How to extend into rooms like kitchen, dining room, deck, etc - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-07, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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How to extend into rooms like kitchen, dining room, deck, etc

Looking for a hybrid music solution..


Background
In my home, I created a suitable solution appropriate for each room, taking advantage of the equipment and connectivity I have, without breaking the bank. For example:

(A) ROOMS WITH COMPUTERS AND TRADITIONAL AUDIO SYSTEMS - Here there is no issue, I enjoy full access to my digital audio collection (main library on one machine and auto-synced to all others), internet radio, ipods, etc. Music is played thru the local audio system

(B) ROOMS WITH COMPUTERS BUT NO AUDIO SYSTEMS - Here there I simply have speakers connected to the PC, and have the same choices as (A).

(C) ROOMS WITH AUDIO SYSTEMS AND NO COMPUTER - Donít have this scenario is no issue!

(D) ROOMS WITH NO COMPUTER OR AUDIO SYSTEMS - This is where I would like some advice/opinion, eg kitchen, dining room, living room, outside deck. Here I do not need the optimal audio quality, but want something decent, and would like access to my media library, and of course internet radio would be nice. I have wireless connectivy in all these rooms.

Options

1) If money were no object, solutions like squeeze box are quite cool; the recent boom box in fact sounds like it would meet the need. But at $400m I donít want to buy 4 of them.

2) For these rooms, the collection on an iPod would certainly suffice. Any, dare I say, iHome type device, or ipod speakers might work niclely. Iíd set these up in all thedr rooms, and just pop in the ipod. True, no internet radio, no direct access to my music library ( only the subset on the ipod)., but still not a bad solution.

3) Another option is to purchase, in future, an iTouch. As this is wifi-capable, Iím sure there will tons of applications and devices that will come to market that essentially is the squeezebox boom box solution, but cheaper, ie drop in the itouch and have access to local content PLUS internet radio, and likely even to my main media library. This option is interesting as well...for the future.

4) other options??

Comments?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-07, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Actually, duh, it occurs to me that anohter option for what I am after are wireless speakers for use with networked PC that do not intefere with wireless networks... Does such a thing exist?

Last edited by MyMedia08; 2008-09-07 at 03:54 PM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-07, 04:21 PM
 
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Look at the Roku Soundbridge. It's streams music and internet radio wirelessly from your computer. Just add speakers.

*Link to retail removed*

Last edited by talljak; 2008-09-07 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Link Removed
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-07, 04:41 PM
 
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-08, 09:41 AM
edv
 
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Another company that has been providing this type of solution is Sonos.

Plasmas:Panny TC60PS34 LG 42PX4D Toshiba 50HPX95 AVR:Yamaha HTR6190B & HTPC
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-08, 12:33 PM
Eug
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In my house I use an Airport Express to stream iTunes to my living room stereo.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-08, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
In my house I use an Airport Express to stream iTunes to my living room stereo.
Isnt airport express simply a wireless router? Dont you need a media device/bridge (eg one of Squeezebox, Roku, Sonus, etc ) connected to your living room stereo??
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-08, 12:47 PM
Eug
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The Airport Express has a combo optical audio/analogue audio output.

It also has an Ethernet jack, and wireless 802.11n. It can be configured either as a wireless router, or as a client.

I actually don't use the AE via wireless. I run powerline networking to the living room, and connect the AE via Ethernet to the powerline networking adapter. I find the connection is more stable this way, but others have had good results using wireless.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-08, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
The Airport Express has a combo optical audio/analogue audio output.

It also has an Ethernet jack, and wireless 802.11n. It can be configured either as a wireless router, or as a client.

I actually don't use the AE via wireless. I run powerline networking to the living room, and connect the AE via Ethernet to the powerline networking adapter. I find the connection is more stable this way, but others have had good results using wireless.
The airport express option is a very very interesting living room option. Seems to be the only option so far that is reasonably priced, has an audio connection (requiing powered speakers or audio eqmt) and can connect to a LAN/WAN for access to network media content and internet radio. True, no local control but that's ok in my case as I have a PC in a nearby room where I can control things.

QUESTIONS

1) I dont have an ethernet conenction in that room, nor powerline capability.. are you saying i can simply run it in 'client' mode and I'm done? That would be quite slick.

2) can I specify if I want G or N re client mode?

3) can I control the airport express entirely from a Windows Vista pc??
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-08, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question (4) - Per the AE documentation it says, consistent with your use, that "In client mode AirPort Express does not offer itself as a wireless access point or use its Ethernet port. As a wireless client, AirPort Express is simply a destination for AirTunes and print jobs. It can join both 802.11b and 802.11g networks, including those using security features such as WEP and WPA-PSK."... it also says that one can only stream music to the Airport Express via AirTunes which is part of iTunes. Is that what you are using?

As a Windows users, I tried ITunes , but had abandoned it a while ago for other players than were far more responsive, especially on slower machines. As well iTunes does not support FLAC which comprosied 2/3 of my media library. May need to rethink it now at install/convert files on a least one machine to support AE.

Based on some goggling, there is apparently a workaround for using AirTunes without using iTunes but it requires a product called Airfoil for Window and Airfoil Speakers for Windows, ( http://rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/windows/ Guess I will need to check that out if I go the AE option.

Last edited by MyMedia08; 2008-09-08 at 04:58 PM.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-08, 05:53 PM
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1) You can run in wireless client mode. I personally found that the AE client was more stable using wired than wireless. However, others have found the wireless client very stable. I wonder if the difference has to do with the signal strength, or may be related to hardware compatibility issues. I do know the Airport Express doesn't have the strongest transmit/receive strength. There is no option to add an external antenna either. Anyways, I had to power cycle the unit in wireless mode every day or so in my setup. With wired, I don't have to do this. OTOH, others say they never have to power cycle the unit, with it working stably over wireless for months on end.

2) Yes, I think you can specify n vs g. In any case it supports both.

3) I'm not sure what the Airport Utility software is like for hardware configuration on Vista, since I only use a Mac. Unfortunately, even on the Mac, the software configuration utility sucks. There is no web-based configuration either. The software does work, but if the Windows version is as bad as the Mac version, then be prepared to do a lot of hard resets of the unit. ie. If the settings you put in are wrong, then the unit sometimes becomes undetectable by Airport Utility. Then you have to hard reset and enter all your settings all over again, instead of just changing one variable. Very, very irritating. I found out the hard way that the AE doesn't like hidden SSIDs, at least with my 2wire wireless router. Adjusting all the settings after each hard reset gets annoying fast. However, when the unit is properly set up, the Airport Utility software seems to easily detect the unit. Kinda dumb though, since when the network connection is NOT working is when you need the Airport Utility.

4) AirTunes is just their branding for streaming over wireless... specifically from iTunes. I have not personally tried AirFoil.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-08, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
14) AirTunes is just their branding for streaming over wireless... specifically from iTunes. I have not personally tried AirFoil.
Eug - Many thanks for the details and insight. Re the Airtunes question, my concern there was the not so much it vs other software, but the prerequesite that one "can only stream music to the Airport Express via Airtunes.

Products like AirFoil may address it.

Anyway this doesnt sound (no pun intended) like its a smooth no-brainer, especially on a Windows platform. I might be able an AE from a friend and play - that would be best. Dont think I am ready to buy new with all these caveats.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-09, 10:47 PM
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P.S. I use Apple's iPhone Remote application to control iTunes. (It works with either the iPod touch or the iPhone.)

So, because I own an iPhone, it means I always have control of iTunes wherever I go in the house.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1344...remoteapp.html
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-10, 06:50 PM
 
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I've been looking for a similar product. I was impressed by the reviews for the Grace ITC-IR1000B Wireless Internet Radio. Especially since it can stream media from your PC. Its available at London Drugs for $189. Still a bit too pricey for a kitchen radio that doesn't have an AM/FM tuner or aux input.

http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-audi...-32788167.html
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-09-11, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Q: In the literature for the Squeezebox Boom, it mentions that it can be integrated/expanded to other rooms by addiing addtional Squeezebox receivers.

Does that mean:

- the remote for Boom works on the receiver??
or
- the two are sociable together but one still needs to buy at least one Squeezebox commander to control the receiver?
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