Streaming music from laptop to AVR-300

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by RaiderRed, Jan 12, 2008.

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  1. RaiderRed

    RaiderRed
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    I would like to use my laptop (PC with Vista) to stream music (itunes) wirelessly to my AVR-300. Furthermore, I would like to bypass the laptop's soundcard in order to use the AVR-300 DACs.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Peter314

    Peter314
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    Squeezebox (SB3) is worth a look. It has optical or analogue output and either would be fine into the AVR-300. I doubt that the SB3's internal DACs are signficantly inferior to the Arcam's.

    There's a thread about it here.
     
  3. Krell rules

    Krell rules
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    I use an AirPort Express by Apple. It has tons of features and is real simple to use with Itunes. It does bypass your laptop's sound card but it has its own DACs as it only has an analogue out. I use mine with a B&K, Krell and Vienna Acoustics system (about $30k total) and I am quite happy with it. I am real picky about the sound I get from my system and I am a home theater and acoustics consultant. The fact that I am happy with anything anymore surprises me. Besides, all your MP3 / MP4 are compressed anyway.

    If you really want to get picky check out the Krell KID $1500 iPod dock (*** and I like Krell). Hope this helps.
     
  4. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    Does your laptop have a hybrid optical out on its 3.5mm jack? If so, just connect it up. As well as using the AVR's DAC, it will also avoid ground loop issues.
     
  5. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Another more costly solution but with a much better interface would be the Sonos products. A BR100 Zonebridge (£69) connected to your laptop or router, a ZP80 Zoneplayer (£249) connected to the digital coaxial input on your AVR300 and a CR100 Controller (£279) with the charging cradle (£29) would do what you want and do it very well indeed whilst giving you the option to expand into other rooms if desired.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.sonos.com/
     
  6. Falp

    Falp
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    Apple Airport Express

    Roku Soundbridge

    Squeezebox 3

    Depends on what you want and how to control...

    Any kind of USB to Digital Optical out?
     
  7. ianmacd

    ianmacd
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    Thats actually incorrect. The airport express with airtunes has a dual optical/analog out port and can take a mini toslink type connector so can be used with an external DAC (for example, the ones in the AVR300).

    Check out http://www.apple.com/uk/airportexpress/airtunes.html

    Ian.
     
  8. RaiderRed

    RaiderRed
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    The 3.5mm jack is analog only. Besides, I really don't want a wire running from the laptop to the AVR-300 which is across the room.

    I just thought I would use the laptop as my controller. Sounds like the Airport Express is the way to go.

    John...
     
  9. steeled

    steeled
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    You could always try an apple TV. This too has a TOSLINK output and as it has a hard-drive you can use it without the laptop. You can feed the video to the TV and select what you want to listen/view on the big screen.

    I now have all my music on my Apple TV (using lossless compression).

    Just a though.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  10. LFCRules

    LFCRules
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    Another vote for the Apple TV. I've actually not got any files downloaded onto it's hard drive, but given the streaming wireless link is established in seconds, it's not a problem to get playing my music, or my many many TV series which are ripped onto my hard drives (from my own personal collection of DVD's :smashin:)

    :thumbsup:
     
  11. Cynar

    Cynar
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    Another vote from me for the Apple TV. It's a cracking bit of kit although there are pros and cons.
    Pros
    1) I've ripped all my CDs using Apple Lossless compression and the sound quality is surprisingly good via the toslink connection in to my AVR300.
    2) I like the fact that the whole interface is on the TV with album artwork etc. I suppose the downside is you have to have your TV on, but it 's so much nicer and easier to use than something like the squeezebox with it's tiny text only display.
    3)I also like the built in hard drive as you can keep quite a bit of stuff on it to watch/listen to without having your computer turned on.
    4) Like all apple stuff it looks really cool.
    5) An upgrade is imminent to allow you to browse the iTunes store and purchase music without your PC. In the states you can also rent movies so hopefully this may come to the UK too.
    Cons
    1) Limited format support. Especially for video - you have to convert everything to mp4.
    erm .... can't think of any others.
     
  12. Dankeech

    Dankeech
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    RaiderRed,
    What laptop do you have? Many current soundcards (even onboard) have dual-function headphone sockets which can output digital coaxial. Perhaps the port may even have 'SPDIF' written next to it?
    If not, let me know model of laptop and I'll check it out. Then all you'd need to do would be to enable digital ouput via the tickbox in 'Volume Control' and also enable digital output in any video-playing software you use.
    You'd need to purchase a digital coaxial cable with a 3.5mm jack one end and rca connector the other. I use a Mark Grant one into my AVR250 and works great.

    Dan.
     
  13. Falp

    Falp
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    Can you check HP Pavillion dv1422? Thanks! :)
     
  14. Dankeech

    Dankeech
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    Hi Falp, the manual is unclear (section '4-5') but from what it says I believe it does support S/PDIF. I'd suggest it's worth getting a cable to find out.

    The AVR300's DACs should do a decent job.

    I use This One (be sure to select correct length you want if get one).

    Definitely superior sound through my AVR250's DACs than even the X-Fi's.

    Let me know how you get on.

    Dan.
     
  15. Falp

    Falp
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    Thanks, it's the first time I see this! :thumbsup:

    Anyway:
    :cool:

    I haven't got an AVR300 but my SR5600 also nice DACs...
     
  16. Dankeech

    Dankeech
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    Hi Falp, I think this is an error / lack of clarity in the manual. I think the external device it talks about is a DAC, something which your AVR already has inside.

    I'm actually HP Compaq APS qualified and the norm for HP Compaq units is to combine headphone socket with S/PDIF, so although not 100% sure (as Pavillion is a consumer-product series) I suspect very much this is the case.

    Dan.
     
  17. Falp

    Falp
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    I've been goggling and the SPDIF output on the HP Pavillion DV1000 series is only avalaible on the laptop dock...:cool:
     
  18. Dankeech

    Dankeech
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    Shame:thumbsdow - The Business systems (Evo family etc) tend to have them on the standard headphone socket.

    In that case the solution requires more bits...

    An option would be to get a laptop sound card (USB or PC-Card etc) with a digital output, not normally particularly expensive (Guessing £50 or under)

    Dan.
     
  19. trailer

    trailer
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    It's also 3 times the price of the Express.
     
  20. Cynar

    Cynar
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    Not really a fair comparison though - the Apple TV is a very different device with a lot of different/extra features.
    I also assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that as the OP wanted to stream wirelessly the laptop would not be near to the stereo.
    With an Express wouldn't you have to keep going back to the laptop to select the music?
    On the Apple TV you get a great HD TV based UI with remote control.
     
  21. ianmacd

    ianmacd
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    Yes but you can get a usb based remote that can control iTunes (maybe MacOS X only) or something like Salling clicker (http://www.salling.com/Clicker/windows/ Mac and Windows) that will work with your phone, PDA, some other bluetooth/wifi device.

    I agree the AppleTV has a very good UI but sometimes you want to listen to music without having the TV on at all.

    Ian.
     
  22. Cynar

    Cynar
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    I select the music I want, then use the off button.;)

    Seriously though, the UI is really great and with the amount of CDs I have ripped I can't imagine managing without it. It must be a nightmare in comparison to use a small text display like on a Squeezebox.

    Don't forget the Apple TV is also great for displaying photos on your TV in HD resolution, can play videos, gives access to Youtube, will soon give direct access to the iTunes store, later in the year will hopefully give access to HD movie rentals, has it's own hard drive so you can use it when your computer is off, and comes with a remote control.
    I'm not criticising the Airport Express just pointing out that it's so different a simple price comparison isn't really fair.
    It would be like saying your Mac Mini is twice as expensive as the Apple TV!
     
  23. Falp

    Falp
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    I have a Roku Soundbridge M1000...;) and plan to change it or an Apple Airport Express, and include the printer wirelessly inside the AV furniture... ;)
     
  24. ianmacd

    ianmacd
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    I agree that comparing an Airport Express to an AppleTV and in turn to a Mac Mini is like comparing a screwdriver to a hammer. Different tools for different jobs and their respective prices reflect that.

    I would have an AppleTV for HTPC duties if I didn't have to have my Visual media in iTunes in MP4 format. Also, I find that my Core Duo Mac Mini (and even my Dual G5 PowerMac) can struggle with some 1080 content so not sure the AppleTV with its single core 1GHz processor will cope well with 1080p content but would be pelased to have my doubts proved wrong when Apple finally release the HD movie rentals this year.

    The OP did ask how to get better audio out of hos laptop though so I guess their expectations are to use the laptop to control the music which means that the Express does fit that requirement better.
     
  25. Cynar

    Cynar
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    I agree - the lack of support for anything other than mp4 is a pain.
    I don't think 1080 is an issue as I'm pretty sure it only supports 720p.
     
  26. steeled

    steeled
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    You can set the Apple TV to output 1080i. Not sure if it will play video at this resolution.

    It will be interesting to see what the new version of software will do in a couple of weeks.

    Cheers

    Dave
     

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