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phicar2
2005-11-03, 08:05
Disclaimer: I have tried to search the forums for this information but never really found exactly what I was looking for so I apologize if I missed it. The advice I will be asking for I'm sure has been gone over a bunch but like I said I just couldn't find it...

Basically I am looking at either getting the Squeezebox or Sonos. From what I can tell the major advantage to the Sonos (besides the amp and ethernet switch) is the remote. The sound quality I would think if anything would be better with the digital connection on the Squeezebox plus the Squeezebox also support apple lossless. So, while I'm leaning towards the Squeezebox, my wife is pushing me pretty hard toward the Sonos. I can certainly understand her point because of the ease of use of that remote (I checked it out at a Tweeter's and it is pretty slick) so I'm wondering what are the best solutions for simulating the Sonos remote for use with the Squeezebox? I understand that you can get a handheld or something and run a web browser on it but I'm asking specifically what are the best handhelds or other solutions (PSP?) and which "skins" would I need to get etc.

Also, I just want to clarify that the Squeezebox remote is IR to the Squeezebox which then relays via network (wired or wireless) back to the PC, correct? Whereas any device I used in place of the IR remote would need to have the web browser on it and would not communicate through the Squeezebox but rather it would need to hit the network wirelessly directly, correct? This will influence how I set up my network, that's why I ask (my wireless router is “far away” from where I will have the squeezebox so I was going to hook up the squeezeboxes through a wired network but I will need a wireless access point close to the box for the remote to work well, correct?).

So, what advice can you anyone give me for remotes to simulate the Sonos? And please keep it cost neutral at worst. In other words:
Sonos: 2 boxes plus remote = $1200
Squeezebox: 2 boxes = $500. Plus I will need a receiver for one box, so that's ~$300 for a decent one, so that leaves ~$400 to simulate the remote. Now, I wouldn't mind if it were less than that...

Thanks in advance!

ceejay
2005-11-03, 08:27
Thats a lot of questions all in one go, but let me at least start for you:

1 - yes, the normal SB remote is IR to the SB, which then talks back to the server

2 - For alternative remotes you have basically two different routes. One is to get a general purpose remote (Pronto, for example) which you could configure for the SB as well as any other devices in the area like your receiver. There are Pronto control codes somewhere around this site.

3 - As a completely different option you could get a wireless device - could be a PSP, or a standard PDA like an HP iPaq. In the latter case you can use the browser with, say the "handheld" skin but to be honest its unlikely to impress your wife (though it does work). For a more impressive interface on a PDA you can pay a small amount to get the Telcanto software which understands slimservers and SBs and which looks quite pretty. If you're going for this option then you will need a working WLAN in the area, so if you think its not going to be good enough for the SBs then it may not be good enough for the PDA/remote - though you could always add a local Wireless Access Point in the room hooked into the same wiring as the SBs.

4 - On a separate note, if you bringing cost into the equation, don't forget to factor in the likely upgrade costs to more players. Whether you go for Sonos or SB, you're bound to want more than you start with.

Lets see what the others have to add...

Ceejay

Fifer
2005-11-03, 08:48
Just the small point that there is a current offer of $100 dollars off any order for two SB3's. Offer ends on December 1st. See the home page for details.

Dave D
2005-11-03, 13:33
Sonos: 2 boxes plus remote = $1200
Squeezebox: 2 boxes = $500. Plus I will need a receiver for one box, so that's ~$300 for a decent one, so that leaves ~$400 to simulate the remote.

If all you need is a way to power the speakers on the 2nd Squeezebox (vs. a "receiver"), the requirement can be fulfilled for as little as $20 with a Sonic Impact T-amp, depending on the speaker load and how loud you are driving them. (Here's where I wish Slim Devices had a Squeezebox version with integrated class-D-like amp.) The T-amp is kind of cheesy-looking but is supposed to sound great, up to about 7W per channel. Also, Sonic Impact is supposed to be coming out with a much nicer version for something like $140. And if you must have a receiver, there's the Panasonic SA-XR55, which just sounds great (I have one), and can do the home theater thing as well. You can get it for $250 or less, shipped. It's a very good buy for $250.

Anyway, just trying to get you more wiggle room for the remote.

Good luck with your decision.

phicar2
2005-11-04, 07:38
Thanks!
Just to be clear what I'm seeing is the best option for a remote is using the Telcanto software with a PDA. Also mentioned was a "Pronto" remote which I'm not familiar with. How does it compare with a PDA running Telcanto

Just for clarification, if I use a PDA with a wireless connection and that connection is 802.11b then it will bring my entire 802.11g network down to b correct? Is there a PDA that uses 802.11g? All the HPs I saw only had b...

gingerneil
2005-11-04, 07:56
I have a Kameleon all-on-one remote which works brilliantly. Basic setup used the JVC codes build into the SB with a few additions for things like brightness and size manually added to the spare buttons.

http://www.firebox.com/?dir=firebox&action=product&pid=530

mattybain
2005-11-04, 08:42
Another option is to use the Nokia 770 as a remote, it is 802.11g compatible. You can then use the normal web interface or the touch interface which imho is pretty straightforward to use.

http://www.nokia.co.uk/nokia/0,,75322,00.html

I have a PDA and telcanto and find that whilst failry quick it does bring my network down to b levels and also I think it looks pretty ugly and also is not VGA compatible. There is a 30 day trial so if you can boorow a PDA you can give it a whirl and see what you think before you commit.

ceejay
2005-11-04, 09:39
Thanks!
Just to be clear what I'm seeing is the best option for a remote is using the Telcanto software with a PDA. Also mentioned was a "Pronto" remote which I'm not familiar with. How does it compare with a PDA running Telcanto

Just for clarification, if I use a PDA with a wireless connection and that connection is 802.11b then it will bring my entire 802.11g network down to b correct? Is there a PDA that uses 802.11g? All the HPs I saw only had b...

Pronto ... try http://www.pronto.philips.com/

And yes, a 11B PDA will slow your network down to B speed. The (possibly overkill) workaround I use is to have two separate wireless access points - one built into my router, one separate. My PDA connects to one (as does my laptop which also has 11B WLAN) and my SB2s connect to the other.

Ceejay.