Chromecast Audio delay?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Erik Tracy, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,551
    Location:
    MI, US
    I have two CCAs here with zero issues at all. And I'm using crappy Linksys consumer-grade routers loaded with DD-WRT. The CCAs play in perfect sync here with no dropouts, and one is a bit of a distance away. Doesn't matter if I cast with computer, phone, tablet, etc., they just work.

    Definitely the router is a problem if there are dropouts, or a weak signal.

    Remember that interference from neighbors (other WiFi traffic) can still wreak havoc even though you may show a strong signal in the house. And there are definitely pockets of good and bad reception even just several feet from a WAP (wireless access point) in the same room, as I've noticed with a signal strength meter. For other reasons, I am going with a pro-level WAP in a few weeks. It's not inexpensive but I just want to do the job correctly from here on out.
     

     

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  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,551
    Location:
    MI, US
    Not quite sure what you're asking--if I use an audio application on my computer, I see the "cast" icon and can send audio to any of the devices in the house. But if another device wants to cast to it, then I think the new device replaces the old as a streaming source. But I have never had to "set up" anything on a computer to get it to cast. The CCAs, the Chromecast and the Google Home devices all show as casting "renderers" from any device I use. (So nothing gets "dropped" from my computer setup, if that makes sense...)

    Keep in mind that Chromecast usage is not technically "casting" from your device--the device you are using only controls the Chromecast. So if you are, say, watching Netflix or streaming Pandora, the Chromecast is the one retrieving the WiFi and playing the content. The attached phone, computer, etc.. is doing nothing more than controlling it remotely. That is why I would think the stuttering may be a WiFi signal strength problem.

    Sure would be easier if one of us could make a house call to see what's happening. :D
     
  3. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Ah, ok - I wasn't sure what the end to end 'path' was when casting. Good to know that the content does NOT have to go to my laptop first, then get repeated back thru the wifi/router to the CCA. So, the laptop is just a 'pointer' to the CCA on where to get the content. Makes sense.

    Well, I may have an insurmountable issue then with wifi coverage; can't move the router - it is in the masterbedroom and is as close to the CCA as possible (only 15 ft - if that).

    Maybe there IS something wrong with the f/w version in my CCA; 1.29.106147

    Anyone else using this with good or bad results?
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,551
    Location:
    MI, US
    I notice when I tell Google Home to "Play Salsa/Mambo Radio" in the kitchen that I cannot access that instance of Pandora on my phone. So the Pandora streaming is all happening in the CCA. If anything, the computer, phone, etc. is just sending the instructions to the Chromecast device on what to play, and from where.

    As for your WiFi coverage, it could just be that your CCA is somewhere in a low point (a null) in the wireless signal, despite being that close to the antenna. It's just the nature of the beast, unfortunately, and could only be fixed by trying to move the router, or adding a stronger wireless access point. My CCA in the kitchen is probably 30 feet away and through a wet plaster wall, and I've never had it skip. Yet with a signal strength meter on my phone, using my old access point, I could walk around various parts of the house or the same room and see wide swings in coverage.

    And we can't also rule out that you might just have a slightly defective CCA. They've probably made hundreds of thousands of these, and there are bound to be a couple of these that get out of production with a "radio" that is perhaps a little out of whack, or having a faulty "antenna" (which could be a thin wire or even a printed circuit board trace that are less than optimal). I guess the only way to test might be to put the CCA into the room next to the router, and maybe use headphones or some other way to play it back for a while to see if it skips there also.

    My firmware on both of my CCAs is the same as yours: 1.29.106147. (I am enlisted in the "preview program" where I will get advance release of new firmware, but apparently there isn't a more recent firmware available at the moment.) Could it have loaded incorrectly? Maybe...? But I would think that a bad firmware load would have just bricked the CCA, not just weaken its reception.

    Once they are set up and working properly, you shouldn't hear any skipping or stuttering, so it's just a process of elimination to see what might be happening in your situation.
     
  5. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,322
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    Had an issue dropping and not connecting yesterday for about 20 minutes. But pretty sure mine was a Spotify issue as all my devices had trouble connecting to it. Did not try to cast anything else due to time constraints. Have you tried something other than your favorite radio stream? Maybe its them? I may of missed where you tried something different.
     
  6. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    I do have some flexibility in moving the CCA in an arc of about 10 ft, so I'll give that a try later to see if it's the signal, although when I placed my laptop directly over the CCA which is next to my audio rig setup, the wifi signal strength never wavered - a full 5 bars.

    I don't think it's the radio station either, as yesterday I noticed stuttering on the CCA, but did not when I had a duplicate chrome tab open and listening live thru the laptop.

    At this point I may just return it to get a replacement and claim it was defective and try again.

    Thanks for the tips!
     

     

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  7. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    So, I thought I would try to use my android smartphone to cast to the CCA, but after downloading the app and starting, it says it can't find any devices, even though I'm listening to my CCA right now. Even if I stop casting from my laptop the phone app still can't see my CCA.

    Does this mean I have to do yet another full data reset and start from scratch from the phone app?
     
  8. drew_t

    drew_t Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    670
    You tap the button in the upper right corner of the Google Home app, and it doesn't list a CCA which is already set up and connected to the same Wi-Fi network the phone is connected to? I don't what to make of that.

    I guess I would try power-cycling the CCA, then if it's still not showing up, maybe do the full reset and try to set it up from the phone.
     
  9. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Ok, so I have my android connected to my local home wifi network, I've launched the Google Home app, tapped the upper right icon and get the display of ready to cast to my CCA. I then tap the 3 vertical lines in the upper left and get the options for casting, including the cast screen/audio.

    But how do I select the website/link for jazz88.org/Listen.asp?

    [edit] got it. So, I'll see if there is any difference in what device I'm using to control the CCA and audio dropouts. Standby.
     
  10. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Casting was going well for a couple of hours from my android phone and then, it...just...stopped.

    ??

    Thinking something was amiss with the CCA, I reverted back to casting from my laptop and all was good - as far as connecting and getting the CCA to cast.

    ??
     
  11. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,322
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    No one I know personally has had any problems really. And none have had to go into the settings really like your being told to try, they have pretty much been plug and play once set up on google Home. And it seems like the ones you see on here are router or CCA. Other than that I am useless here :(
     

     

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  12. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    I appreciate the attention and suggestions, but I truly am cursed when it comes to devices that require configuration and software/firmware installs and setups. NOTHING works as easily as others experience.

    Hell, I can't even get auto deposit to work for checks from my smartphone - I get errors even then!

    I must have been very very bad in a previous life.
     
  13. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,322
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    At some point OE needs to be called :p and that’s ok, had a lot of that being a tech in the Navy for 23yrs. :D
     
  14. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    True, but as a EE for 30 years in Data Center design and installs, I had a reputation for uncovering glitches and trouble calls to vendor support centers for what were supposed to be fool proof instructions.
     
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  15. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,423
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    Basic WiFi stuff:

    Change the channel to the one least used by your neighbors. Plenty of apps for your phone to display WiFi info in your home.

    Set up a range of static IP addresses for devices having issues, and assign the devices manually

    Shut down EVERY other device completely, test to ensure your CCA is stable, then bring other devices online one at a time, checking each time to ensure the CCA is still streaming without dropouts.

    You clearly have WiFi interference and/or dupe IP addresses. Simple enough to fix using the above steps.
     
  16. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,423
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    WiFiAnalyzer (Open Source) app on my Android tablet. SonosNet mesh on channel 6, Linksys router on channel 11. Neighbors' routers well down, on channels 1,6,8,11. I have had zero dropouts for years, SonosNet sets up a mesh network that gets stronger with every device. Chromecast devices can't do that, but, with careful selection of the quietest WiFi channel, you should not have dropouts.


    Screenshot_20171228-191451.png
     

     

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  17. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,551
    Location:
    MI, US
    Wuh woah. :D

    One thing I noticed while setting things up a while ago was that it was easier to set up all of the Chromecast devices on the same wireless network. When setting up a CCA, it actually will disconnect your phone from your WiFi and connect it directly to the CCA for initial setup. Even though my phone normally prefers my 5.0GHz network, I have taken to setting all of the home devices to the 2.4GHz network. My two WiFi radios (2.4 and 5.0) use different SSIDs, so CCA sees them as two separate networks. Yet, once the CCAs are set up, I can access them from 2.4, 5.0 or Ethernet (wired) network with no issues. I did the same with the Google Home Minis that I installed.

    Not that this will cure anything in your setup of course. :D

    The TuneIn Radio app would get you your jazz88.org station. For kicks, I did a search on "jazz88" and came across two stations, and one of them was the same San Diego based station at 88.3 FM. TuneIn will not only find many of the Internet streaming stations, it can also grab HD Radio from local radio stations which also happen to stream their content. (I can get many of Detroit's stations that way.) TuneIn does have the "Cast" icon (next to the heart/favorite icon) so it should work with your CCA. Eventually. :D

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