, due to the inferior high-low-converter (listening to the BL6000's, directly connected to the low level output, like my BL8000's, sounds much clearer).

If I'm going to use a Playmaker, I won't use wifi, because I have a wired option (switch is under the shelf), and I will look for a mk2 model. Can't play flac, but network functionality should be better on the mk2 model.

Some months ago I borrowed my dads Apple Airport Express (the model which looks like an Apple tv box) and connected it directly to my BL8000's.
Compared the sound (playing same song through airplay to it and to my NR1602) and the Marantz sounded absolutely the same.
So if are saying that the Airport Express doesn't sound good, I hope the Playmaker will improve my sound quality.

Should I turn on loudness on the PM if I buy one? 

tuttivini
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leduds:

Hi Tuttivini,

nice set up indeed. Due to a breakdown of my V1, I recently bought a 55" Samsung. This is my first non B&O TV, but I was not ready to spend neither 2000 Euros for changing the main electronic board of the V1, neither to buy a nice Horizon.

Anyway, the point is that I had to connect my Lab17s on it, through a Playmaker. The only solution that was found by my dealer was to put an A/C converter. I had the same problem as you have : what to do with my Beoremote 1 when I have just to control volume up and down ? I just opted for the Beosound / Beoplay 8 remote, and can confirm that it works fine.

Another solution could be the Essence remote on IR mode ???

Cheers,

Thanks for the confirmation! Good to hear the Beosound/Beoplay 8 remote 100% works with the PM.
Love the looks of this remote and how you can hold it in your hands or place it nicely on a table.

(If I choose to go this way, I borrow my dads Beo4 to set up things like Loudness on the PM, since this can't be done with the app, and after all settings are correct, I buy and use a Beosound/Beoplay 8 remote for the volume) 

How did you connect your PM to your new Samsung tv? Optical out on the Samsung > Optical to rca converter > rca wires to the anolog PM line-input?

leosgonewild
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Does the playmaker have sound adjustments? I thought it only had left and right adjustments...
leduds
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leduds replied on Mon, Oct 10 2016 8:44 AM

Have to check, I was not present when the B&O dealer came for installation. I will let you know.

By the way, what is the TV on the photograph?

Beocom 6000 - Playmaker Mk2 - Beolab 17 - Beoremote Essence - H8 - H5 -  Beoplay A1 - Beoplay M5

tuttivini
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@leduds: My TV is a Philips 55" (55pfl7008), like it, but bought it just a little to early (when 4k was expensive, so this is only 1080p)

@Leosgonewild: You can adjust many thing in the Playmaker, using a Beo4 remote.

Weirdly enough  this is not mentioned in the manual.

Adjusting the speaker output maximum level:
http://bogo.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8223/~/how-do-i-change-the-speaker-output-level-on-playmaker%3F 

Set it to a fixed volume:
http://forum.beoworld.org/forums/t/5143.aspx 

Adjust bass/treble/loudness (downside is you can't visualise what you are setting, but I understood it does work):
http://forum.beoworld.org/forums/t/9073.aspx 

And I found the enabling LOUDNESS improves sound:
Forummember KMA wrote in another topic:"

The Loudness function, which can be turned on in the PlayMaker via Beo5 / Beo4, is well implemented. I played with it, and it makes the sound of the PlayMaker fuller and "rounder", in the similar fashion as Loudness in B&O's other audio systems does. It's also possible to tweak the sound characteristics by adjusting bass and treble. I would NEVER use the Loudness function or other presets found in my iPad's and iPhone's music player, as they are horribly executed. Any other setting than FLAT in an i-thingy just spoils the sound. Not so when tweaking the settings in PlayMaker. I do hope B&O does not disable the sound settings in future firmware updates. 

tuttivini
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@Leduds: And is the ir signal from the beoplay remote powerfull? Like the beo4.

Does the PM still receive a signal if your for example place it on its side? I ask this because I want to hang my PM under the shelf, like described. 

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Mon, Oct 10 2016 2:58 PM

My PM is actually inside a cabinet, set to fixed volume. I control tracks via either the iPad Spotify app or Apple Remote app controlling my iTunes on the PC. I'd forgotten the PM could do tone controls and such, since I've had it set up as fixed for so long (couple of years). One thing I would really miss using a PM for tone control is seeing where the settings are at. That's one thing about my BS9000 that I've loved since the beginning, I can easily read the display from my listening area and can see where all the controls are set. After a while I come to know what works best for this or that album, for example early CDs that were a tad bright need -1 on treble, which is just about a perfect setting to tame the harshness without cutting it so much it gets dull. I also find the loudness contour B&O selected just perfect for later night, less robust listening, it makes the music sound full and balanced at low levels without sounding heavy handed as so many implementations of loudness do.

I have a Marantz 1402 I use for my AV setup, I was constrained to something that would fit in the shallow depth of the cabinet I have. I haven't felt limited by performance, it sounds quite good and 5.1 is all I need. I'm generally quite impressed with the Marantz stuff.

Jeff

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

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