Adding Bridge II to DS on 2.0 TV system - need basic guidance


#1

I have this idea of adding a Bridge II card to my living room 2.0 TV system, which includes an Oppo 103 and DS. The thing is I’m mostly ignorant about how to do this, at least compared to my desktop PC/Directstream system, which seems a lot more straight forward. So I have some very basic questions about how to set this up as simply as possible (e.g., no separate server). Before that, currently I’m playing music and video files on the TV via a USB stick through the Oppo, which also makes switching between TV and media files easy (or as easy as Oppo makes it). I also have a Win 7 laptop and an iPad Mini 2 that currently run through the router, which is stationed by my Windows 8.1 desktop PC upstairs (I don’t want to run the TV system from the desktop). OK…

  • A dumb question I’ve never thought about before: Is the cable signal at the wall that goes to the TV the same signal as the one upstairs that feeds the cable box for the phone + internet (the upstairs run is separate)? If so, would I run the cable directly to the router and then to the TV box (plus an ethernet cable to the Bridge card)?

  • With this setup, is there anyway to connect the two routers without running a cable between them? I’m in a rental, so it’s not possible to drill inside and it would look bad in any case, unless I ran it out the window and up to the next floor along with the other cable.

  • With this setup, would I run the music/video files from the laptop or iPad to the DS via wi-fi?

  • Would I be running through the Samsung TV’s Smart Hub or using the Oppo’s (limited) version, or…?

  • How would switching between DS and TV work on this setup?

  • Are there some good reference sources for understanding better how to do what I’m trying - or imagining?

Thanks,

TV System:
Samsung 48" F8000 HDTV + TV cable box (Charter)
Oppo 103
PS Audio Directstream dac
Quad 12L Active Monitors (Furutech fuses) on 24" stands
Snake River Boomslang digital cable (Oppo to DS) and Mamushi ICs
Snake River and HiDiamond and Triode Wire Labs 8+ power cords
Mapleshade Vivilink II HDMI cables (cable box to Oppo, Oppo, to TV)
HiDiamond HDX2 power conditioner + Furutech GTX® receptacle


#2
highstream said
  • A dumb question I’ve never thought about before: Is the cable signal at the wall that goes to the TV the same signal as the one upstairs that feeds the cable box for the phone + internet (the upstairs run is separate)? If so, would I run the cable directly to the router and then to the TV box (plus an ethernet cable to the Bridge card)?

  • With this setup, is there anyway to connect the two routers without running a cable between them? I’m in a rental, so it’s not possible to drill inside and it would look bad in any case, unless I ran it out the window and up to the next floor along with the other cable.

  • With this setup, would I run the music/video files from the laptop or iPad to the DS via wi-fi?

  • Would I be running through the Samsung TV’s Smart Hub or using the Oppo’s (limited) version, or…?

  • How would switching between DS and TV work on this setup?

  • Are there some good reference sources for understanding better how to do what I’m trying - or imagining?

There are no dumb questions.

Our homes have one cable connection and, even if they had two, from the same provider, they would be identical. Think of it like the water from your utility company - it’s all the same stuff coming down a shared pipe. Your modem, or a modem built into your TV, extracts what it wants out of this shared pipe.

Typically the cable must first go to a modem, and the modem feeds the router. In the case of television, the cable typically feeds directly into a TV or through what’s called a set top box - or cable box. The output of a cable or set top box is a video output, today, mostly HDMI.

I am not sure I understand why you want to connect the two routers.

One router is typically enough in a home, connected by either CAT5 cable or WIFI,. If your WIFI signal’s not getting through, there are WIFI repeaters that can be strategically placed to increase range. I use one I bought on Amazon for $50 and it works great. My router’s downstairs, the TV and computer are upstairs.

I am unclear what you’re actually trying to do with DirectStream and the Bridge. The Bridge will need to be connected to your router somehow - that can happen through an Ethernet cable or through a WIFI Bridge. Here’s a link for one that would be perfect for you for $39. Should be easy to setup. Plug it’s Ethernet output into the Bridge. It wirelessly receives your router’s signal.

Once connected, now you can stream to the Bridge from a computer or NAS. But, to do that, you’ll need two more things: a server program and a controller. The server most people that aren’t using a NAS, is JRiver, running on either a Windows or Mac computer. We have instructions how to set that up in our How To section. The controller can be operated from a mobile device, like a tablet or a phone running a number of programs. My favorite is MConnect.

Good luck, hope this helped. Maybe others can chime in as well.


#3

If the idea is to play video sound through the Bridge II, unfortunately that’s not so simple. As Paul said, the files need to be on a server. JRiver Music Center handles video as well as audio but I have only used it for audio. I don’t know if you could play from JRMC with the audio going to the Bridge and video to a TV. Even if you could it might be hard to sync the two. Somebody else might have more experience with this.


#4

Paul and stevem, Thanks for the explanations. The main idea is to improve music sound quality over what the Oppo/coax link provide. I can see where video would add a major kink, so I can live with USB for that. The idea of a wi-fi- bridge is just what I was looking for and I have a Linksys E1200 still laying around that I read can be turned into one using DD-WRT. Otherwise, I’ll follow up on that Netgear (used ones going cheap). Would the cable run be from wall to wi-fi bridge to cable box?

Thinking about it, it would seem that switching between music and video/TV broadcasts wouldn’t be difficult: just switch the DS remote between Bridge and Coax, which then brings the Oppo into play with the TV. I use JPlay with my desktop and Directstream there, and Marcin tells me it can be also used on my laptop. That would do, wouldn’t it? But what is a controller, i.e., what does it control, and where does it fit in here? For playing music, I imagine continuing to use the same players as on my desktop - Bug Head, Album Player 2, foobar.


#5

I use the Bridge II for music and run Tousling to the DS from my TV. Works great.

I’m still not clear on exactly what you are trying to do. The Bridge needs to be connected to your home network. It could be hard-wired to the router with Ethernet cable or it could be connected to a Wi-Fi bridge that is connected wirelessly to your network as Paul suggested. I don’t know that Linksys unit but if it is a router make sure it is just working as a bridge not trying to assign IP addresses to devices on your network as this would cause conflicts with the addresses assigned by the other router.

The “controller” referred to by Paul is software that usually runs on an iDevice or Android device that controls what gets played. For example, with foobar there is Monkeymote4foobar for iPads. If you are happy controlling things from your PC you do not need a separate controller.


#6

I have two standalone systems with Directstreams, one of which is the 2.0 TV one, with an Oppo 103 and Quad powered speakers. It’s that one which this thread is about. Right now, I play music and video files via USB through the Oppo via coax to the DS/TV. It strikes me that I could improve the music repo quality by adding a Bridge card to the DS and playing the music directly through it from my Win 7 laptop and/or iPad Mini 2, instead of through the Oppo. The question I started with is how would this be done in a simple way, i.e., no dedicated music server. Paul clarified my uncertainty about the nature of the cable signal coming from the wall to the cable TV box and about using a w-fi bridge rather than adding another router (my current router is next to the desktop PC system upstairs and I use it only for the laptop/iPad). Yes, the (Cisco) Linksys E1200 is an older model router (no ac), and a web search shows there’s a way to hack its firmware to make it function as a wi-fi bridge. I don’t plan to control things from my PC system, which is on another floor. I hope it’s all clear now.

My questions remaining from Paul’s and your earlier comments are/were… 1) verifying that the cable run from the wall would go to the wi-fi bridge and then to the TV box, and 2) what is a controller, which I am or was unfamiliar with. For the latter, I get the idea now and so I’ll have to find if and what works with my other favorite music players and JPlay.

Thanks,

Gene

(why is this double spacing? I don’t see a button for single spacing)


#7

The cable from the wall would be connected to the set-top box and would not be connected to the Wi-Fi bridge. (You could connect the coax or Toslink output from your cable box to the DS for watching TV.) The Wi-Fi bridge would be connected by Ethernet cable (Cat 5, Cat 6, Cat 7, etc.) to the DS Bridge. The Wi-Fi bridge connects wirelessly to your home network through the wireless router that’s upstairs. The Wi-Fi bridge serves the same function as hard-wiring that router to the DS Bridge.


#8

steve, That’s for the correction. I wasn’t thinking. The coax runs from the Oppo to the DS. That’s what I mean by switching earlier: if I want to watch a video file via USB or TV, then I’d stop the music and switch the DS remote from Bridge to Coax, and run things with the Oppo’s remote, as I do now.

Btw, this isn’t all foreign, as I have a Bridge I card in the Directstream with my PC. I used it for awhile about a year and a half ago, but it was so unstable I went back to USB. That one will be my first upgrade - soon.


#9

Bridge II is a big improvement. I think you’ll really like it.


#10

Ok, before putting the Bridge II in my desktop Directstream, I want to give it a try in the TV one. I’ve got installed, got a wi-fi bridge set up and the two connected by ethernet. I installed the Bridge firmware that came with and then put the update on an SD card and repowered the dac with that in. Now, some starter questions:

  1. The update is .ub file, which I’ve never seen before. Does the dac/Bridge see that?

  2. How do I see which version is loaded on the dac? I checked the Media Bridge screen but for firmware it shows N/A.

  3. The instructions say to connect to the internet to check for updates. I tried to bypass that, but in my TV setup do I connect to the internet via a laptop? For example, on my Windows 7 laptop, do I just put in the IP address as the URL, or do I have to install the DS software on the laptop first?

Thanks,


#11

I’m not sure what you’re asking. Do you have Yale (final or beta) installed on the DS? It’s required for B2. (Firmware updates using the SD card are for the DS, not the Bridge.) You can check the firmware versions for the DS and Bridge by pressing the little gear on the top left of the DS screen. If your B2 is connected to the internet, you can update the Bridge firmware using the DS screen if an update is available. B2 is not accessible from a browser like B1 was. There may be a way to update B2 using a USB stick but I’m not sure. Even during beta testing of B2 the updates were done using the auto update feature on the DS screen.


#12

[Ugh! I just typed a reply, it asked for login and the reply disappeared.]

I’m aiming for what I wrote: Trying out the Bridge II card in my TV system to see what it entails and how it sounds, before switching the card up to my desktop PC DS (see the OP). I got a good Amazon warehouse deal on a Neatgear EX6200 wi-fi-extender (bridge) and set up it using the WPS button on my router for 2.4 and 5 GHz.

DS Firmware Version = Yale final. One of the two SD cards that comes with Bridge II holds the firmware meant for the Directstream. As usual and per the Quick Start Guide (step 12), I depowered the unit, inserted the SD card and repowered. Then I tried the same thing with the latest version (2.15) of the Bridge II firmware from this site. The latter is a .ub file, a format I’ve never seen before, but assume the DS/Bridge recognize it. One thing that seemed a bit odd is that in both cases the DS’s screen initialization and presumably firmware installing went very quickly, much faster than I would have expected. So what I don’t know is if it all installed successfully. To do that…

After step 12, the Guide says the following: “Check to see if the Bridge requires a firmware update. To do this you must be connected to the Internet…” My question is, what does the latter entail? On my laptop, I tried going to the IP address showing on the DS, but it isn’t seen. So obviously something more is necessary, whether it has to do with the wi-fi bridge setup or needing something like TeamViewer running on the laptop (and PC), or… The laptop is Win 7x64 Home (leaving the iPad Mini aside for the moment).

The DS’s firmware (gear) screen shows the following:

Yale Unit ID xxxx Bootloader 1.13 Firmware 1.6.4 Bridge 1.2.1 FPGA 0.91 USB 00.33 Rev 0126

That 1.2.1 is confusing, as it also happens to be an earlier DS firmware version.

I hope this is clear now. Thanks,


#13

Highstream, I checked my DS with Bridge II and I have the same information on the “gear” screen, with the exception of the Bridge. I have version 1.2.5, this is what came with the Bridge II which I got about two months ago. This should be on the website, though I have not confirmed that. As for the load time, it’s been several weeks since I did it, but I seem to recall it was much faster than an FPGA update (e.g., Yale). With respect to Internet updating, a network cable must be connected to the Bridge and the update must be done through the “gear” screen. As Stevem2 mentioned, the web page is not available with Bridge II, too bad but according to PS it had to be.

Stevem2, the Bridge software can be loaded via an SD card, that’s how it came with my new Bridge II. Updating over the Internet is easier, but I’ve had mixed success with the PWD and DS over the last few years.


#14

The Bridge update on the site is 2.15 and the non MAC version is a .ub file, which I’ve never seen before. It didn’t seem to take using the normal SD card power up method. I neglected to say in the post rewrite that there is an ethernet cable between wi-fi bridge and the DS. Since usIng the IP address showing on that DS’s screen didn’t connect with my laptop, there must be another method or more to it. What do you mean by “through the gear screen?” Btw, do I need to connect directly to the wi-fi bridge? All I did was press WPS buttons to link it to the main router, but set up its password (keycode). Thanks,