Home Entertainment & Technology Resource

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Different music in 6 different rooms with extenders?

Discussion in 'Windows' started by [-Stash-], Jun 1, 2005.

  1. [-Stash-]

    [-Stash-] Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    4
    Ratings:
    +0
    OK, I'm hoping you guys can help me out with this one as I'm struggling with it.

    I have been asked by a friend to setup their house so that they can have differet music playing in 6 of their rooms in their house (big house). They would like to keep all their music centrally (so I thought of MCE) and be able to play whatever they like when/where they like.

    For instance they would like to be able to have classical music playing in the kitchen while there's rock n roll in the conservatory and while someone else watches a film in the lounge.

    What would be the best way to go about this?

    The main MCE system shouldn't be too much trouble if I spec it up reasonably (right? I was thinking of chickening out and going for a HUSH pre-built system). And I thought that I could just stick a Media Centre Extender in each room with an amp and a couple of stereo speakers (spec to yet be decided). HOWEVER, I've just read on the Linksys website that you can only have 3 extenders :/ Is this really the case? Or is this just a suggested limit?

    Do you have any other suggestions?

    Notes:
    The house is already wired for Cat5 in every room with a 10/100 switch in the cellar (and wireless).
  2. jon stallard

    jon stallard Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    Well..... I just bought myself a Philips Streamium cos I got a bit fed up with MCE. The thing about these units are that they are built by a domestic consumer product manufacturer, in other words, they work. There's no faffing about, no set up of this and that.

    I mention this only because it might be what you are looking for without the MCE malarkey. Basically, it streams music over your network, either wireless or ethernet (it has a built in wireless capability, albeit at a mere 11mbps :) ). You just load up the software for it on the PC with your music files on and then plug the unit into any available TV with scart plus some sort of HiFi with say Aux in or similar. I'm currently listening to New Order in another room on my Surround sound gear (although I'm on one of the host PC's) and Peter Hook is making my subwoofer work it's socks off.

    You talk about playing music in different rooms but as a bonus (if you like) it will also show your pictures from your host PC and (but I've not tried it yet) recorded video content. If you have broadband, it'll also connect you up to a few radio stations which has multi genre music styles. I've tried them and they work.

    I don't know if multiples will work however but looking at it logically, I can't see why not (although you'd best confirm with Philips first). The other thing is that not only is the software upgradable but so is the firmware via ethernet (it wont update over a wireless network curiously enough).

    One final tip, I bought mine from PCWorld (instore price is £169) but if you order on the web, you have the option to pick up from your local store at a reduced price if they are doing this item on a web offer. They were and I got mine for £136. It's a new Argos style reserve thing they are doing, you don't pay until you collect it.

    It may well be that the MCE extenders will do the job better but they are not available yet and this device is. I've also not encountered any copyright issues although the majority of my music is recorded off CD's, not downloaded.

    I hope this helps and I hope my dissapointment at MCE isn't clouding the issue too much.

    Oh yes, apparently, you can download music from the internet too via this unit although personally, I tried and lost a whole album between virgin and my PC so bugger that for a game of solders :)

    Cheers,
    Jon
  3. stuartmc

    stuartmc Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    203
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0
    MCE isn't the way for this, currently running more than a couple of extenders is pushing MCE.

    Take a look at Sonos www.sonos.com. Just coming to the UK but designed to do exactly what you want. Alternatively any of the newer multiroom servers like Yamaha Multicast will do it without a PC especially if the house is wired.
  4. Dave_M

    Dave_M Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Messages:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
  5. [-Stash-]

    [-Stash-] Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    4
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks, I will have a look at that right now.

    jon stallard: I've also been looking at the Philips Streamium range as my brother-in-law has a 54Mbps unit which he keeps raving about. If they do allow more than one media unit to connect to the same server then this could be the answer to my prayers as there is another unit (forget the model number) that allows you to play music without needing a screen to make the selection since it has a little monochrome LCD panel on the front of the unit which would do the trick.

    Time to check out Sonos.
  6. [-Stash-]

    [-Stash-] Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    4
    Ratings:
    +0
    Holy C£$P! That Sonos stuff looks like the business :D Lots of reading to do ;)
  7. jon stallard

    jon stallard Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    The good thing is that there seems to be an answer out there to what you want to do, as always it's down to price and spec.

    I and I'm sure a few others will be interested to see what you end up doing so please let us know the outcome.

    What did impress me with the sonos was the ability to play the same thing on every zone. Now that might seem strange but the number of times I have had various freeview and DAB tuners playing the same thing in different rooms (because I might be shifting stuff about or just 'wandering') and the reverb effect you can get goes from entertaining to somewhat bizarre depending on signals and how much you've had to drink :)

    Could I claim this as the Stallard effect? the out of sync to alcohol ratio? :thumbsup:

    No, thought not :)

    Anyway, please keep us informed.

    Cheers,
    Jon.
  8. Filbert

    Filbert Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    962
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Ratings:
    +207
  9. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,834
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +136
    :eek: 949 for a starter setup! :eek:

    :eek: :eek: £ 379.00 :eek: :eek: For each extra "zone"!?!?



    Here's a suggestion ... and this will only work if you have a TV in each room you want to play in and, you will have to get wifi installed if you haven't already (or cabled network). This is somewhat, not the convention :D

    Thought about a modded xbox? Xbox+chip+small HD = 170gbp. Each one of these xbox's can stream music from ANY SMB system (NT+file share (Win XP for example)) and play it through Xbox Media Centre (a music, video and photo showing system).

    Couple of disadvantages:

    1 - Xbox's are ugly and a little large
    2 - each will need a TV
    3 - you will need a file store of some sort (Windows NT/XP based system)


    Advantages:

    1 - each "terminal" will only cost you 170gbp+tv/Lcd
    2 - It will play ALL your music formats
    3 - It will output to dolby systems should you feel the need
    4 - it will play ALL your movie formats as well!
    5 - it plays games! A big bonus! :)
    6 - you can upgrade your fileservers storage as often as you like for real cheap money
    7 - this doesn't use Extender or any flash stuff, its limited to the speed of your network :smashin:
    8 - its a region free DVD player of good quality and also plays S/VCD's


    I have two modded xbox's at the moment. Primarily both are for the very purpose you specify. I use my PC as a file store and games system.

    Oh and coz its Microsoft, don't expect errors .... contrary to belief, most Operating System crashes are actually caused by software/driver incompatibilty bugs from 3rd parties. The xbox is "standard" and so does not have these issues, after setup you will be able to count the crashes on one hand over an entire year.

    If you plan to use more than 5 clients at the same time then you will need to get a copy of Windows NT/2000/XP server. The "Client" operating systems iirc are limited to 5 simeltaneous.

    Best of luck!

    *edit* Noticed the price for each extra "zone"
  10. lisag

    lisag Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,284
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +250
    Are you calling my xbox ugly? :(
    It's not that bad, and fits easily into a unit,
    Also modded xboxes can be had for £150 - if you stream files over a network you don't need a bigger HD, and they can do EVERYTHING in the media playback department - I am a modded xbox fan :)

    EDIT: Also, you can get the Microsoft Xbox Media Extender kit from the US (via ebay) if you want to use it as a MCE extender (live and recorded tv) or you can use xbox media center for playing back all other music and video files.
  11. Maff et1

    Maff et1 Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
  12. scumball

    scumball Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    6,031
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +389
    Softmod your XBox and load XBMC as a Dashboard - cost is the price of 2nd hand Xbox plus the use a softmod kit like the one offered in the XBox forums on this site for free. A £50 5"-7" colour TFT screen and you're away. You can get an optical out too for digital connection and DD5.1. I've got one and it's smart - downloads the artwork of the albums too and some great visualisations. You can also stream any SD video file, pictures as a slide show, stream trailers straight from apple.com, rss feeds, music videos from launch, oh and play games too! Get the IR reciever and you don't even need the controller plugged in and you can hide the box away somewhere and just have the TFT to hand. Believe me just do it, it's the nuts.
  13. andrew1810

    andrew1810 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,035
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Ratings:
    +62
    The streamium can easily support over 6 rooms by using twonkyvision instead of the in-built software, the software itself has been tested with 21, the only limit is your wireless bandwidth.

    The Terratec Noxon is a similarly priced alternative, I prefer it myself because it can support radio without a PC needed, but its a matter of choice.

    I would say in this instance the Squeezebox is better than the Roku because it works on the wireless g network instead of the Roku's b and the software can also be setup to synchronise all devices to play the same track exactly synchronised. The Roku looks better, but if you search on here, there have been plenty of posts comparing the two, having owned both, I prefer the Squeezebox.

    Hope this helps a bit

    Andrew
  14. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    544
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +10
    Dont know whether you sorted this out for your friend, but the bottom line is that if you want a reliable,easy to use, easy to setup, great sounding, flexible system then the Sonos is the king. We have many customers that have tried various home brew systems, and have realised that you just cannot beat the Sonos overall , it works out of the box :)
  15. Embarker

    Embarker Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,444
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Ratings:
    +45
    You may want to depart from MCE and think of xlobby with two sound cards.

    Each sound card - delta do do this, can give four seperate "zones", access can be made via a touch screen with xlobby or via pda's over wifi, or via a client/server app on a local pc.

    As for running cables it get easier as there are plugs that allow networking of audio or even network over the houses electrical system.

    Have a look at www.xlobby.com for more info - and it is free!!!!

    Rgds

    Dangerous Dave
  16. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    544
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +10
    Hi Embarker

    looking at your signature then that sounds like a *serious* audio system..

    respect :)

Share This Page