Am I missing something? How to use phone / tablet to stream directly from HTPC / NAS to outdoor speakers (not from device to speakers)? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-14-2014, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I feel like I MUST be missing something really simple here. I used to have a Squeezebox which was a (relatively) cheap little music streamer that would connect my music (located on NAS) to my speakers. Unfortunately it's since been discontinued but YEARS ago I could use a phone app to pull up my music and tell Squeezebox to play music out of the speakers connected to it. I could see a UI where I could choose my music, etc. and it didn't all have to be stored locally on the phone to be played. I could be anywhere as long as I had wifi access. Now years later I want to do the same thing, but I'm having a hell of time finding something that fits the bill. My primary use case is I want to be out in the yard and use my phone / tablet to view music and have it come out of my outdoor speakers. I don't want the phone / tablet to actually have to stream the music but rather issues the commands to do so from my HTPC / NAS. For example, I don't want to be having a party and have my cellphone ringing come out of the speakers when I get a call. Another way to put is that I want the user interface to be on the mobile device and the music source to be the NAS. Here's what I'm working with:

NAS holds all the music. A few hundred GB worth in FLAC and MP3 mostly.
HTPC - well powered laptop that serves up videos / music to my Roku 3
Roku 3 - connected to living room TV. Primarily used for Plex and Netflix apps.
Chromecast - connected to living room TV. Not really used so much.
Outdoor speakers - not currently connected (but they're really eager to be connected to something!)

I saw something on Kickstarter for Rocki which does almost exactly what I'm looking to do at a great price point. The downside is that doesn't really have the ability to browse and stream files from a home network (rather than the device itself). Rather they have various app / service support that's slowly rolling out like Spotify, Pandora, etc. While that's nice, I want to browse and stream my own catalog of music stored on my NAS.

I'm happy to buy another Roku or FireTV or something, but don't want to spend $300+ for technology I feel has been out there for a long time. In addition, I'm ideally looking for something with a relatively open platform like Plex where I'm not locked into a specific ecosystem (although I'm willing to if I need to). Am I missing something here?

Thanks in advance for your help!,
Mike
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-14-2014, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I may have a solution...

The Plex app allows you to connect to a Roku and push music to it over WiFi. The Plex server of course can feed from your home network / NAS. I could buy another Roku to be used just for outdoors and hook the speakers up to that and control over any mobile device. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to remotely control the volume of the speakers. This fits the overall price point and functionality perfectly. Any ideas on the volume issue?
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-15-2014, 08:46 AM
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What kind of outdoor speakers are you using?  Do they provide their own power (i.e. power cord connected to electrical outlet or batteries) or are they connected to an amp w/ speaker wire?  If they provide their own power then they should have their own volume control.  If they are connected to an amp then the amp would control the volume.

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post #4 of 7 Old 04-22-2014, 03:28 PM
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I'm looking for the same thing. NAS, amp & speakers, phone--the missing link.

  • Logitech Squeezebox and Roku SoundBridge are both discontinued with no replacement that I could discern.
  • Sonos Connect is often mentioned, but it's rebranded device from 2008 that doesn't even have Wi-Fi capability. Expensive too.
  • Rocki and Beep are both upcoming crowd-sourced devices. Judging by the app ratings and official forums, Rocki is having a rough start. Beep won't even be shipping till the fall.

The Apple ecosystem goes unchallenged. Makes me very sad.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-22-2014, 04:59 PM
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I use a networked AV Receiver (Yamaha RX-A1010) that does everything you want it to do. I can control 2 separate zones individually (e.g. Home theater system, patio speakers) with the iOS app. You can stream music from a NAS via DLNA or straight from an iPod/iPhone/iPad with AirPlay. The 2-way communication between the AVR and app is quick and accurate. The Receiver can play flac, WAV, & mp3.

Other services available:
Pandora - built-in app
Rhapsody - built-in app
SiriusXM - requires a streaming subscription (around $5 a month)
Net Radio - thousands of free internet radio stations
Spotify - Just added to the new models
USB - full folder navigation
All these services can be controlled and monitored on your phone. I have found that the iOS app works a little more reliably than Andriod but both are great.

The RX-Vxx series have all the same network capabilities with a little less power and start under $500.

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-22-2014, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post

I use a networked AV Receiver (Yamaha RX-A1010) that does everything you want it to do
Nearly every AV receiver company has a "networked" model. I'm not sure if the OP was aware of this, or whether he already has an amplifier.

Nonetheless, this is the Dedicated Music Transport forum, which is what we are both looking for, and an AV receiver is not.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-23-2014, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juventas View Post

this is the Dedicated Music Transport forum, which is what we are both looking for, and an AV receiver is not.

If it satisfies all the criteria, then what difference does it make?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmonacel View Post

Outdoor speakers - not currently connected (but they're really eager to be connected to something!)

Hmmmm, I wonder what he could connect those to?

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