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Hi, I'm looking for an inexpensive solution to 'bridge' audio, from the line-out of one device, to the line-in of essentially outdoor speakers/amp. It needs to be transported over IP -- TCP or UDP is fine - basically, transport should be packets supported on consumer switches and WiFi AP's. For the scenario, think: being able to follow the action of a sports broadcast when I go from home-theater room, to outside my house, where my outdoor speakers are. I always want the outdoor speakers to be a 'slave' to the indoor 'master' - and not control them independently.

I'm not aware of any 'bridge' device pairs that will tunnel audio over IP from a 'transmitter' to a 'receiver.' Devices like this exist for Bluetooth... but, I need to span a large distance, and figure I should be able to leverage the my wired/WiFi home network to achieve this, and not worry about audio quality; bluetooth profiles; signal strength - etc. Bridge pairs like this also exist for extending HDMI - but these are typically not IP; they just use a Cat5/6 cable for transport.

Thoughts? Does such a device exist? I have a spare laptop - I'm wondering if a reasonable solution would be to set the laptop up to stream the audio coming into a mic port, over the home network to an Airplay receiver (i.e. the $50-ish Airport Express variety).
 

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Laptop running airfoil will play any audio to airplay receivers.

Sonos also makes equipment that will stream over an existing network
 

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I like AirPlay...

But what's wrong with just good ol' analog over wire? Using cheap Cat5 with a couple of baluns works just fine. And you don't have to reboot it.
 

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Ok, there are a few things you can't do with AirPlay or Sonos. One is to take a random audio source and stream it around the LAN.

Windows tablets are cheap, and actually might be a good solutions for hardware. You run an .mp3 streaming encoder on one, player on the other, introduce them to each other over the LAN.

Much more expensive, but dedicated hardware can be found here. Look at the Extremer, Instreamer etc.

But neither of the above hits "simple" very well. Neither is very low cost, though I'd bet a couple of $100 wintabs would work ok. Nothing beats plain old copper wire.
 
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