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BeoSound Shape Airplay 2 dropouts

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BigshotMD
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BigshotMD posted on Mon, Nov 23 2020 10:03 AM

Dear BeoWorld,

 

I have been struggling with this issue for the last several months.

I currently have a Beosound Shape installed in the Jamin configuration (1X Amp, 2 speakers, 1X Beosound Core).  I also own two BeoVision Eclipses (one 65 inch and one 55 inch).

I use Apple Music with Airplay 2 and it seems that everytime I connect and start playing music to my shape, it drops out after about 20 seconds of playing.  The airplay icon in the Apple Music turns yellow and the music stops.  If I click the "play" button again, it will work normally.  I have found this to consistently occur if I haven't used my Beosound Shape after a few hours (i.e. first time after work or first thing in the morning).  This issues does not occur with any of my other B&O products connected to the same network (i.e. BeoVision Eclipses) using Airplay.

All my B&O devices are connected via ethernet to a Netgear Nighthawk switch and router (S8000 switch, RAX120 router).

I have tried without success on the following:

 - Contacting B&O.  No clear answer after a few logs being sent.  They replaced my core, but the problem continues.  I'm not sure if it would be the amp, but am open to your thoughts on this.

 - Multiple factory resets, no success

 - Connecting via WiFi/Bluetooth, no success

It is a very annoying problem for a system I paid a premium for.  I look forward to anyone's thoughts on this.  Thanks a lot in advance.

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gordongofer
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Hi. I have exactly the same problem. After about 20 seconds it turns off...or at least the sound stops. 
also, after not using it for a while it can be tricky to get it to turn on at all. I too have changed the core, no improvement and sent logs. I am sure it’s the amp, but it’s very strange. 

ebnrob
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How close is your iphone/ipad to your wifi router? Don't forget the i-device is having to receive the stream from the internet then transmit it out directly to the speaker so it needs excellent wifi signal to reliably work. Congestion on your wifi can also affect it, whether on your network, or on a neighbours' that's using the same wifi channel as yours.

Guy
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Guy replied on Wed, Feb 3 2021 5:27 PM

ebnrob:
How close is your iphone/ipad to your wifi router? Don't forget the i-device is having to receive the stream from the internet then transmit it out directly to the speaker so it needs excellent wifi signal to reliably work. Congestion on your wifi can also affect it, whether on your network, or on a neighbours' that's using the same wifi channel as yours.

If it's a internet source, then I understand that the Airplay Device (in this case the Shape) will open a direct connection to the internet, thus the iDevice is just doing the controlling.

ebnrob
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ebnrob replied on Wed, Feb 3 2021 10:01 PM

Guy:

ebnrob:
How close is your iphone/ipad to your wifi router? Don't forget the i-device is having to receive the stream from the internet then transmit it out directly to the speaker so it needs excellent wifi signal to reliably work. Congestion on your wifi can also affect it, whether on your network, or on a neighbours' that's using the same wifi channel as yours.

If it's a internet source, then I understand that the Airplay Device (in this case the Shape) will open a direct connection to the internet, thus the iDevice is just doing the controlling.

Chromecast definitely works that way, Airplay does this for video but my understanding for audio was that it went through the device. You could test it by turning aeroplane mode on after choosing a playlist. 

moxxey
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moxxey replied on Wed, Feb 3 2021 11:03 PM

Guy:

ebnrob:
How close is your iphone/ipad to your wifi router? Don't forget the i-device is having to receive the stream from the internet then transmit it out directly to the speaker so it needs excellent wifi signal to reliably work. Congestion on your wifi can also affect it, whether on your network, or on a neighbours' that's using the same wifi channel as yours.

If it's a internet source, then I understand that the Airplay Device (in this case the Shape) will open a direct connection to the internet, thus the iDevice is just doing the controlling.

When you play from Spotify or Apple Music or another source, your controller is downloading the stream, not the playback device, such as the Shape. You are simply sending the stream to the Shape via your router. Obviously a wired network helps, but like the other poster says, you still have to send the content, with a small delay, from the controller to Shape via router.

Your internet speed could also affect this as you'd to be able to download, buffer and stream and it might be the buffer which can't keep up, which would explain the drop-outs (these are from the controller, not the Shape).

Another thing to try would be to fix the IP address of the Shape. I had similar issues when I first purchased my A9 (and, ironically, when I used to have a very slow internet connection). I fixed the AirPlay drop-outs by making my A9 use a fixed IP which never changes, which massively affected the routing to the A9. 

trackbeo
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A cogent explanation, but not entirely complete.  Yes, all those things are true and can cause trouble, but the plain fact is that AirPlay2 is not as simple nor bulletproof as AirPlay (1).  So *in addition to* static (reserved) IP address for the speaker, avoiding mesh multi-access-point Wi-Fi networks (actually, configuring them ultra-carefully), using 2.4GHz rather than 5GHz (transmission distance), keeping each Wi-Fi device a couple yards from its nearest brethren (radio frequency interference), switching to 20MHz wide channels (same), switching to physically wired LAN, ensuring a clean internet connection (USA & rural only, in the EU this is rarely an issue) and anything else you care to name about the physical network layer, there is still the problem with the protocols.

Even an Apple HomePod will start playing, then stop auto-magically after 28(+/-) seconds, when AirPlay-ed to by an old AirPlay(1)-supporting Mac running iTunes 10 (just the sort of old machine you're likely to dedicate to music duties).  The AirPlay2 implementation of AirPlay(1) compatibility is faulty.  Stereo pairs (via AirPlay2, not Chromecast) do not show up paired (or at all, sometimes!) in the list of AirPlay speakers on pre-Mojave Macs and iOS devices.  Only in the very latest MacOS beta have more changes been made for reliable playing to stereo devices with a Mac.  iOS is a little better; I think starting with iOS 12 you can reliably see a stereo pair as a single item in the AirPlay speaker list.  Particularly infuriating is when the Remote app on an iPod cannot control a Mac running iTunes to see a stereo pair, but if you walk up to that Mac's screen and click on the AirPlay icon there, the pair shows up in the list and playback works fine.  Until the next time the speaker or the Mac sleeps...

The "has trouble starting up" problem can be, but isn't necessarily, the same as "first thing in the morning" AirPlay2 problem.  Yes, it is possible that Wi-Fi interference can cause the trouble starting up with AirPlay2 which wasn't present in AirPlay(1) because AirPlay2 demands larger buffers of data -- so that Wi-Fi hits don't necessarily cause music drop-outs.  Good, right?  But if you are at the fringe of your Wi-Fi coverage or in a noisy environment with lots of microwave ovens at your neighbors, you can still experience problems if the Wi-Fi hit occurs during the initial extra-long buffering!  You should expect a 10-second delay, or more, and occasionally it will appear to play, but the speaker will be silent, then playback counter will revert by 10 seconds or so and actually start.  But more likely what happens is that the speakers go to sleep and are awoken by a special packet (yes, even on Wi-Fi LANS) transmitted over the network.  But the network has one (or more, and that's often where the problem lies) "Bonjour Sleep Proxy"-running devices.  It can be an iPod, or a Mac, but is often, in Apple-centric households, the AirPort driving the network!  Sleep proxies pretend to be the AirPlay speaker, substituting themselves for any "who's there" queries, as for example happens when building the list of AirPlay speakers.  At the point when actual work needs to be done by the speaker, they send the wake packet and forward the real-work packet to the speaker, which handles packets for itself again until it sleeps next time.  So sleep proxy imposes a delay on starting to play, beyond the delay imposed by the AirPlay protocols themselves to ensure sync among multiple speakers.

In addition to all those network-y things, to use AirPlay2 we must update every device to the latest Apple software, especially the AirPort's if you use them, because they are ancient Bonjour Sleep Proxies and didn't understand AirPlay2 (AirPort Express) until their final update.  Even though the new MacOS "Big Sur" 11.1's Music app works OK, the system sound output *still* doesn't support stereo pairs, even now!  Supposedly the fix is in, for MacOS 11.3(ß), after all this time!  iOS devices are much better routing all sound or a single app's sound to AirPlay speakers of any vintage or combo.

Well, that was long-winded.  So, short story, how do you test your network and B&O speaker and iDevice to figure out if it's B&O's fault or Apple's -- or yours, for attempting to run Wi-Fi in a RFI-messy environment?  Power off your AirPorts and your Macs, and all your iDevices except for the one you are using to send music.  (Hard iDevice power off, press-and-hold.)  Ensure that your iDevice is running iOS 14.  (iOS 12 works in my experience, but why chance it.)  Hard-wire the speaker to your LAN switch or an empty spare wired port on your internet router.  Power off your router (switch, WAP, etc.), all speakers, and iDevice.  Power them back on in "the usual good order": internet modem first, then, if separate devices, router, wired LAN switch, wireless access point, one (1) speaker, one (1) iDevice.  Wait a full minute between each one.  Now try to play some music (preferably from your local device or music library, but in most internet services, a single channel of music at 44.1 KHz/16-bit stereo is fine, trivial to stream without errors or delays).  Wait a half-hour, and try again.  If it works, start adding back in potential troublemakers.  (Begin with switching the speaker from wired back to wireless, but do the entire power-down and power-up sequence before testing again.)  And if it doesn't work, you now have the most reduced possible bug report to file with B&O about their AirPlay2 implementation.

Guy
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Guy replied on Thu, Feb 4 2021 12:45 PM

moxxey:

Guy:

ebnrob:
How close is your iphone/ipad to your wifi router? Don't forget the i-device is having to receive the stream from the internet then transmit it out directly to the speaker so it needs excellent wifi signal to reliably work. Congestion on your wifi can also affect it, whether on your network, or on a neighbours' that's using the same wifi channel as yours.

If it's a internet source, then I understand that the Airplay Device (in this case the Shape) will open a direct connection to the internet, thus the iDevice is just doing the controlling.

When you play from Spotify or Apple Music or another source, your controller is downloading the stream, not the playback device, such as the Shape. You are simply sending the stream to the Shape via your router. Obviously a wired network helps, but like the other poster says, you still have to send the content, with a small delay, from the controller to Shape via router.

Interesting, that wasn't my understanding.  Also, it doesn't seem to be a particularly 'network traffic efficient' method. In effect, anything being streamed from the internet would have to go through the router twice: Once on its way from the internet source to the iDevice, and then a second time on its way from the iDevice to the Airplay playback device.  This sounds a little illogical to me!

Anyway, it got me thinking as to why I thought it worked differently.  Most of my AV knowledge is gained either by experimentation or from this forum, so I did a little googling to try and find an alternative source that may have influenced my understanding.

I found this from FlatPanels: https://www.flatpanelshd.com/focus.php?id=1347605891&subaction=showfull

... which talks about different Airplay protocols between music/video stored 'locally' (on the iDevice) and that 'found' on the internet.  It would appear that if I Airplay an internet source from my iPhone to my Apple TV then the Apple TV will 'open a direct connection to the internet source'.

Anyway, perhaps its changed since that article was written in 2012, or perhaps it is different if the Airplay playback device is an Apple TV.  But I least it explains the source of my understanding!

Sorry for hijacking the thread - but hopefully this little diversion is justified!

moxxey
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trackbeo:

A cogent explanation, but not entirely complete. 

moxxey replied on Wed, Feb 3 2021 11:03 PM

I wrote it just before bed. Plus on a forum we ought to be....succinct!

mbolo01
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I guess you are referring to the following:

"Say you for example browse the internet on your iPad and TV screen via AirPlay Mirroring, and navigate to a website with a video stream. When you click play the video stream will automatically utilize AirPlay instead of AirPlay Mirroring and stream from the internet source directly to the Apple TV box. When you stop the stream AirPlay Mirroring is seamlessly enabled again."

Airplay is not a protocol that can be used over Internet, the above article is misleading IMO. In this case the internet source does not Airplay to the target Apple TV, but instead the iPad gets the video stream from internet (e.g via HTTP) and pushes it to the Apple TV via Airplay. Airplay Mirroring stops at this time, i.e video will be only shown on the TV via the Apple TV, not on the iPad. It is similar to the iPad receiving a music source (e.g. Deezer) from the internet and sending the "sound" via Airplay to the target Airplay speaker without the sound being produced by the iPad itself.

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Guy
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Guy replied on Thu, Feb 4 2021 1:30 PM

mbolo01:

I guess you are referring to the following:

"Say you for example browse the internet on your iPad and TV screen via AirPlay Mirroring, and navigate to a website with a video stream. When you click play the video stream will automatically utilize AirPlay instead of AirPlay Mirroring and stream from the internet source directly to the Apple TV box. When you stop the stream AirPlay Mirroring is seamlessly enabled again."

Nope, I was referring to this bit:

"When using internet sources for watching video (such as YouTube or Netflix), something else happens when using AirPlay. When streaming from an internet source and pressing the AirPlay button on your iOS device, your AirPlay-enabled Apple TV box will open a direct connection to the internet source. Your Apple TV is being authorized to access the internet source and no streaming occurs between the iOS device and Apple TV, thus no loss of quality. The video or music quality is as good as the streaming service allows."

 

mbolo01
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Guy:

Nope, I was referring to this bit:

"When using internet sources for watching video (such as YouTube or Netflix), something else happens when using AirPlay. When streaming from an internet source and pressing the AirPlay button on your iOS device, your AirPlay-enabled Apple TV box will open a direct connection to the internet source. Your Apple TV is being authorized to access the internet source and no streaming occurs between the iOS device and Apple TV, thus no loss of quality. The video or music quality is as good as the streaming service allows."

In this case, the Apple TV will be instructed to get the internet flow directly from the source instead of the iPad getting it and forwarding it to the Apple TV via Airplay. The Apple TV will get the internet source via the same protocol than the iPad would have used, certainly not Airplay. Only Chromecast widely does what you have in mind.

 

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Guy
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Guy replied on Thu, Feb 4 2021 2:03 PM

mbolo01:
In this case, the Apple TV will be instructed to get the internet flow directly from the source

Yes. that's what the article says!

mbolo01:
certainly not Airplay

Now I'm confused!  So when I Airplay from my iPhone to my Apple TV, I'm not actually Airplaying?  It's lying to me! Confused

mbolo01
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Guy:

Now I'm confused!  So when I Airplay from my iPhone to my Apple TV, I'm not actually Airplaying?  It's lying to me!

From your iPhone to your ATV it is AirPlay

From an internet source to your iPhone OR to your ATV it is not AirPlay

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trackbeo
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moxxey:
Plus on a forum we ought to be....succinct!
Mea Culpa.  Thanks to you, I just now whittled my post about Roon down to only 4 sentences!  But O.P. saying, "I have been struggling with this issue for the last several months" triggered my flood.

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