Apple TV and Airport Express

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by Palladio, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. Palladio

    Palladio
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    Loving my Apple TV connected to my AV set up with a wired connection to my Sky Router and Vista PC upstairs and using an iPod touch as a remote. Really pleased with the ease of use, the sound quality and it's nice to be able to view all our Photos on the TV as well.

    Next stage is to get multiroom music. Not sure we really need the ability to play different music in different rooms but would just like to get a clearer understanding on how multiple Airport Expresses may work.

    I'm thinking of one for the kitchen and another one in a work room preferably using active speakers (AE2 or 5 maybe ?) rather than seperate Amp and speakers. Would I be able to play content from iTunes on the PC via the Airport Express whilst at the same time playing different content on my AV set up via the stored music on the Apple TV Hard drive. ?

    I assume I could also play exactly the same music on everything at the same time as well. Say for parties and just move the speakers out into the garden.

    Any advice or other options really appreciated.
    Also not sure about my wifi signal strength as the Kitchen is the opposite end of the house from the Router so am thinking that maybe a Wireless extender on the Cat 5 cable where it comes in to the lounge for the Apple TV would be a good idea. Any thoughts please

    Ideally I would love a Sonos system but am finding it very difficult to justify the cost now that I have the Apple TV and using one or two airport Expresses seems to do the job just as well even if I have to buy another iPod Touch to control them.
     
  2. cuttsy

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    I have ATV and airport express, using a touch as the remote, works well.
    You can't play different music in different rooms, however if you set up a different wireless network you could probably run itunes from your PC to certain airport express and run your ATV at the same time.
     
  3. Steve Bate

    Steve Bate
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    I've got my iTunes library synced with my ATV and I can play music via my Audio setup from the ATV and completely diff music via Airtunes on the Airport Express streaming from iTunes, controlled from iPhone and it works (almost) flawlessly. My only problem is the Airport Express is at the limit of its wifi limit and does occasionally drop the signal. Looking at ways to improve this now.
     
  4. baldrick

    baldrick
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    The Apple TV is a self-contained media player that can either stream music from an instance of iTunes or sync with an instance of iTunes and store the content on it's internal storage.

    Airport Express is a network adapter that has added functionality eg. music 'playback'. The actual playback is controlled by iTunes/Apple TV and the Airport Express is just the output.

    Apple TV and iTunes can only play one 'thing' at a time eg. one song, one movie etc... and both can output their music either locally (through the audio output on the machine) or via an Airport Express.

    I hope that bit makes sense as it drive this bit....

    If you have a computer (Mac or PC) with iTunes, an Apple TV and an Airport Express you can do any of the following:

    1. Control the music via iTunes and play it through the computer, Airport Express and Apple TV (with AirTunes enabled)
    2. Control the music via Apple TV and play it through the ATV and the Airport Express
    3. Play different songs on iTunes and Apple TV with iTunes playing through the computer AND streaming to the Airport Express and ATV playing through it's audio outs.

    If you purchased a 2nd Airport Express and wanted different music in 3 rooms you would need another instance of iTunes to drive it. Alternatively you could send the music from your computer to both Airport Expresses, have iTunes playing through 1 AE and ATV playing through the other etc...

    If you want completely independent control of your music in one room then you could consider something like a Squeezebox. You would install the Squeeze Server/Centre software on your PC and this would access your iTune library. The Squeezebox would then talk to the SqueezeServer and allow you to navigate/control your music. The downside with this is that I think there would be no integration with the ATV/AE!?!?

    Hope some of that makes sense, if not let me know and I'll try to explain in a different way but the main thing to remember is that from a music perspective Airport Express is an add-on to iTunes so if you've got 5 AEs and want full independent control for each you need 5 machines running iTunes!
     
  5. Palladio

    Palladio
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    Hi Baldrick, That sounds like just the answer I'm looking for. Excellent:thumbsup: Just to clarify a couple of your very well made points

    I think if I can play one source from the ATV and then play a different source via iTunes to the AE that will be more that sufficient.

    If the PC is off will I still be able to play the music on the ATV through any or all of the AE's. Is it straight forward to change where the different sources (ATV or PC) send their content ?

    Will I be able to control the ATV and the AE (through iTunes) using one iPod Touch or is it best to stick to the ATV remote and just use the Touch for the AE ?

    Sorry but looks like a never ending stream of questions so maybe it's time to RTFM:rolleyes: Cheers.
     
  6. baldrick

    baldrick
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    I can't quote your quote so I'll go through your blue comments/questions from top to bottom:


    1. I'm not a Windows user so I can't say for definate, but as far as I know you can control iTunes with a Touch/iPhone (you definately can on a Mac).

    2. As soon as you have an AE setup on your network it will appear in iTunes and on the ATV

    3. The ATV will happily stream from iTunes whilst iTunes is playing something different so no need to worry about syncing, unless you want to access music whilst your PC is off

    4. The Squeezebox is pretty intuitive and it has a nice additional feature of a web based interface so you can sit at your PC and tweak all the Squeezebox settings etc... You can also sync them together to play the same music throughout the house. They've also just released a WiFi base Sonos equivalent

    5. As per 3 you will need to sync music to the ATV if you want to power down your PC and once powered down, you won't be able to drive the AE via iTunes.

    6. You can connect your iPhone/Touch to multiple libraries and then simply switch between them, you can also select which speakers to play through and you can actually sent the ATV sound to the AE and have nothing coming out of the ATV....
     

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