Looking to wirelessly play digital audio/video from laptop - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-27-2011, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello - I'm new to AVS forum, but I was told that this was the place to get advice on potential solutions for the Home Audio/Video setup I was looking for.

Currently I have a Samsung UN46B8500 TV and Samsung BD-C6500 blu-ray player. I was considering purchasing a HP Envy 14 laptop and was looking for a way to potentially play and control my music and video library from my laptop, wirelessly and digitally, through whatever my media setup winds up being.

I don't have a receiver or speakers yet because I was interested in hearing potential suggestions of the hardware necessary to make this happen. I had heard the airport express could potentially work for the wireless part, but that there may be better options quality wires and then there wouldn't be a way of wirelessly playing digital video. Ideally I'd like to play video and audio wirelessly, but if forced to choose one over the other i'd prefer to have the audio wirelessly.

I'd like to hear any ideas or recommendations for making this happen. If there were not enough specifics listed to narrow this down please let me know.

Thanks in advance for the assistance.
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-27-2011, 02:35 PM
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The Apple TV is an inexpensive but reliable option that also has other features lacking from other media players auch as airplay.

I have an all apple network with three ATVs in three zones and a music only zone with the airport express. Everything is streamed centrally from a Dell XPS400 PC with two 1tb hard drives. The Apple TV user interface is excellent and everything 'just works'. It's all only going to work with an iTunes library though, with content formatted to apple types. But i started this from the beginning and i'm glad i did as when properly cataloged audio and video are accessed, it's easy as pie. Standard def DVDs transferred to M4v format have ac3 passthrough for sound and are much smaller than TS or ISO files. The 159 min epic Apocalypse now is 7.4gb in TS yet only 2.3 in m4v. I'm lacking menu access of course, but chapters when changed with ff/rw do you show the chapter titles. Get an iTouch or iPad and then the fun really begins with full control of all the iDevices on the network and direct streaming of App material from the iTouch/Phone directly to the ATV/Airport. App support is also right around the corner for ATV which should be REALLY interesting when that breaks. Audio quality is bit perfect but video is currently limited to 720p. For some that's a deal breaker i suppose if you're cataloging or ripping a BlueRay collection. IMO the reliablity, cost and user friendly interface are a worth while tradeoff. Hope this helps and i'm working on an iDevice/Apple streaming guide for dummies to post here soon so....
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-04-2011, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Couple of follow up questions.

Do you know if Apple TV is looking to handle 1080p in the future?
For the airport express/ATV, is there a particular receiver that you could recommend?
When you mentioned that the audio is bit quality, were you referring to playing songs through the Airport Express or the ATV? I just wanted to confirm that the audio quality on the Airport is digital.

Thanks again and would be interested in seeing that streaming guide for dummies once its put together.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-04-2011, 04:53 PM
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I've heard the rumors that ATV will play 1080p and it's been confirmed that the chip can and does support it but in all honesty, i really could care less. The only 1080p content out there is BD and BD content stored on HDD is IMO a waste of space, difficult to stream with all but the best networks and simply never looks as nice as it does on a BD player so.

As to audio out of the airport, it's bit perfect 48khz via mini-optical. My ATV also reports 48khz playback on the screen but others say it just aint so. I can't discern any difference and my 2 channel system is pretty impressive so again.....?

As for what receiver, that's really a budget call on your end and depends on the features you need. Mine are hooked to a Sony ES, an HK 347, a Pioneer Elite 21 and a Pioneer Elite SC-25 via optical or HDMI and all sound great.

If you can still find em and you're looking for a great deal, the Yamaha RX-V1900 was selling for $595 at electronics expo. It's a true 130wpc heavy weight that retailed for $1300 a year or so ago and a real steal at that price.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-06-2011, 08:39 AM
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If you have an old iPhone or iPod touch lying around, I can recommend the WiFi2HiFi app.

With that app you use your iPhone as an audio receiver for your stereo system and stream any audio from PC/MAC.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-06-2011, 12:17 PM
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I gotta disagree that bluray content stored on a hard drive isn't totally equivalent to what's on the disc itself. It is identical, unless you want to make lossy copies. There are millions of folks with BR content on HDs that have an equivalent (if not better) experience. With my BR media library I can watch anything of mine without dealing with any discs. It's awesome.

Streaming BR high def video with audio wirelessly is really not available currently as a technology. The bandwidth required and other hurdles haven't yet been handled. But you certainly can stream lossy video wirelessly, if that interess you. To me, I prefer largely lossless bluray on my big screens, and so my system is hard-wired.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-06-2011, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcfay View Post

I gotta disagree that bluray content stored on a hard drive isn't totally equivalent to what's on the disc itself. It is identical, unless you want to make lossy copies. There are millions of folks with BR content on HDs that have an equivalent (if not better) experience. With my BR media library I can watch anything of mine without dealing with any discs. It's awesome.

Streaming BR high def video with audio wirelessly is really not available currently as a technology. The bandwidth required and other hurdles haven't yet been handled. But you certainly can stream lossy video wirelessly, if that interess you. To me, I prefer largely lossless bluray on my big screens, and so my system is hard-wired.

+1 In this day and age, I wouldn't look at any solution that did not let me stream lossless bluray rips. Wireless won't work for that. Audio should have no problem streaming wirelessly though. The squeezebox is a good solution for audio. Video is different though and will depend on the kind of files you want to stream. Standard def stuff can stream over wireless. It's possible to stream lossy high def as well.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

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post #8 of 15 Old 03-06-2011, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

+1 In this day and age, I wouldn't look at any solution that did not let me stream lossless bluray rips. Wireless won't work for that. Audio should have no problem streaming wirelessly though. The squeezebox is a good solution for audio. Video is different though and will depend on the kind of files you want to stream. Standard def stuff can stream over wireless. It's possible to stream lossy high def as well.

I use Sonos for my wireless music streaming and it is outstanding.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-06-2011, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcfay View Post

With my BR media library I can watch anything of mine without dealing with any discs. It's awesome.

Didn't say it wasn't possible, and haven't tried it myself and with good reason. Given the file size of BD rips, i can't justify the cost of storage for the accessability to BD content on HDDs. There's two terms used often to categorize our kind. There's 'techie' and 'geekie'.......and i guess i've given up the ghost on waht i think about storing BD movies on HDDs. If someone can show me 'realistic' value in it, i'll consider changing my stance.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-06-2011, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

Didn't say it wasn't possible, and haven't tried it myself and with good reason. Given the file size of BD rips, i can't justify the cost of storage for the accessability to BD content on HDDs. There's two terms used often to categorize our kind. There's 'techie' and 'geekie'.......and i guess i've given up the ghost on waht i think about storing BD movies on HDDs. If someone can show me 'realistic' value in it, i'll consider changing my stance.

If u figure u can get a 2TB drive for about $90; I can fit around 100+ movies on a single drive. So that's 90 cents a movie, not including the cost of the storage unit. All together, depending on what storage device u choose and your entire setup, the costs probably range from 1-2$ per film (the costs go down, I'd think, as u increase the storage capacity). But for me it's worth it, for convenience, and for backup.

I'm not sure if that me a techie, a geekie, or both
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-07-2011, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

As to audio out of the airport, it's bit perfect 48khz via mini-optical. My ATV also reports 48khz playback on the screen but others say it just aint so. I can't discern any difference and my 2 channel system is pretty impressive so again.....?

If your player is resampling all audio to 48k, it's no longer "bit perfect".
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-10-2011, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by IcemanDallas View Post

If your player is resampling all audio to 48k, it's no longer "bit perfect".

What do you mean by that?
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-11-2011, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hennrockone View Post

What do you mean by that?


On a redbook CD the sample rate is 44.1khz. The ATV resamples everything to 48k. It is, in simple terms, "making up" data that does not exist in the original recording. I would also guess if you have music sampled at 88.2 or 96khz, the ATV would throw that information away, if it even supports sample rates that high. Therefore it is no longer bit perfect. Whether or not the difference is audible is debatable.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-14-2011, 06:08 AM
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Sorry bout that, a slip. The Airport is 44.1 while the ATV does sample at 48. There's been too many discussions on quality so i won't go into it either.
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-14-2011, 08:31 AM
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Everyone so far has made really great points on this topic and I can't disagree with any of them. What it breaks down to is what will work best for you.

I wouldn't suggest at all streaming any hd video/audio over a wireless network at all it will be more headaches then you need. So if you can hard wire the streaming, specially if you are going to stream lossless. Though there are really good guides for lossy with really high quality video. I would suggest a media server and a few media streamers. I use the wdtv live hub, but the wdtv live plus is good too.


Streaming music The Apple Airport express is really good for that, and it helps you can control it from your iphone or an ipad and so on.

The thing I would suggest is set your streaming network up on its own private network, mostly so your data traffic from the internet doesn't interfere with your streaming I ran into this a few times specially with music over wireless.
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