Onkyo R-N855: New firmware 2161-0000-0000-0011 OTA

harkpabst

Well-known Member
Although it looks like the little Onkyo R-N855 streaming network receiver is not very popular amongst users of this forum I still felt like sharing this piece of info: There is a new firmware version available over the air directly from the unit's update option. It's not available for download from Onkyo's international firmware update site yet, but it's available nonetheless. No release notes yet, obviously.

For me version 2161-0000-0000-0011 has fixed (at least) two problems of the previous version 2160-9000-0000-0011.
  1. Chromecast built-in (Google Cast) now happily plays uncompressed FLAC from the Radio Paradise app. The different Radio Paradise mixes are also available through built-in support for TuneIn, but this is limited to ACC 320k. I never tried this with any older firmware, so not sure if it is actually a new feature or a fix to a regression bug.
  2. The brilliant app "Enhanced Controller for Onkyo and Pioneer" (shows as "Music Control" on the phone, much better than e.g. the Onkyo Controller app) had become very slow, unreliable or just unresponsive at times with firmware 2160-9000-0000-0011. This definitely has been a regression and is now fixed.
Google Cast version is 1.36.145856. Still seems rather old. As of writing this the most current version for Chromecast (1st gen) is 1.36.159268. The only update documented in the release notes has been the step to 1.36 (version 2140-5000-0000-0011, 14 November 2019) . Not sure if the minor version has been updated ever since.

Anyway, pretty happy this little gem still receives updates after more than 5 years.
 

Cebolla

Member
The official Chromecast firmware versions page is quite conservative in stating what's the latest, anyway - with the following caution:
Chromecast firmware versions & release notes
1647004334093.png


For example the official latest Google Cast firmware version for the Chromecast Audio, which presumably the Onkyo R-N855's Chromecast built-in player shares most (if not all) of its functions with, is supposed to be at 1.42.172094; whereas my (UK based) Chromecast Audio's firmware is actually at 1.56.281627 - far later!


BTW, I can't ever remember a Chromecast Audio not being able to play Radio Paradise's FLAC streams directly, ie, using their official stream links:
Main Mix FLAC (https://stream.radioparadise.com/flac)
Mellow Mix FLAC (https://stream.radioparadise.com/mellow-flac)
Rock Mix FLAC (https://stream.radioparadise.com/rock-flac)
World/Etc Mix FLAC (https://stream.radioparadise.com/world-etc-flac)

One easy way to get a Chromecast device to play them using an Android device is share them from a web browser that supports the Android Share feature, such as Chrome, to the BubbleUPnP (Chromecast as well as UPnP/DLNA) controller app.
 
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harkpabst

Well-known Member
BTW, I can't ever remember a Chromecast Audio not being able to play Paradise Radio's FLAC streams directly, ie, using their official stream links:
Main Mix FLAC (https://stream.radioparadise.com/flac)
Mellow Mix FLAC (https://stream.radioparadise.com/mellow-flac)
Rock Mix FLAC (https://stream.radioparadise.com/rock-flac)
World/Etc Mix FLAC (https://stream.radioparadise.com/world-etc-flac)

One easy way to get a Chromecast device to play them using an Android device is share them from a browser that supports the Android Share feature, such as Chrome, to the BubbleUPnP (Chromecast as well as UPnP/DLNA) controller app.
Well, I'm just talking about the Onkyo R-N855 in particular, not Chromecast builthin (nor any other flavour) in general. Also I do not actually blame Chromecast software. But I do blame the previous Onkyo firmware for screwing things up.

I've been playing around with manually adding Radio Paradise's FLAC streams to BubbleUPnP and HiFi Cast, but was never satisfied with the results. The metadata from the (experimental) FLAC stream would never make it to be displayed either on the Onkyo or on the Lyngdorf Remote app, which is pretty inconveniant. I wasn't even able to get the same stream even playing on both devices.

The latter might have been due to a general problem with FLAC streams on the Onkyo's side and might well be fixed now. But since Radio Paradise is currently the only Internet radio station I really care much about and since their app offers additional benefits I'm fine with this one specialized app instead of a more generic player app.

For now the new firmware has solved the problem at hand. All I need is the RP (not RoomPerfect ;) ) app and I can simply choose to stream to the Onkyo, to the Lyngdorf ... or actually both. :)
 

Cebolla

Member
Yes, RP's metadata inclusive FLAC radio streams are still experimental - didn't realise the lack of them would be a potential show stopper for you. I deliberately chose the links to RP's 'straight' non-metadata FLAC streams, which shouldn't cause Chromecast devices any problems in playing them.

As far as the Onkyo is concerned, if you are using Google Cast to supply the Onkyo with streams, then it'll be its Chromecast player that will be completely handling & therefore decoding the streams, not its general player (which you can consider as being completely swapped out). So if there was a reliability problem on the Onkyo with Google Cast & FLAC streams before, the 'fix' could only really come from the new Onkyo firmware also providing new Chromecast firmware.

Of course the new Onkyo firmware might now also be better at handling what its Chromecast Player is reporting as currently playing, ie, it might not have anything to do with a Chromecast firmware change. Are you saying that the Onkyo is now displaying the metadata as displayed on the RP app, as well as playing the app's one current FLAC stream reliably?
 

harkpabst

Well-known Member
Of course the new Onkyo firmware might now also be better at handling what its Chromecast Player is reporting as currently playing, ie, it might not have anything to do with a Chromecast firmware change. Are you saying that the Onkyo is now displaying the metadata as displayed on the RP app, as well as playing the app's one current FLAC stream reliably?
I absolutely agree with your conclusion. Not that I have the required background to doubt them. :)

And yes, the Onkyo now displays the metadata as shown on the app (well, at least song and artist, probably not the album) and it's streaming FLAC reliably.

I can also use the native FLAC links (either with or without metadata) as a playlist in BubbleUPnP (or as a custom radio station in HiFi Cast) and cast them to the Onkyo. Both apps are configured to not transcode the streams and to have the streams directly handled by the device, not the app. Wording is different in both apps, but the settings are basically the same. However, in this case just the name of the playlist (or radio station) as entered by me is displayed by the Onkyo. This is the same for both FLAC streams and AAC, no metadata in any case.

I'm not 100% sure (just about 80%) that the FLAC streaming links did not work with the Onkyo before. Also, streaming FLAC only works using Chromecast built-in, not using UPnP (again, no transcoding).

To sum things up, I can now enjoy all Radio Paradise mixes in highest fidelity and with metadata being passed on to the devices (and/or their respective apps) without any issues. Having to install the proprietary Radio Paradise app is a small price to pay for that in my book.
 

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