why expensive streamers

@soix and others

I am unclear about the effect on sound of streamers (prior to getting to the dac). Audio (even hi-res) has so little information content relative to the mega and giga bit communication and processing speeds (bandwidth, BW) and cheap buffering supported by modern electronics that it seems that any relatively cheap piece of electronics would never lose an audio bit. 

Here is why. Because of the huge amount of BW relative to the BW needs of audio, you can send the same audio chunk 100 times and use a bit checking algorithm (they call this "check sum") to make sure just one of these sets is correct. With this approach you would be assured that the correct bits would be transfered. This high accuracy rate would mean perfect audio bit transfer. 

What am I missing? Why are people spending 1000's on streamers?



128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xdelmatae

@nonoise technology and AI will only make us less perfect. But the sum is.... somewhere still... not great 😎


The error correction people keep mentioning is generally not the correct term. For file transfer, there is data correction available. It will go back to the source and get the correct data. For streaming, there is not data correction, there is just "data error handling", perhaps "data error mitigation".

That is not true. Services such as Qobuz and Tidal use TCP/IP, which is a bit perfect protocol. Data arrive in packets and faulty packets are resent. The streamer assembles the files and sends them to the cache, which then sends the files to the DAC.

@carlsbad2 Seriously, I'd suggest you read up on ethernet. The built in error-checking, retransmission etc will ensure no bits are dropped. The primary concern about ethernet data transmission from an audio perspective should be minimising noise accompanying the perfect digital signal which reaches your streamer.

@invalid It's true that a purely digital doesn't exist as such, it's an electrical waveform. What happens from the streamer output side onwards is subject to different constraints, factors etc from what happens in the ethernet domain ie everything up to and including the input side of the streamer. In this ethernet space, all devices translate the electrical signals into 1s and 0s. If folk talk about the angle of the wave, the timing of the wave etc then they don't understand how ethernet works.

SO while you're technically 100% correct, talking of waves can get people musing on all sorts of stuff about cutoffs and curve sharpness etc which are totally irrelevant in ethernet.