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Easiest and cheapest way to wi-fi

Having got totally confused reading numerous threads on here and watching the beginners guide video on here I'm basically after the easiest and cheapest route into streaming from laptop to hi-fi.

From what I can gather, the easiest way is  to buy something like Airport Express, Logitech Squeezebox or the Sonos thing mentioned on the WHF guide but obviously I need the laptop switched on for this route.  Seeing as I don't have the laptop switched on all the time, or it's disappeared into kids rooms, would it be a better idea to get a NAS (whatever that is!) so that I can play music without the need for the laptop? 

As you can see, this isn't my strong point, so any help on what I need to buy would be most appreciated, keeping it cheap as poss.

If there's already a thread on this that I've failed to read could someone point me in its direction to save everyone repeating themselves.

Cheers!

Anonymous
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Re: Easiest and cheapest way to wi-fi

Ok, I've been doing some more research and like the look of the squeezebox.  I've found out what NAS's are and what they do but it looks like they are not all compatible with the squeezebox.  Does anyone own a squeezebox and a NAS that they can recomend that works ok?

Cheers

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Re: Easiest and cheapest way to wi-fi

Try the squeezebox forum, all you need to know about them is here.

I have a squeezebox duet and it is fantastic and does work with some nas drives, but not without some set up. All the help you could need is available at the forum but if you are not very IT literate then expect to struggle.

My advice would be to try it in a shop if possible and initially set it up to work from your pc or laptop (this is pretty easy)

Afterwards, look for a nice nas drive solution or even a cheap netbook (see forum for pro's and con's)

Finally there is an eee pc product coming v soon, which will act as powerful nas, and also have a cd drive to rip your cd's and has a built in wireless router. Perfect product to complement the squeezebox and if I hadn't alread set up a nas then I would wait and buy on of these.

The sound quality of the squeezebox is excellent - easily on a par with a good entry level seperates cd player (ie arcam alpha 7, rotel rcd-02 etc) and the interface is great. I recommend it with the only cavaet being that setting up a network drive can be a bit of a pain.

Hope this helps, Ant

Anonymous
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Re: Easiest and cheapest way to wi-fi

Thanks Ant.  That helps loads.  I'll have a good look through the squeezebox forum (didn't realize they had one).

As you said, I probably will just connect with my laptop to start with and add a nas at a later date once I've got used to it.

I was thinking of the Squeezebox classic as I only wish to use it in one room or would the duet be a better option?

Cheers.

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Re: Easiest and cheapest way to wi-fi

For me it had to be the duet as the handheld remote (bit like an ipod) is so nice to use and whem you hav a large ollection of music the ease of navigating to particular tracks, or just browsing in general, becomes the most important. I only use it in one room as well, but may get another reciever for upstairs at some point....

The duet just has a realy nice interface which the classic cannot really compete with.

A lot of it comes down to how big you are on sound quality too and how many cd's you have and are likely to use. I have to say an ipod classic is also an aceptable substitute if you can live with mp3 quality (most people cannot hear the difference between high bitrate mp3 and lossless - many blind tests are testament to this)

Although even given the sound quality issues the duet is a better bet than the ipod classic as you can queue tracks more easily and it has internet radio as well....

 

btw the forum is here

http://forums.slimdevices.com

let us know what you choose....

Anonymous
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Re: Easiest and cheapest way to wi-fi

Thanks once again.

I see what you mean about the duet now.  I think I'd probably regret buying the classic in the longrun so will now budget for that.

We're redecorating in a few weeks and having a change round of the lounge so would be nice to dispense with the cd rack as dvd's and blurays seem to be taking over our space. 

Thanks for all your help, much appreciated.

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