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Bringing a MasterLink ML system into a streaming world

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CounterfeitChampagne
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CounterfeitChampagne posted on Sat, Aug 24 2019 7:00 PM

Hello everyone,

I have a setup which is exactly like that in the attachment.

I have some questions.

OBJECTIVE : Make this system streaming friendly through Chromecast or Airplay or Spotify Connect or Tidal or Deezer or Qobuz

SETUP

Master : BeoSound 3200 (the Ouverture with a hard drive) with one master link cable going to three devices.

Linked 1 : Beosound 3500 in the kitchen + Beo4 Remote

Linked 2 : BeoLink Active with IR eye (box in the same space as Linked 3) + Beo4 Remote

Linked 3 : BeoLink Passive with IR eye (box in the same space as Linked 2)

QUESTIONS :

How does the single master link become several one. What do master link hubs look like ?

How many masterlink devices can be chained ?

SOLUTION 1 : Easy

The simplest solution would be to plug in an Airport Express/Chromecast Audio/Beosound Essence in the Aux port of the Beosound 3200 and wake it up from any room without fancy apps.

Unfortunately both BeoLinks can't wake the Aux Port on the master Beosound 3200 because they have older versions of the software. So I have to walk to one side of the house to wake up the 3200, then to the other side to start the music in the desired room.

QUESTIONS :

- Do dealers still upgrade BeoLink devices ?

- I have read about BeoLink Active devices updated to SW 1.6, but can BeoLink Passive be updated as well?

SOLUTION 2 : Hard

I don't really know if it would be possible to put a ML hub on one of the ML inputs, and plug in something like a BeoLink Gateway and be able to "see" the existing devices using the Olufsen remote apps ? Then stream to the whole system through Masterlink somehow ?

QUESTIONS :

- Is there a combination of products (ie : Beosound Essence => Beolink Gateway => Current system) that would enable me to stream directly through apps & phones without having to use the Beo4 Remote?

- Would this enable me to bring rooms online without having to be in them (ie if I'm cleaning the whole house).


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Guy
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Guy replied on Sun, Aug 25 2019 9:59 AM

Welcome to the Forum - I'll have a crack at a few of the answers. 

If you haven't already done so, it's worth downloading the Masterlink Handbook from the site, here: https://www.beoworld.org/manuals_view.asp?pid=1248  (for some reason, the pictures have disappeared from the English copy on the site, but if you PM me I can send you a version with the pictures included)

CounterfeitChampagne:

How does the single master link become several one. What do master link hubs look like ?

 

 

You can simply join additional master link cabling in parallel, using pretty much any electrical connection device, even traditional terminal block. 

The simplest B&O connection looks like this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bang-Olufsen-B-O-Junction-Box-for-MasterLink-BeoLink-Black/152953758157?hash=item239cc121cd:g:iY0AAOSwAwFaoRQ0 but I find these a bit fiddly to use.

Or if you want to be able to move connectors around, you could get one of these: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/B-O-BANG-AND-OLUFSEN-MASTERLINK-ML-DISTRIBUTOR-BOX/362730875727?hash=item547471eb4f:g:mqUAAOSw4R1dWpxB

CounterfeitChampagne:

How many masterlink devices can be chained ?

Up to 16 rooms, and with up to 400m of total cable length, according to the manual.

CounterfeitChampagne:

- Do dealers still upgrade BeoLink devices ?

 

- I have read about BeoLink Active devices updated to SW 1.6, but can BeoLink Passive be updated as well?

You would have to call around the dealers and ask - some may still provide this service, but it could possibly be cheaper (more cost effective) to replace your devices with 2nd hand ones of the correct SW version.  I think that there are some suppliers who can send updated processing chips, as long as you are happy to fit

CounterfeitChampagne:

 

- Is there a combination of products (ie : Beosound Essence => Beolink Gateway => Current system) that would enable me to stream directly through apps & phones without having to use the Beo4 Remote?

 

- Would this enable me to bring rooms online without having to be in them (ie if I'm cleaning the whole house).

Possibly, but at much greater expense and complexity - I think triggering individual rooms from a central location could be difficult.  I would keep it simple and go for the Airport Express and ML system.  This is what I use, albeit Airport Express and the older MCL!

Guy
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Guy replied on Sun, Aug 25 2019 10:08 AM

Another thought:  Do you have any video products in your system?

If not, have you tried putting the BS3200 in A.OPT 2, and then selecting the aux socket using 'TV' from one of the local rooms?

stefan
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stefan replied on Sun, Aug 25 2019 2:04 PM

I started yesterday a similiar project, which took about two hours work, programming, rearranging default volume levels in all rooms, recalibrating BL5s and testing with ipad and iphone. What I use is my Masterlink setup with audio- and video linkrooms, Beolink gateway and an Amazon Fire TV.

Result is an one button solution, that activates five linkrooms simultaniously (I only integrated the linkrooms downstairs) in a preselected audiomode with default volume levels in every individual room.

First I created a virtual scene button in the BLGW called -RADIO- . This button activates my BS5 in the mainroom in RADIO mode and activates at the same time the RADIO ports in 4 additional rooms. The button can be used in the Beolink app (Beoliving app) and also with Beo4 remote from every joining room.

In the same way there are three buttons : -MUSIC- (BS5 music collection) - A.MEM- (BS5 CD) an -AIRPLAY- (Fire TV airplay/spotify connect...)

For Beo4 remote use the buttons were defined as CONTROL Function1(RADIO), CONTROL Function2(BS5 music) CONTROL Function3 ....

that can be controled via Beo4 commands CONTROL WIN1...4.

With two additional buttons in the Beolink (Beoliving) app volume levels in all connected linkrooms can be controled simultaneously.

This can also be done via Beo4 remote: in CONTROL mode just use STEP UP and STEP DOWN.

So now I have four audio sources with volume level control for five rooms in a very easy and convenient way.

Spotify or whatever streaming app will be sent to Masterlink via Fire TV. Just select Spotify on your idevice -  Amazon Fire TV - audio (stereo) will be sent via HDMI audio extractor connected to Fire TV (the extractor Guy recommends is working great...).

If you don`t have a Beovision in your setup, you can connect a streaming device to the AUX port as you already said (device must be always active, Fire TV can be controled from the Beovision PUC) and send it via ML to all linkrooms. You have to activate every room one by one.

If your BL active/passive doesn`t support AUX commands, try as Guy already said ... you also have to set your linkrooms to L.OPT 6 (access to video sources).

I hope this all makes sense and helps - at least you now know, what happens in those boring nights called "Stefan alone at home"">

Stefan

CounterfeitChampagne
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Hello Guy and Stefan,

Thank you for your great answers. I haven't had the chance to try the solutions you gave yet but I will let you guys know as soon as I do !

CounterfeitChampagne
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Hello everyone,

I tried putting the BS3200 in A. OPT 2 and the rest of the rooms in L. OPT 6 (I suspect they already were) but to no avail : when I press the TV button on the remote in one of the linked rooms the system powers up then down right away.

I guess my simplest course of action is to update the Beolinks Active & Passive.

Another would be to make a complex solution like Stefan's. I'll look into that eventually.

Thank you !

 

CounterfeitChampagne
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Hello everyone,

I ended up tracking and finding a late serial number Beolink Passive compatible with "A. Aux" - it's now installed in its room and works like a charm.

It turns out the unit that was installed was actually a ML/MLC converter which along with an IR Eye basically worked like a Beolink Passive.

I still need to upgrade the Beolink Active but I'll need to find one first.

Thank you !

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