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Noob here, just getting into home theater / AV stuff. First, I hope I've selected the right forum for this !??


I have been reading a fair bit and want to digitize my CD collection (and perhaps DVDs in the future), store this on my PC, be able to create my own play lists, or whole albums or genres, and transmit (wired or wireless) music files (WAV or MP3 or other format) or eventually DVD/movies/pictures, to my Home Theater. Currently I have home wireless configured (801.g) I have a receiver (HK about 5 years old, not sure of model number right now), DVD player, Replay TV, and a new panasonic Plasma TV. My receiver inputs/outputs include digital optical, digital coax, composite (red, white, yellow). my TV has input/output for HDMI, dig optical, dig coax, component (RGB) and composite (Red, white, yellow). ( I can get more information if needed)


I made an impulse purchase about 2 weeks ago of a D-link Media Server 320(?). It was a snap to install, but really doesn't do the job. Too many firm-ware issues, poor antennae/reception for in-house wireless, Extremely limited playlist management and server software. I used the composite audio connects (Red/white) from the Dlink server to my receiver CD "in". I was VERY disappointed with the volume and quality of sound. Not sure if that is me not knowing what to fix/tweak or not. So I boxed it up and I'm ready to take it back. In the meantime, I have beed reading about the slimdevices squeezebox2.


Before I make another purchase, I want to review and not do another Impulse Buy.


Can I get opinions and advice?? On the flexibility to manage tunes, retrieve and playback different formats, wireless reception and lag associated with different formats or any other advice from those who are ahead of me on this great learning curve. I appreciate the help and thank you in advance !


Some features: Cost is a moderate issue, I don't want to spend 1000 on this unit. please advice on stuff on the 2-300 +/- range -- Thanks !!


Jim
 

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These are some posts that might be helpful -- one thing to be aware none of these is perfect and if you use wirless as opposed to wired you will often be disappointed with video (and sometimes audio).

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=558671

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=549208

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=534482

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=495915

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=484807

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=495915

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=564187


One warning on lots of these threads -- often the early posts don't give the whole picture as these are evolving products and at least some the manufacturers are improving them every month ...
 

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Jim-


We're in the same boat. I'd love to put my 1000+ CD collection on a hard drive/server that's accessible from our living room. I'm looking for something with an easy-to-navigate interface, but I don't know if that involves a dedicated HTPC in the room or not. I'm also a total noob to this possiblity and only stumbled across the option when trying to decide what kind of furniture I could build to house our massive collection. I'd be willing to shell out $1K for a decent solution that really worked well and handled a variety of formats. I've got a sizeable SACD and DVD-A collection and I'd love to be able to handle those as well, though I have no idea if that's doable.


Let's use the buddy system! :D


Jason
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonColeman
Jim-


We're in the same boat. I'd love to put my 1000+ CD collection on a hard drive/server that's accessible from our living room. I'm looking for something with an easy-to-navigate interface, but I don't know if that involves a dedicated HTPC in the room or not. I'm also a total noob to this possiblity and only stumbled across the option when trying to decide what kind of furniture I could build to house our massive collection. I'd be willing to shell out $1K for a decent solution that really worked well and handled a variety of formats. I've got a sizeable SACD and DVD-A collection and I'd love to be able to handle those as well, though I have no idea if that's doable.


Let's use the buddy system! :D


Jason
Just as a note on SACD and DVD-A, I don't think anyone has come up with a way to rip them yet. If I'm wrong I'd like to hear about that, but AFAIK, makng exact edigital copies of each isn't currently possible (copying the CD layer of a hybrid disc doesn't count :) ).
 

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Jaycee40,


I have looked for the similar product for more than 1 year. But, still my hands are empty. :(


There are several products in the market such as; Roku, I/O Link Player, Prismiq and so on. But each one has own pros and cons. One day I decide Roku is the best, and next day I decide Link Player is the best. Really, I do not know which one is the best solution. I guess this is endless game. I will have never a media player. :mad:


Even I had tried HTPC but I quitted. I heard that XBOX is a very good solution but it seems it is too complex to use it. :confused:
 

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If it's audio only, I'd recommend the Squeezebox2 without reservation. A fantastic product.


If there is a need for video as well, I'd suggest an Xbox running XBMC. It takes a decent amount of research, but it works really really well once it's up and running.


I'd also disagree on the wireless comment above. Although each implementation of wireless is unique based on the home, 802.11g works perfectly for me on both video and audio with XBMC and the Squeezebox2. Of course wired is preferable, but it's simply not always an option.
 

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Xbox can be purchased pre modified. It is then easy to find the software XBMC to use on it. It is the apex of media content streamers at this time. No other product on the market even comes close to the versitility or performance of a modified Xbox. I have said it before but I have to repeat, the modified Xbox changed the way my wife and I watch TV 100%. Except for HGTV, which my wife has on most of the time when she is quilting or cross stitching for background noise, we NEVER watch anything with commercials.


I obtain TV series either after they are available as DVDs or record them on ReplayTV with all commercials cut. There is so much content available now that it is possible and preferable to never watch commercial laden TV.


It really is easy to set up once you get past the initial learning curve.


My set up is this:


1. Panasonic Plasma

2. Xbox for video streaming

3. Roku for 24/7 audio streaming

4. Audiotron for second 24/7 audio streaming of New Arrivals.

5. All served over a wired network with 4 Linksys NSLU2 NAS with 2TB of storage.



All set up using macro functions on remote that require 1 press of a single button to start any device. This makes it so user friendly that even my low tech quilting stitching wife loves it. So with one button press we have access to hundreds of movies and dozens of TV shows.


If I sound proud of my set up its because I really love it. All my components are in the room behind the TV so there are no components or wires visible in my living room. Just a TV and speakers all hanging on the wall. And in the room where the components are, they are inside a big armoire and completely hidden from view.


All this was made possible by a little hurricane that whipped through my area a year ago. I was able to redesign a lot of things while my house was being rebuilt with the goal of no wires in the living room.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qooop
Xbox can be purchased pre modified. It is then easy to find the software XBMC to use on it. It is the apex of media content streamers at this time. No other product on the market even comes close to the versitility or performance of a modified Xbox. I have said it before but I have to repeat, the modified Xbox changed the way my wife and I watch TV 100%.
I agree that the XBox Media Center project is an amazing project, and it copes amazingly with loads of media, especially Divx and MP3 compressed media.


However I think I have to stress that it isn't perfect in picture quality terms. The mplayer core it is based on has a fundamental limitation - it doesn't replay MPEG2 interlaced video (which is the bulk of my captures - as I use an SD MPEG2 capture card in my HTPC server) in interlaced. It de-interlaces, and thus reducues the field-rate motion to frame-rate. It looks good still - but it is nowhere near as good as many other hardware MPEG2 replay solutions.


I'm not disputing it is a good solution - and the usability is amazingly accomplished - and I still run it for a lot of media replay. However replay of recorded TV isn't, IMHO, its strongest suit - unless the TV show is shot on film or 24/25p HD video and has no field-rate motion.
 
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