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Digital audio in your home sound system

 
 
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 09:05 pm
So, you've got an enormous music library in mp3s - and you've got a really decent modular sound system in your living room. You want to toss out your 50 disc CD changer and have access to all your collection instantaneously and take advantage of your 6 input 100w amp with attendant Orpheus Speakers.

What's the best way of doing it? A small drone PC with a top notch sound card (which one) and a big external drive?

I've set up my 'hi fi' to play from an mp3 player and from a laptop's soundcard and doesn't sound as good as the sound I get from the logitech Z4s with woofer connected to my PC which cost less than a tenth of my Orpheus honeys.

Speak o audio gurus, light my way.
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 9,344 • Replies: 6
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 09:39 pm
@hingehead,
I don't know about sound quality and the soundcard part of the question, but for the overall experience this is a good case for Windows Media Center. You could setup a PC connected to your television and sound system and use a remote control to browse your library on the TV and listen to it through your existing sound system.

For that I'd recommend a good video card in addition to a good sound card, as this setup really makes the most sense if you use the media center for TV, DVD etc.

You could also use a media center extender and have the computer in a different room, and for that you could even use an xBox 360 as it functions as a Media Center extender.

There are a lot of other solutions out there to let you play networked media on your home entertainment system, but this is the one I recommend as it offers a lot of flexibility and the Windows-based system makes it a nice bridge between media from your computer and your living room.
hingehead
 
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Reply Sun 31 May, 2009 11:31 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Thanks again Robert. I'm doing some web searching to try and find more details - and the second hit on my google search was my own question - the googlebots are restless tonight.
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kevincop130
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 12:03 am
Good luck.
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engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 06:39 am
@hingehead,
A PS3 or XBox360 will do the trick for you with no additional work at all. Both can receive from PC's set up as media servers. I use my PS3 with my sound system and I'm completely satisfied. You'll need a wireless network or a hard wired connection to your network. The wireless card for the XBox is extra, wireless is included in the PS3. The PS3 adds Blu-ray capability and full 1080p support, the XBox has more games and can function as a "media extender" with full compatibility with other Windows machines in your house. Either way, you're set for around $400

If you search for "media PC", you will find custom made PC's that look more like receivers, have great sound cards with 5.1 or 7.1 support and have HDMI output for your receiver. If you want to construct your own, there are plans on the web that focus on low noise fans. A fully capable machine with a wireless keyboard and digital TV support will run you around $1000-$1500
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 07:03 am
@hingehead,
There are some set top boxes that act as media players. Roku makes one that has been around for a while. Here's a link to the product. It runs about $130.

http://soundbridge.roku.com/soundbridge/index.php

Google soundbridge and forum to find out what owners have to say. I have not used it myself.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 08:04 am
@parados,
That looks like a great solution. I might have to look into that for a audio only solution on the porch.
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