Best mid-range home cinema amp for a PC & tv

craigmorris

Active Member
I'm trying to work out how best to link up my PC (where I keep all my music) to a home cinema amp one of you guys will recommend. The Onkyo 605 is in my sort of price range but ideally I'd like to be able to stream music to it wirelessly and I think I'd have to pay silly money for an Onkyo that can do this. Has anyone got a solution (other than buying a very long cable)? Should I wait (I've been waiting years already...), buy a cable, spend a little more for one that streams (which?) or is there some clever gadget that you can add to the setup that takes care of the streaming?

Many thanks in anticipation,

Craig:confused:
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
The Onky's have no networking features, so unless you just connect speaker out from the pc to the onkyo's aux input and control it all from the PC you cant do this.
One work around with the Onkyo (and this is what I do with mine) is to use an xbox 360 or PS3 as your media streaming device, assuming you have one of those. If not then you really want to be looking at another brand of AV amp. There are devices out there that will do the streaming for you but you'll have to search around for those as its not something ive had to look into, but the cost may not work out worth while for you. Another good thing about using the consoles is that you can stream movies and tv programs too.
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
There are various devices that you can use for streaming media content from the PC including the Xbox 360, PS3 as previously mentioned. There are various devices that can do video e.g. Dlink, Buffalo, AppleTV and so on. I would stick with a wired or high speed homeplugs solution for streaming video. Wireless isn't really good enough. If it's just music have a look at the Squeezebox 3, Duet and Roku Soundbridge. There are others but those are very popular. The Duet is brand new and has the wow factor of the remote. There are separate forums for these sorts of devices. I have a SB3 and it's one of the best gadgets I've ever bought. Networking on receivers tends to be found higher up the price bracket and I don't think I could put up with the small screen (or TV) to view tracks etc. That's why the SB3 is ideal, it has a great (clear) display and you can also use the PC to display it inc. artwork. I have my laptop screensaver setup to display album artwork using a plugin as the laptop is connected to an external HDD where my music is stored losslessly.

Take a look at slimdevices.com, ripcaster.co.uk and rokulabs.co.uk in addition to the forums on here. The SB would be the better choice for sound quality and the Roku if you're on a budget but it also really depends on how your music is ripped. If it's at a low bitrate then it will sound naff no matter what amp and speakers you play it through.

Richer Sounds were doing a deal on an older Yamaha AV receiver with networking (600 I think) that might be worth a look. Otherwise you're looking at Denon 3808, Pioneer LX70, Yamaha 3800. As it's not really a feature, I would look for in an AV receiver, I don't know if it's filtered down to new cheaper models. There are various new receivers coming out from the likes of Sony, Yamaha, Pioneer etc.
 

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
Have a look at the Squeezebox options for wireless music streaming.

If you do want to stream video as well as music then check the wireless capabilities that you already have in the house as 54Mb 'g' is only just able to keep up with video bandwidth so you will really need something 'n' capable both on your network and attached to the amp.
 

Member 639844

Former Advertiser
I would stick with a wired or high speed homeplugs solution for streaming video. Wireless isn't really good enough.
Just a word on these two points. I have a wireless N setup and I can stream HD programming through my xbox360 pretty much flawlessly. My PC is upstairs and obviously everything else downstairs and there is only the occasional glitch (likened to a slight interrupt of signal on a digital broadcast like say freeveiw) and I can be picky with technology not living upto the hype.
As for the homeplugs, if your referring to the plugs that jack into your mains to run the signal round the house then they are a good solution, if not a little expensive. But one thing you should know is that if your PC is upstairs and your AV equipment downstairs like mine then you have to check your mains circuits. If your upstairs and downstairs mains rings are separate then the plugs wont work between floors.
 

craigmorris

Active Member
Thank you. :smashin: I'd like to be able to stream video too so I'll have to look into the homeplug idea. I have an Xbox 360 but it can't connect to my PC as the pc is already networked to another network so I can get internet access. A squeezebox sounds ideal for just music but I'm surprised that there isn't a box that can do HD video wirelessly yet.

Many thanks for the ideas,

Craig
 

davepuma

Distinguished Member
They can but in my experience with my own network, they're useless for high quality files. They're not bad with some downloads from the net (aherm, torrents etc) but it looks like the poster above has said that newer network kit can handle video better which I will be looking at. That said a friend of mine has the latest routers etc. and says it's still crap.
 

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