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xtopher
2006-02-20, 00:02
I'm posting this here because I havn't seen it anywhere else in the forum (let me know if it's redundant).

I wanted to share (and keep a log for myself) of how to output the audio portion of a movie from my PC through to my stereo (the video is going directly to my screen).

The basic setup is stream the movie locally (I'll explain more in a minute), have SlimServe pick up the audio stream and re-stream it out to the SB.

To accomplish this you need a media stream server. VLC is a good option. It's freely available at http://www.videolan.org. VLC will act as both the streaming server and client. This is very handy as you'll see.

Assuming you're using VLC, here are the instructions:
1. Start VLC without any media file selected.
2. From the File menu select Open Network Stream...
3. The dialog that opens allows you to select the input source and to stream output. For simplicity sake select the File tab and then a movie source (like an AVI).
4. Before clicking OK, check Stream Output, then click Settings.
5. This is where most of the configuration happens. For Output Methods I select Play Locally (that opens the client on my PC so I can see the video), and HTTP. You can leave the HTTP address box empty (this default to the local machine) and select a port like 8080.
6. For encapsulation method select WAV
7. In Transcoding Options check the Audio Codec. The defaults work (mpga, 128 kb/s, 2 channel). I up the bitrate to 256. You currently can't stream more than 2 channels (seems to be a bug in VLC and I don't think SB will handle it yet)
8. Click OK, and then OK again in the Open... dialog. The movie will start playing.
9. Now you need to get SlimServer setup (we're probably doing this in reverse order), open the SlimServer web interface.
10. In the Radio section of the Home settings, select Radio Tune-in
11. In the Radio URL box type 'http://ip.address:port' changing the ip.address for your machine's IP address (like 192.168.1.1, localhost doesn't seem to work) and the port must be the port you configured in VLC. This is setting SlimServer to listen to the VLC output stream.
12. On the Squeezebox side of the web interface you should be able start playing the stream to your box, just like you would any other internet radio station.
13. Now, the video and audio are likely way out of sync because they are effectively two different clients. The easiest way to resolve this is to pause the video and wait for the audio to catch up. You'd normally do this as the movie is starting.

Notes:
a. While screwing around with this, I managed to crash my SB a couple of times. Not sure what caused it. I just reset the power on the box.
b. VLC supports FLAC encoding, but it doesn't seem to work with this setup. Not sure where the problem is (any Slim workers available to explain why?). I can only get it to play with MPGA and MP3.
c. You can change the player to have the audio level fixed (Home/Player Settings/Audio/Digital Volume Control), this seems best for movies.

Have fun.
Chris.