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Budget , PC Network advice please

Hello, I am looking for a good sounding budget seperates system. My lounge is only 12 by 19ft and the speakers will be near to the party wall ( which is pretty thin ! ). So the majority of the time the volume will be pretty low but I would like a system that has got plenty of power in reserve. I have thousands of cds and a pretty ecclectic taste, but i guess mainly rock music 60's thru to 80's hard-rock and metal to modern day indie.

I want floor standers ( maybe not ideal for my room ) but thinking i may move and I just like floorstanders.

Now the tricky bit, I have been transfering my cd's and downloaded mp3's onto my massive pc external hard drives. My pc sits in my office ( upstairs ) and runs media monkey (320kbs). my plan is to use an old laptop to connect via my hard-wired network to the pc and connect this laptop to my new hifi system downstairs. Can this be done ? What would i need to connect the laptop to the hifi ?

I guess I will not need a cd player straight away , but will probably get one eventually as although i am putting the cd's onto the media centre and they will all be stored up-stairs, I am still tactile and love to open cd cases read inlay books etc ( guess i havent totally embrassed the digital age yet ! )

Any advice is greatly appreciated. for ages i have been considering NAD Gear, AE or Wharfedale or Mission Speakers but I am pretty open to any ideas. Budget is around £600 i would hope to get the amp,speakers and the cd for that.

Cheers

Anonymous
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Re: Budget , PC Network advice please

Firstly have you got a wireless set up at home? This would make things alot easier.

In short check out the Roku Soundbridge, I have one the M1001 which cost me about £130 (I know it sounds too good to be true!). I have all my music on the hard drve on my PC and stream to the Roku which can also play internet radio whether the PC is turned on or off! It is compatible with many players, I currently use itunes played through Musical Fidelity's orginal X series and Mission 752Freedoms and it sounds great as long as you rip your CDs at a decent enough bit rate! The next step however is to get a NAS (Network Attached Storage)drive that supports itunes, etc and ethernet it into your wireless router. This way any pc/ laptop on your network can access the NAS and you don't have to turn on a PC to stream your music file.

Anonymous
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Re: Budget , PC Network advice please

If you want to make your life easy here and Airport express or Apple TV will do the trick then when you decide to ditch your PC, you can go all Apple and you life will be complete ; )

See August and September issues for reviews on this stuff.

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Re: Budget , PC Network advice please

Hi,
Have you thought about investing in a wireless system? Not only can you do normal PC stuff including printing wirelessly and using a laptop in the garden but you could have a wireless media server and B+W XT4 speakers for a great sound. A Linksys KiSS 1600 wireless media server is around £195.00 and has all the analogue and digital connections you need including a USB port for external hard drives,a built in CD/DVD player that excepts all formats and even those sockets for playing camcorder footage. Virtually everything can be streamed to a TV and amplifier and this would certainly reduce "clutter" and interconnect headaches. B+W XT4 speakers have a good range, they are sleek and it is possible that a subwoofer may not be needed.

Anonymous
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Re: Budget , PC Network advice please

Thanks for all the advice.

Yes my network is wireless, my other laptop uses a wireless connection, but the house is also hardwired.

I had seen the soundbridge, and whilst it looks like an excellent piece of kit, Becuase of the amount of music I have I want a larger screen interface.

I have considered a dedicated media server, but that was effectively what I wanted to use the spare laptop as ( without the need to have my tv on to browse my collection ) . I guess the bit I am stuck on is how do I connect the laptop to the HIFI ? What cables do I need ? Do i need to have a good soundcard ? if so can one be fitted externally ? ...

I agree I probably need to go down the NAS route, but my PC is permanently on so it doesnt cause me a major issue at the moment.

 Thanks for your help

 

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