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Home computer as juke box?

 
 
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 10:29 pm
I want to rip all my CD's, which I have paid for, then set up play lists via windows media player. Given I can do this, my question is: Can I use physical cables to transport the playback from the back of my PC to my stereo? That is, instead of using my computer's speakers and puny "subwoofer", how can I import the musical info from my computer's soundboard to my AV unit? Is the answer as simple as a trip to Radio Shack and what would I ask for? The AV unit accepts the RCA jacks as inputs how about the output from my sound board?

JM
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fishin
 
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Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 10:45 pm
Many (most?) sound cards have multiple output jacks. You need to check on your's and see if one of them is a fixed audio level. If it has a fixed output jack then all you need is a 1/4" stereo plug-to-RCA adpater and a long enough cable to get from the PC to the receiver.

If you prefer a higher tech solution there are several products that will connect your PC and stereo system via ethernet or even wirless ethernet connections. Roku, PrismIQ, Linksys, etc.. all make such devices.
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JamesMorrison
 
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Reply Sun 1 Jan, 2006 12:51 am
Thanks fishin'

I suspected it might be just a matter of getting the right connections. I had been looking at some of those CD players that hold 100 or so CDs juke box style but then I got to thinking that my computer was an under utilized resource--worse come to worse I could always plug in an inexpensive hard drive just for the music. This would allow me to keep the full capabilities of CDs (keeping all file attributes such as song and album titles) and to use Windows Media play lists to create my own personal sets and perhaps even burn some custom CDs.

I guess my next step is to check out the sound board outputs and make a trip to Radio Shack. I guess I could always resort to the method I used back in the '70's to connect my TV to my stereo system (Splice the TV speaker wires onto RCA jacks and then plug them into the back of the stereo system) but the Radio Shack solution is preferable.

The Ethernet solution sounds interesting. I already have a router to split my cable internet to many other computers in the house. How might this work? I suspect it would not involve the router itself or the cable modem.

JM
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2006 02:21 pm
JamesMorrison wrote:
The Ethernet solution sounds interesting. I already have a router to split my cable internet to many other computers in the house. How might this work? I suspect it would not involve the router itself or the cable modem.


They generally require that you buy an additional box that has both Ethernet and RCA jacks. You connect the box to your home network via either Cat 5 cable orr a wireless card and then connect it to your home theatre or stereo receiver.

The interface boxed don't tend to be very cheap but they would probably run about the same as a 100 or 400 disc CD carousel. Some of them offer additional features (like watching movies that might be stored on your PC or things like Instant Messaging on your TV) that might make them more attractive to users.
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JamesMorrison
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 02:56 pm
Sounds good. I just tried the connections and it worked but no matter what input I used to the AV unit I had to turn the AV volume up significantly (about twice the normal level) which then made amplifier hum quite apparent. This was unnoticable with rock or loud performances but unnacceptable with quieter sets. Perhaps it is some kind of line level incompatabilty problem. The female jack on the sound card was 1/8" and not the 1/4" that you recommended.

I also must turn up the AV unit's volume when piping in sound from my TV but this is acceptable because their is absolutley no Amp hum, oh well.

JM
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 08:08 pm
@JamesMorrison,
I know this is a discussion old as hell but since I've been going through your interesting topics to tag them I noticed it.

You may also want to try a Windows Media Center and/or a Media Center Extender. The Media Center is like a TV version of Media Player with TV abilities but also the interface to use in a living room, and not a computer.

With an extender, you can network the content (wired or wireless) and stream the music to the extender. So you could have a computer with all the music streaming it to the Media Center Extender in the living room, or just put a Media Center in the entertainment center (mine just broke down after years of abuse, but I usually replace the whole home theater rack with one media center (plus the TV and speakers of course).
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