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2 Room wifi setup - keeping it simple?

Excuse me if this has been discussed elswhere - but just developing some upgrade thoughts.  I had decided to get a Brennan JB7 to convert my collection to hard drive and play back through existing system................  however:

Listening room has hifi, but poor radio reception.  TV room has 5.1 cinema set up with good main speakers - listen to radio off the sat. dish in there, house is wifi'd.  Goal is to have SIMPLE access to music and radio in both rooms.  2 JB7's would cost around £700 plus and still not get me any radio in the listening room.

New idea:  Apple TV in the TV room with HDMI link to the cinema amp, cheap netbook in the listening room + dacmagic into existing amp.  I would keep all the music on the Apple TV which would be left running.  Then use the netbook to provide a streamed digital source (appleTV - wifi - netbook) via usb to the dac.

As I understand it the Apple tv/ itunes should give good enough quality for the cinema amp.  Similarly the netbook should still be able to supply a "pure" digital signal to the dac - which then sorts out the analogue quality for the hifi amp.  Am I right?  This should cost £640 (depending on the netbook) plus cables and gives me bags of control and (internet) radio for the hifi!  Any thoughts?............

(Don't laugh, but the main hifi is a NAD3020 driving Mission 763i's)

John Duncan's picture
Last seen: 13 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 08/01/2008 - 17:25
Posts: 23242
Re: 2 Room wifi setup - keeping it simple?

Couple of questions:

- do you need radio in the cinema room, and if so which stations (ie do you need BBC ones)?
- all the music has to be somewhere else before it gets on to the Apple TV, and netbooks don't tend to have a great deal of storage. Do you have another PC elsewhere? Furthermore, don't think you can access the Apple TV's library from a netbook...

Moderator: john.duncan.whf at gmail dot com

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Anonymous's picture
Re: 2 Room wifi setup - keeping it simple?

Thankss for the reply John - not got near the computer since Wednesday!

- don't "need" radio in the cinema room, but have it anyway via the freesat decoder.

- currently ripping my collection with itunes on the laptop - I had anticipated I could put it onto an appletv from there.  We do have laptops, but I didn't really want to keep a machine running all the time as a source.  Could use an old laptop, cleaned up rather than a netbook, next time it needs replacing; but it's not going to work if I can't read the apple tv drive from elsewhere on the network.

 Do you know the answer to this?  Anyone got one and able to read tracks straight from the apple tv via a networked pc running itunes?

I guess if I can't do this I would best off with a NAS drive source and squeezebox x 2 (getting pricey)?  Or perhaps another media drive i.e. not the apple tv but another media/tv based pc (e.g. netgear) that can be read on the wifi network

Anonymous's picture
Re: 2 Room wifi setup - keeping it simple?

Your suggestion for an Apple TV/AirPort setup is fine; only, as pointed out, the Apple TV will only work the same way as an iPod -- IE, it needs to syncronize to an iTunes library connected to a computer.

This library don't have to be on the computer itself; any disk attached to the network (a NAS or a USB disk connected to a router with a USB port, like the Apple AirPort Extreme) will do.

You'll need iTunes on your computer, and you start iTunes with the option key pressed to choose a library that's not on the internal disk.

Set up your iTunes library as 'shared', and you can access it (and syncronize the Apple TV) from any computer with iTunes installed.

Set up this way, you might use the Apple TV without involving the computer except for adding new music. You'll need a TV as a display to navigate with your remote though. By installing the inexpensive aTV Flash you can add some new functions to Apple TV (unlike free Open Source alternatives, aTV Flash does this without replacing the original operative system).

The AirPort Express, however, will need a computer to play. (You might also use the Apple TV as a mere streaming device, controlled by your computer. Actually, myself I find this more convenient than using the ATV/TV combo.)

As for radio in this set-up, you're limited to Internet radio via iTunes -- and you'll need your TV or computer to find the right stations.

As for sound quality, with digital sources that's entirely down to the analog parts of your h-fi system. Buying more expensive steaming systems would not affect sound quality (some systems might support 24bit audio, while the Apple system only support 'CD quality' -- but chances are you won't be able to hear the difference); it's a question of which functions you want, and whether you want to be independent of a computer.

Another thing to consider: By choosing a computer-independent system, you probably won't be able to stream video. 

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