How to send digital audio wirelessly
July 21, 2006 4:12 AM   Subscribe

Is there a device (pair) that can take digital audio out and wireless-ly transmit it 30 feet to allow for digital audio in on a receiver?

I have a room setup where the computer with all its MP3 tunes and Windows Media Center software is at a desk on one side. The receiver is under the Television about 20 feet away.

Look something like this:
Computer Digital Audio out -> Mystery Device -> air -> Mystery Devices pair-buddy -> Receiver Digital Audio in

I am aware of the digital audio stations from buffalo where the MP3s are stored on that device. It is possible I don't fully get how they work.

I want to be able to use the Windows Media Center to control what's playing and... I would like this to be digital to digital, not RCA stuff.

Other information. I have a 802.11g wireless network in the house. I would not like the two to be in danger of interfering with each other.

Also - kindly please don't suggest that I move the computer under the TV, next to the receiver. The computer has other roles.
posted by jshelus to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
AirPort Express with AirTunes surely?

It accepts digital audio out to a hi-fi and the 'in' is digital because it's transmitted over wi-fi.
posted by dance at 4:32 AM on July 21, 2006

And the AirPort Express can join your existing network (or mesh with it if it's a WRT54G or an older AirPort base station) so it wouldn't interfere at all.
posted by dance at 4:33 AM on July 21, 2006

Response by poster: I think the Airport Express works solely with iTunes. Is there something like this that integrates with Windows Media Center?
posted by jshelus at 5:04 AM on July 21, 2006

Short answer, yes. But Bluetooth's range is pushing it at 30ft.

See also, Slim Devices and Slingbox, two completely different devices and potentially not at all what you want.

First link, Googled for "bluetooth audio transmitter."
posted by disillusioned at 5:10 AM on July 21, 2006


D-Link Media Lounge (DSM 320)

D-Link Wireless Media PLayer (DSM-120)


Google search for 'wireless media player' and 'wireless audio player'
posted by Mahogne at 5:15 AM on July 21, 2006

Response by poster: Mahogne - I think all these are actually driving the playing from the device, accessing files on my computer. I really just want something where the computer is driving the play itself and just sending the audio stream to the stereo.

disillusioned - The bluetooth idea seems close, but uses analog headphone jacks. I agree with you that at 30ft, bluetooth gets wonky.
posted by jshelus at 5:27 AM on July 21, 2006

Response by poster: Mahogne's google search uncovered this Sondigo's Sirocco Wireless Audio Bridge. I think this may be what I am looking for. Anyone have experience with it?
posted by jshelus at 5:35 AM on July 21, 2006

The Squeezeboxes would work really well, but they don't tie into Windows Media Player. They use their own software. They'll play WMA files just fine, with native WMA decoding in the hardware, but the software tracks and manages your media itself. You use either the remote control or the web interface to start/stop/play.

It will sync up playlists with iTunes, but it does not talk directly to WMP in any way, as far as I know.

The hardware is absolutely wonderful, with fantastic sound (truly audiophile quality, on par with $1k+ CD players), and a big, bright display.

You can download and play with the software for free, and it includes a Java emulator of the hardware, so you can see how it works. The "stable" releases of late have not been very good... 6.3.0 was a complete disaster. If you download 6.3.1 and it doesn't work well, I'd be happy to mail you 6.2.2., which has been very good for me. My (munged) email is in my profile.
posted by Malor at 5:53 AM on July 21, 2006

I should clarify... the Squeezeboxes themselves have no moving parts and no local storage. They require a piece of server software to be running on a computer somewhere in your house. (Alternately, they can connect to SlimDevices and get all their programming info from there, if you just want to stream music over the Web. )

Basically, you'd install the software and point it wherever you store your WMAs, tell it to scan your library, and things should just work like magic from there. The navigation via remote is really easy, too.
posted by Malor at 5:59 AM on July 21, 2006

I think the Airport Express works solely with iTunes. Is there something like this that integrates with Windows Media Center?

Airfoil for Windows
posted by cillit bang at 6:18 AM on July 21, 2006

I use Airfoil with the Airport Express on both a Mac and Windows machine. Works great with everything except Winamp (and that might be fixed since I haven't updated my Windows Airfoil in a while).
posted by rsclark at 7:30 AM on July 21, 2006

Modify a wireless headphone to do this...
posted by omidius at 8:08 AM on July 21, 2006

Take a look at Mavizen
posted by Dub at 8:23 AM on July 21, 2006

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