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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I was going to post this on the HTPC forum, but I don't think this applies and the responses tend to be--just buy an HTPC!

I have finished the long task of loading all of my CD's on my PC--I love it--being able to browse my entire collection and accessing them at the click of a mouse is fantastic--I'll never touch another CD. However, my computer is in the spare room where I only spend small amounts of time--now I'd like to be able to access my music collection through my HT-receiver in the living room. I don't care about video/PVR as i already have one,but I am looking for an on-screen interface for the TV.(photo slideshows would be a bonus)

As it stands I have a wireless router hooked up to my cable modem/xbox in the living room and my computer is connected wirelessly to that setup.

So far I like the sound of the Hauppauge MVP-about 150$, editable GUI and included remote-but I was wondering if anyone had any similar/better ideas. I also came across a Jensen Matrix audio streamer(?) which basically just wirelessly beams audio from you computer to your stereo for 30$ I can't imagine the sound would be any good and there's obviously no GUI.

What are my options?

Thanks guys
JASON
 

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Take a look at the Dlink wireless media player....more expensive than the Hauppauge though. The dlink has component out *and* digital audio outs (not sure if this means it'll support 5.1 though) that the Hauppage doesn't as well.

http://www.dlink.ca/product.php?PID=281

update: a friend of mine has this and doesn't like it very much. Check out the networked media player list on cnet.com and read some reviews on them.
 

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If you have a DVD player hooked up to your HT and a DVD writer, you can write a data DVD with about 800 high bitrate mp3's onto 1 DVD and play them on your standalone HT DVD player (ussuming it is mp3 compatible).

This may not work on all standalone DVD players, but it works on my Toshiba.

The interface is not great shakes and I don't think there is a shuffle feature, but the tunes sound great (assuming that a good job was done during encoding).

Just a thought.
 

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It's more expensive, but I have a 'thing' for the SoundBlaster Wireless Music system. I like the fact that everything is on the remote and you don't have to turn on/look at the TV to pick your music. The remote is even RF, so you can walk it around the house.

Future Shop sells this for $380, but that's ridiculously high...should be $100 less than that.
 

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Get a mod chip for your xbox. The Xbox Media Centre is a fantastic media player that streams mp3s from your PC as well as having a multitude of other functions. Since you already have an xbox you can get a mod chip installed for less than $100.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the replies guys(poetry!). To be honest I really can't decide. I am now leaning toward a TV free interface--as pretty as they are in the showrooms I'm thinking it's a pain in the Bhind to have to turn on the computer, then go into the living room and boot up the stereo and then fire up the TV--too much. I saw the slimbox and that looks decent--allows you to browse on a small screen on the fron of the box--good cross between a cd player and an MP3. I did check out the creative option as well. I love creative(I have an old nomad jukebox) but I'm not sold on the monster remote--I'd like to see it in action first. I'm not spending money till march so there's no rush, but the search for the perfect product continues!!

JASON
 

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Another option might be getting an Ipod, downloading your mp3s to it, hook it up to your system, and playing mp3s from it. The nice thing about the Ipod is that it has one of the best interfaces (click wheel) for navigating thru hundreds of mp3s in its hard drive. You can also create playlists on it or from your PC if you wish.

The suggestion by filper to burn the mp3s to DVDs and play them via a universal player also makes sense... however, some people (like me) don't want to have to turn on the HDTV (to navigate thru the mp3 collection) just to play mp3s.
 

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Superchunk said:
Get a mod chip for your xbox. The Xbox Media Centre is a fantastic media player that streams mp3s from your PC as well as having a multitude of other functions. Since you already have an xbox you can get a mod chip installed for less than $100.

I agree with you but if it's an older xbox (before V1.6) if doesn't have to cost anything to Soft Mod it.

XBMC is the way to go... Stream Video and Audio off your PC plus much much more!
 

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I recently got an AirPort Express, which is Apple's WiFi router - it features "AirTunes", which is basically a line-out to your receiver/amplifier.

In iTunes (only works in iTunes), I can select my computer speakers, or AirTunes speakers - the AirTunes speakers play my iTunes music out through my amp. I wasn't sure how much I'd use this, but now I use it more than my ipod, which is also hooked up to one of the receiver inputs.

I don't like the thought of piling a tonne of mp3's onto a dvd - just way too tough to navigate. iTunes is a great piece of software (free!); it does have a couple quirks that I wish Apple would fix (like telling it to regularly check a folder for updates to the library), but overall, it's a great solution for what you're looking for. AirPort Express goes for $159CDN, I think - a lot more than most 802.11g wireless routers, but it also has a stupid simple print server and the AirTunes thing - great deal as far as I'm concerned.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Splash said:
I agree with you but if it's an older xbox (before V1.6) if doesn't have to cost anything to Soft Mod it.

XBMC is the way to go... Stream Video and Audio off your PC plus much much more!

Hey Splash, I was considering this option but didn't really understand the softmod thing--after some homework it looks like a decent option. The one thing I couldn't tell is do you have to do this softmod everytime or just the first time? I have Splinter Cell so I could use that save exploit. I do play Xbox live and I've read that it can detect even soft mods, so I had considered buying a used Xbox to use as a dedicated media player.

I'd love to know the pros/cons of this approach, as I figured by the time I bought another XBOX a hard drive and a mod chip I was getting a bit pricey.

"I recently got an AirPort Express, which is Apple's WiFi router - it features "AirTunes", which is basically a line-out to your receiver/amplifier."

Hey Nuje, I came across this option last night--looks very good except for one thing--how do you a)control your music and b)see what's playing? I love the price and I'm assuming availability but I do want to be able to control it from my living room--is this possible?

thanks again guys
JASON

BTW it's a squeezebox I saw not a slimbox--d'uh!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, I'm double posting--I hope that's a forgivable offence, but I went shopping today to price my options--ouch! The Creative setup was about 260-270, for audio only! The apple airport express was the cheapest at about 180$(cdn of course) again just for audio. I'm starting to think a modded XBOX might be the best option. The obvious downside to this option is the loss of XBOX live, but for the same price as the apple, I can get a second xbox(used), soft mod it and add XMC which will basically do anything and everything giving me a dedicated media player in my living room-plus it's always being upgraded so it will evolve with the new technology. It will involve switching on the television everytime but it will be a quicker process than booting up the cpu in the other room.

Of course I flip flop on this on an hourly basis but this is the way I'm leaning at the moment--decisions decisions!

JASON
 

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I only put a 40gig hdd in my xbox, and i don't use much of it. I burn anything I d/l onto DVD and just stream my mp3s, so you don't really need bigger than 8gigs if you have a dvd burner already.

I think xbmc is the best media player I have seen on any platform. You can get a script that loads a playlist on startup, meaning a lot of the time you wouldn't need to boot the TV if you have a playlist you like to listen to a lot. I haven't gotten around to this yet but seems like a good idea in general.
 

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I'd avoid the Linksys personally, I had it and while it performed it's intended function it felt like a product that could have been so much better with just a little more effort in product development. I currently use an HTPC connected to the PC and find it a much better overall experience and a lot more capable. Downside is cost though as an HTPC will usually run in the $1K range but could be cobbled together for cheaper if you have spare computers and parts lying around.
 
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