PC connection to stereo
January 25, 2006 10:45 AM   Subscribe

How can I link my PC and stereo system in a wireless fashion?

I do apologize if this is a repeat question from the past, but I didn't seem to find a definitive answer. Nonetheless, for info purposes, my receiver is a sony and is about 4 years old.
posted by Todd Lokken to Computers & Internet (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
There have been several threads, but here's the one I started.

FWIW, I ended up buying the Logitech Wireless Music System for PC. It works very well for my purposes, but you'll also want to look at the Squeezebox, Roku Soundbridge, and the Apple Airport Express.
posted by selfnoise at 11:01 AM on January 25, 2006


Since I use iTunes to play all my music, I bought an Airport Express and am very happy with it. I've almost forgotten overpriced it was.
posted by smackfu at 11:02 AM on January 25, 2006


Another vote here for the Airport Express.
posted by docgonzo at 11:03 AM on January 25, 2006


I use the Soundbridge which is awesome. I've heard others using the Squeezebox. No experience with that though.
Only potential downside of the Soundbridge is that if you had another stereo in a different room and wanted to use another soundbridge to feed that, you couldn't synchonize the music between both systems very easily.
One very nice thing about the Soundbridge though is its ability to play ITUNES, Rhapsody etc very easily. Also, was dead easy to set up and have been extremely pleased with quality and ease of use...
posted by Mave_80 at 11:04 AM on January 25, 2006


Airport Express is pretty sweet, particularly if you have a mac...
posted by johnsmith415 at 11:04 AM on January 25, 2006


selfnoise...thanks for the thread. I knew there had to be a few (I really didn't think I was asking a new question), and I appreciate you pointing me in the right direction.
posted by Todd Lokken at 11:08 AM on January 25, 2006


No problem.

FWIW, you can read a review I wrote of the Logitech system on Newegg. I bought it because it doesn't require any kind of existing wireless network, and because it doesn't care what kind of sound stream you send it. And it's the cheapest of the various solutions. So far I've been pretty happy with it, though the documentation is quite lacking.
posted by selfnoise at 11:15 AM on January 25, 2006


Airport Express works well for me - usually. I've had off-and-on problems with reception, but I live in a dense highrise building in downtown chicago. After much fiddling, tweaking, and two different wireless routers, I've decided that I must be in an are with a lot of interference. YMMV.

Strangely enough, my Airport only acceptably works well when my laptop is connected to the ethernet cable and the wireless is activated at the same time. If I'm going totally wireless, the signal to the stereo cuts out for several seconds a couple times a minute. Not to totally derail, but does anyone else have these wireless issues? I'm on a 2 1/2 year old Titanium 1Ghz Powerbook, BTW.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:21 AM on January 25, 2006


Jeff...thanks.

Another thought that I had...are there any landmines to watch out for? Meaning, has anyone encountered an issue that I should be on the lookout for?
posted by Todd Lokken at 11:29 AM on January 25, 2006


another shoutout to AirPort Express here
posted by matteo at 11:38 AM on January 25, 2006


I started a similar thread on this.

Everyone said "MODDED XBOX WITH XBOX MEDIA CENTER NOW OR WE WILL KILL YOU!"

I listened.

I'm glad I listened. It does way more cool stuff than just stream music - it does videos too assuming you're talking about a full entertainment center w/tv, it does all sorts of other cool internet stuff (internet radio streamed to your stereo, launch.com music videos streamed, very nicely laid out realtime weather queries, stock ticker-style RSS feed display, and all sorts of other goodies - it's AWESOME!).

In fact, if anyone is interested in seeing a video demo of what it can do, I made one. However, I would rather not post it publicly due to size, so... email me steve AT openingbands DOT com if you want to see it and I will link you.
posted by twiggy at 11:55 AM on January 25, 2006


Seconding twiggy's recommendation of Xbox Media Center. It kicks so much ass, you'll wish that MS sold Xboxen with it preinstalled.
posted by chuma at 12:16 PM on January 25, 2006


Boy....I wish I could look at the xbox media center...however, due to some prior 'mods' to my xbox, I'm not sure it is possible.
posted by Todd Lokken at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2006


Todd: What happened to your xbox? It should be fixable, probably.

Even if it's not, you'll spend as little money on buying another used Xbox as you would any of the recommended devices above, and can softmod it yourself if you don't want to spend the cash and time on doing the modchip thing (softmod is done via software rather than a modchip, it has its disadvantages, but will run XBMC just fine)...
posted by twiggy at 12:38 PM on January 25, 2006


I love my squeezebox more than any other gadget i've ever bought. but it's an aquired taste, and requires a sense of techie adventure.
posted by ascullion at 1:09 PM on January 25, 2006


I really want to thank everyone so far for the comments...very helpful.
posted by Todd Lokken at 2:20 PM on January 25, 2006


The airport express is nice because it doesn't just take the computer's sound output, so my IM conversations don't blas out of my speakers for all to hear.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:27 PM on January 25, 2006


although it should be pointed out that you shouldn't have a problem bifurcating sound outputs with any of the above solutions.
posted by selfnoise at 5:39 PM on January 25, 2006


squeezebox squeezebox squeezebox... c'mon, look at it...
posted by blag at 6:07 PM on January 25, 2006


Another vote for the Roku. I can't begin to explain how stoked I was when I found out it had a sockets API.
posted by popechunk at 7:17 PM on January 25, 2006


It seems like Airport Express and Squeezebox are the two preferred options (although Roku has a couple as well). I'm going to take a look and see what my somewhat technically challenged mind can do.
posted by Todd Lokken at 7:28 AM on January 26, 2006


The cheap and dirty solution:


Get an FM modulator and plug it into the headphone out port of your computer. The difference between the crappy little modulators you get at Radio Shack and a good one is huge. This is the one ($69) that I recommend:

http://www.ccrane.com/radios/fm-transmitters/fm-transmitter.aspx

With it, you can get a solid, steady signal, even in a city (I use mine in my house near downtown Los Angeles) and you can tune every radio in your house to it. Range is about 30 feet.

Want better range? Here's a super-simple hack for the above unit:

http://www.xmfan.com/viewtopic.php?t=3257

Finally, use this free software (Mac and Windows versions) to find an "open" FM channel in your city:

http://www.griffintechnology.com/software/software_itrip.html
(click on "stationfinder" link.)

Total cost: $69.

- dan
posted by soulbarn at 5:48 PM on January 26, 2006


If there is an extra computer around, you can run Softsqueeze, which is a Java Squeezebox emulator and is free. This can be your cheap solution, or you can use it to evaluate the whole Slimsever/Squeezebox way of life, then buy one. I like that the Squeezebox supports FLAC, which is lossless compression.
posted by bephillips at 11:59 PM on January 26, 2006


Airport Express on a PC is possible but can be VERY troublesome to setup. There a few gotchas that I stumbled across that aren't documented.

This may help if you decide to go down the Airport Express route. Ohh and once it's setup it's wonderful.
posted by snowgoon at 5:13 AM on January 27, 2006


I think I'm going to stay away from Airport Express right now since I don't want to start using ITUNES. I'm checking into the modded xbox, and if that doesn't work, I'm looking at squeezebox next. Thanks again!
posted by Todd Lokken at 11:36 AM on January 27, 2006


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