Synology NAS - Which streamer....?

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by superdon, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. superdon

    superdon
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    Waiting for a synology nas to arrive and need some kit to go with it.

    I have a HTPC in my cellar, which is where I watch most films. So I don't need anything else down there, I will just connect that to the NAS.

    However, in my lounge I don't have any way of streaming stuff at the moment. I mainly want to stream music into the lounge. So I was considering getting an Airport Express and just using the iOS and Android Synology apps to airplay music to my AV amp using an optical cable.

    But, Airport Express isn't exactly cheap and it doesn't support FLAC which isn't the end of the world, but I would prefer it if it did.

    So, thinking of other options.

    Here's my needs...

    Ability to easily connect to NAS.
    Control audio streaming via iOS and Android apps, without the need for TV being on.
    A bonus would be the ability to stream video if I ever need to.

    The main thing I want to do is be able to turn on my AV amp quickly, browse music on our phones and iPads and start playing music quickly and have full control from the apps on our mobile devices. Don't want any PCs required, everything should be run from the NAS.

    Finally, I need cheap options. The Airport Express new would cost around £70, so I don't really want to go more than that. But, I would be happy with second hand kit if it does what I need.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. limegreenzx

    limegreenzx
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    Raspberry Pi 2 choices.

    1. xbmc (Openelec or Raspbmc), supports airplay and video, add music from nas share.

    2. Squeezeplug.
    Install the LMS Squeezebox server on your NAS and Squeezeplug on the Pi. Possible to upgrade to add usb dac.

    £25 if you have a spare sd card and micro usb charger.

    Android/ios app with xbmc or squeezebox remote to control. The Squeezebox solution is better for music only.
     
  3. superdon

    superdon
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    Hadn't really thought about raspberry pi. Quite happy to go with it, if it would work than something out of the box?

    How would I get optical out on the raspberry pi?

    It concerns me hp that after buying all the bits I would need, it wouldn't work out particularly cheap. Although I probably have a suitable charger and SD cards.
     
  4. limegreenzx

    limegreenzx
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    For optical out you would need a usb supported dac. I have not tried but their are a number of cheap dacs using the PCM2704 chipset available for £10 that are reported to work ok.
    There are of course plenty of cheap players from Cyclone etc which could be controlled by a android/ios remote app such as Twonky Beam. But they may not support flac.
     
  5. next010

    next010
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    You could always go with ALAC (Apple lossless) instead of Flac. Support for ALAC outside of Apple gear has improved.

    Another option, instead of spending money on Synology spend it on a Thecus N2520 NAS. This NAS also doubles as an XBMC media player (that runs as an app on the NAS) and comes equipped with HDMI and optical audio outputs.

    XBMC has it's own internal media library that can be controlled via the XBMC remotes, the official remotes for iOS, Android will display the same media library as XBMC does, XBMC Commander for iOS and Music Pump for Android are good third party remotes. You can also use XBMC as a UPnP/DLNA/Airplay renderer.

    How well the Thecus behaves though is up in the air, it's brand new. QNAP offer a similar XBMC option on their x69 series NAS but the Thecus is using a new chip which is meant to be cheaper.
     
  6. superdon

    superdon
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    The synology is already bought.
     
  7. next010

    next010
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    Well scratch that then, I'd consider the Apple lossless option as the easiest way out. Other than that limegreenzx suggestions is the cheapest way to get XBMC to do it.

    Another gamble on XBMC would be something like this as MyGica ATV1200 this is an AndroidTV device, basically a low tablet re-purposed for TV, you can run XBMC on these too but whether the optical or coax audio output works I couldn't say. There is an owners thread on XBMC forums and someone might be able to tell if you if it works with Flac audio pass-through.
     
  8. superdon

    superdon
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    Right. Have had a play with the synology DS Audio app for iOS and android and it allows you to stream music to an airplay renderer.

    If I go the raspberry pi with xmbc route. Would I be able to use DS Audio apps to stream to the Pi and output via optical to my amp, without having to have it routed throu the TV? Hopefully that makes sense!
     
  9. limegreenzx

    limegreenzx
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    Is the music you want to play on the NAS, mobile devices or both.

    If it is the NAS then squeezeplug on Pi and Squeezebox LMS on NAS would be my choice. The remote control apps are very good for Android and ios, it supports Spotify, multizone, internet radio and all music formats.

    XBMC will support everything. You could use Twonky Beam/iMediashare on the mobile devices and use dlna/upnp to push to the xbmc renderer, rather than Airplay, which will give better compatibility with Smart TVs, consoles in the future etc.

    With a completely open option like the Raspberry Pi the options are huge and everyone will have a different opinion
     
  10. superdon

    superdon
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    The music will be stored on the NAS.

    Would it be something like this I would need? MUSE HiFi PCM2704 USB to S/PDIF Converter DAC Sound Card Board | eBay

    Would the options you mention allow me to run it without having it connected to the TV? The video output side of things I will use down the line when I upgrade the loung AV amp. At the moment, I don't have a spare hdmi input.
     
  11. Goldenbone

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    I've got a synology NAS - I use an acer revo with XBMC running on windows 7. For me, it's the best home media solution by miles - I bought a media centre remote and IR sensor to go with it, so it can be spoken to by my harmony remote.
     
  12. limegreenzx

    limegreenzx
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    No experience myself, but that is the item that people report to work ok on the squeezeplug forum. The chipset is an output option in squeezeplug.
    If you have a PC why not experiment before buying. You can install Squeezebox LMS on you NAS for free. The Squeezebox software player is free for pc. XBMC is free for pc. The squeezebox and xbmc mobile apps are also free, although Yatse for xbmc and squeezecommander for squeezebox are both better than the free versions.
     
  13. superdon

    superdon
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    Cheers. I think I am being persuaded in the Pi direction.

    Main reason I was thinking of optical out is that I have a non HDMI amp in the lounge. I am going to look at selling that and getting a HDMi amp. I presume if I went for the Squeezeplug of XMBC set up, it would pass audio through the HDMI and would be the best sound quality?

    May cost me a few quid to change the amp, but would remove the need for the USB sound card.
     
  14. superdon

    superdon
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    Where do I get the PC player to try this? I have installed LMS on the NAS and Squeezebox player on my phone, but it says it cant find the player.
     
  15. Ric2764

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    I have a RPi and it works brilliantly (streaming lossless). I use Openelec and have everything on an old Iomega NAS. XBMC commander on the iphone to control it all. Plus it'll stream 1080p

    Just be careful when selecting DACs as many aren't compatible. DACs with HDMI inputs are rare(ish) and expensive.
     
  16. superdon

    superdon
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    I am going for it. Jusy looking for a deal on one.

    Think I will get thé Behringer DAC as it sounds like its compatible.
     
  17. limegreenzx

    limegreenzx
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    I use the Logitech Radio, Touch and Receiver. The Radio and Touch have a player and controller all in one unit. The Receiver is just a player, so requires a controller. For the controller I use Squeezecommander on an android phone.
    You also need a controller. You can use the LMS web interface (yournasip:9000) or the free official Logitech controller app for ios/android. On my phone I also use the android Squeezeplayer app and use Squeezecommander to control it. The player connects using the same credentials as the web interface. Once connected it just sits there waiting to be controlled. Haven't used the PC player for a few years, no reason to with my setup, but you will find there is more than one software player available.
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/softsqueeze/files/squeezeslave/squeezeslave-1.3.393/
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  18. Presto

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    I have a synology nas iPod iPhone and using DS Audio app from synology can play from music on nas to any airplay device. Full user interface to My audio player. Another app music connect (free) connects to all media servers music renderer and allows airplay to devices. I use this to stream to amp ps3 bluray player tv multiple airplay speakers . No DACs no extra kit just free apps does the job perfectly. Also a video dreaming app to stream video films. Keep it simple...
     
  19. superdon

    superdon
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    Only issue is, I dont have airplay speakers. Like I say, I have a AV system in my lounge that I want to stream to. So, I need something. The first idea was a Airport Express, but I am thinking a Raspberry Pi will be cheaper and better/more flexible.
     
  20. Presto

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    May I suggest you are coming at the problem from the wrong angle. If you already have an iPad iPhone etc then presumably you have adopted the Apple route to media, so for little expense Airplay device can only be the way to go, fully adopt Airplay philosophy and you will not look back. Airplay devices are now widespread and relatively cheap, some also have Bluetooth so can be used with android devices (Sony RDP XA900iP). Embrace Airplay for a true multi media experience. Put small speakers around the house and stream to all of them using the app mentioned earlier, it works. No need for expensive Sonos set up. Try it out in a apple store.
     
  21. superdon

    superdon
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    I have a mix of android and apple devices.

    The a sony device you mention is around 300 quid. I am looking for a much cheaper way of doing this, utilising my current amp and speakers.

    I may do multiroom down the line, but I can mix things up if I need to. I just want a short/medium term solution.

    I can get either an AE or a Raspberry Pi complete set up for around 50 quid.

    Thanks for the ideas though.
     
  22. Ric2764

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    AE will definitely be the neatest solution. Setup takes 10mins. Can't do video though

    I'm fairly tech-savvy and the RPi took me the best part of a weekend to setup!

    RPi has an Airplay client too (openelec does, presume raspbmc does too) so that option is always open. RPi allows you to stream YouTube HD etc from iPhone/iPad to the TV

    For the money it's the best bit of kit I've ever bought!
     

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