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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 !


Jim
 

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Check out Sonos at www.sonos.com


They have a great wireless solution that will also allow you to control the music located on a PC in other parts of the house. Take them up on their offer to 'talk to a sonos expert' on the toll free line.


cheers


al
 

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The control4 Home Theater Controler will not only give you access to your music collection with on screen display and coverart, but also give you full control over all your other components. Includes two-way remote with LCD so you can scroll through your music either on the TV or on your remote. It will also give you the ability to add on lighting, security, etc. Hook up a DVD mega changer and it will automaticly get all your DVD cover art and show it on screen as well. All this for $599.
 

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Nuttin beats a HTPC in my opinion. In fact, I just completed control of mine today (well who ever really completes it). I use Theater Tek for DVD, Winamp for MP3, and a Harmony remote and girder to control it all.


With one button click for watching DVDs, the system:


Turns on the projector

Turns on the Denon Receiver

Selects Dolby/DTS

Selects the correct input on the Receiver

Selects the correct input on the Projector

Starts the Movie

Dims the lights

Shuts everything else off (Cable Box, Winamp, etc.)


With one button click for listening to Winamp, the system:


Turns on the projector (for watching the visualization pluggin)

Turns on the Denon Receiver

Selects 7ch Stereo

Selects the correct input on the Receiver

Selects the correct input on the Projector

Starts Winamp w/ Media Library

Dims the lights.


Using the arrow keys and select, I can scroll through the library and select songs. I can also jump (I have 18000 mp3s) using programmed text keys to get to a certain area.


For whole house audio, I have another cheapo PC running winamp in constant repeat shuffle mode. Its connected to my whole house audio system for playing music throughout the home. To select certain tracks, I have some cheap LCD screens around the house that can 'hit' the PC and using a small keyboard/mouse combo, select the track. I could also program this with girder to use a remote through my IR keypads around the house, but the LCD selection works fine right now.


Robert
 

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The sonos is amazing and incredibly wife-friendly. I'm already up to 4 zones and 2 controllers. Their service has been exemplary. I needed a controller replaced and they overnighted a new one to me along with a prepaid shipping box.


-- future sonos fanboy
 

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Regarding the Sonos. Since online music is now $5.00 per month for over 1 million songs, that is what I use for music now. I see no reason to have music stored on your hard drive regardless if you pay for it or not. I still have an 80 GB hardrive filled with music, but it sits unused for several months.


Will the Sonos be able to browse online music on demand type services like Yahoo, Napster and musicmatch? Since online music on demand is the future, the company that provides a portable interface like the Sonos to access this is headed in the right direction.


Not only that but you can fill your portable music device for free with unlimited songs for as long as you maintain the $5.00 per month subscription.
 

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Don’t do wireless between the Receiver and computer sound card, what every you decide use a digital connection (Coax) if you want sound quality. Also pay close attention to the ripping process of all your audio, use a bit for bit ripper like EAC and never use any kind of lossey compression, APE and FLAC are the best IMO. If done properly it can sound identical to a top quality CD transport, if not it will sound thin and lifeless, ya know, like MP3, yech.


I use J Rivers Media Center as the front end to Music Lobby for all interfaces, works great but J Rivers support is monumentally horrid and the owner is a #$%**&^%#[email protected] The only reason I use J Rivers is because of Music Lobby by Cinemar, they don’t have any other plugin’s available so your stuck with MC10 or 11. Music Lobby is a very good interface but need an upgrade to make the music selection more friendly especially if you have a large collection, but to date I haven’t found any better. If Mario and his team would just spend a little time making the Thumbnail pages with easier access Music Lobby would be fantastic.
 
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