Originally Posted by MASrules
By putting this on my network would I be able to access video and audio files from my network? What exactly can be done by getting the mentioned adapter and getting it to work correctly?
When connected to your local area network, the 2700's USB/Network selection only allows you to:
- Play music files that are streamed from one or more "streaming servers" on your network
- Play Internet Radio stations that are streamed from the Internet over your network.
- Video streaming is not supported.
: A "streaming server" is software running on an appliance or PC that interacts with a remote client (the 2700 in this case) to provide jukebox functionality. Moreover, the standard for PC streaming allows the remote client to see and select the server's music categorizations like genres, artists, titles, and playlists. Thus, from the 2700's on-screen menu, you can choose any music the server provides. The 2700 does NOT accept or display streaming video content.
Windows XP with Media Player 11 provides complete music streaming and thus can provide your 2700 with all of the music stored on your PC. There are other stand-alone software and hardware appliances that can also act as streaming music servers.Serious Interface Flaw
: HOWEVER, be aware that there are serious usability problems with the 2700's remote streaming interface. The menu times out VERY fast (like 7 secs) so it is difficult to choose a song from a long list before the menu disappears and you have to start all over.
Secondly, although hard to believe, there are no Page UP/DOWN keys so if you have a large collection of, say, 400 artists (I have 600), then you will have to press DOWN 200 times just to reach the middle of the list! Add those two disabilities together and you routinely have the case where you madly press DOWN 200 times, you stop to scratch your nose, and the menu disappears, forcing you to start hitting DOWN another 200 times praying you don't time out. In other words, it is not usable with anything but very small collections. If you do not mind destroying your music library's organization (I certainly do), you can break up your artists into separate folders like A-C, D-F, ... X-Z. You can also create playlists that group artists but that's a royal pain that would be maddening to maintain as you add/delete music.Internet Radio
: Assuming your home network is connected to The Internet via an always-on high-speed connection AND your 2700 has been successfully connected to the same network, there is nothing else to do to receive Internet Radio. You just select Internet Radio from the menu and you get a streaming server list but, in this case, the "servers" are music stations from around the world that you choose by genre then country.
Since the stations are grouped that way, the usability problem that prevents joyful use of local streaming is not an issue since there are only a few stations in each country/genre. The menu time out stilll is a pain, though. This feature works REALLY GREAT! With a high speed connection, I rarely get any streaming timeouts and the quality from most stations is very decent. The 2700 uses a large streaming buffer to minimize drop outs.Connections
: I highly recommend that you hard wire your connection, if at all possible. It provides simple and near flawless connectivity. In an attempt to avoid the hassle of running wires, I first tried the LinkSys WGA54G 54 mbps wireless Gaming Adapter
but, after 1 week of intense hair pulling, I was not able to get it to participate in my network using simple WEP encryption (it does not support WPA). The router saw it as connected but neither the adapter nor the 2700 were accessible. Running in naked unencrypted mode, I could connect but throughput was minimal since wireless throughput rapidly falls off at even short distances. A 54 mbps wireless adapter only gives 30-40 mbps at zero distance and rapidly falls to single digits across a typical house. If your router-to-receiver distance is only 20-30 feet without any major obstructions, you may be ok - if you can get it to work. They are about $100 at BestBuy.
I then tried a pair of D-Link DHP-301 powerline 200 mbps Ethernet adapters
. After 3 days of intense hair pulling and zero support from India, I managed to get them working but they gave minimal bandwidth which was enough to get good music streaming but not HD video streaming to my other (not 2700) devices like my Pioneer Elite 1140HD plasma TV. Since the adapters will not work through a UPS and are heavily impeded by surge supressors, they only perform best when plugged into naked outlets without any protection. So, I returned them and began the tedious effort of running direct wiring. If you only need music & Internet streaming (not Video), you might try the DLink DHP-301 kit. They are about $160 at BestBuy.
Before committing to stringing hard-wired cable, I bought 150' of Cat 5e cable, strung it across my 1st floor rooms, attached modular plugs at either end (very easy to attach), and tested that. Worked GREAT! I could stream music to both my 2700 and my Elite 1140HD plasma as well as stream HiDef WMV video to the 1140HD without a single hiccup. It is awe-inspring to see native HD WMV files streaming to the TV from my PC.
I am thus committed to finishing the hard wiring and be done with it. If you think about it, the cost of a wireless adapter or a pair of powerline adapters is far more than the cost of Cat 5e cable with 2 plugs and not much different then what a decent wiring guy might charge to do it for you. In my case, I have an unfinished basement so a wire tech could easily have done in 1-2 hours. It will probably take me an extra hour or three since I tend to over-think everything to ensure I end up with a mediocre job
Regardless of how you connect to the network, you set the 2700 to use a fixed IP address within your router network address space that does *not* fall within the range of your router's DHCP (automatic addressing) address assignment range. For my 192.168.0.x network, I chose 192.168.0.251 which worked well. You then set the address mask to 255.255.255.0 and the gateway and DNS addresses to that of the router which, in my case, is 192.168.0.1. Some routers such as some Linksys models have a different network address space like 192.168.1.x. Also, since hard-wiring avoids all security issues, you don't have any encryption settings to worry about.
Hope that helps.