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View Full Version : Which DAR to get and why?



maths
2004-01-19, 01:01
I have just come across a consolidated list of Digital Audio Receivers
that are currently available in the market.
http://forums.designtechnica.com/showthread.php?s=f20823f7596b84c55d44616417bfcebc&threadid=3079

I am expecting that the obvious answer to the question of "Which Digital
Audio Receiver should I get" when placed to this group will be the
Squeezebox. However, compared to the various options available, could
anyone help me rationalise why the Squeezebox vs the others. For
example, the Creative Wireless with its Remote with built-in screen
sounds attractive. However, the Slim Server and the ability to stream
internet radio stations sways it the way of the Squeezebox.

Any info in helping me make a final decision will be appreciated.

Matt

kdf
2004-01-19, 01:23
Quoting maths <maths (AT) singnet (DOT) com.sg>:

> I have just come across a consolidated list of Digital Audio Receivers
> that are currently available in the market.
>
http://forums.designtechnica.com/showthread.php?s=f20823f7596b84c55d44616417bfcebc&threadid=3079
>
> I am expecting that the obvious answer to the question of "Which Digital
> Audio Receiver should I get" when placed to this group will be the
> Squeezebox. However, compared to the various options available, could
> anyone help me rationalise why the Squeezebox vs the others. For
> example, the Creative Wireless with its Remote with built-in screen
> sounds attractive. However, the Slim Server and the ability to stream
> internet radio stations sways it the way of the Squeezebox.
>
> Any info in helping me make a final decision will be appreciated.

While the LCD in the remote is pretty cool, my experience with Creative has left
me disappointed as they leave hardware with driver issues in favour of new
hardware. They promise fixes, which never come. They then release a new
product and thus abandon all work on anything previous. I vowed never to buy
form them again, even if they are the leading sound card company.

Audiotron was a possible choice for me, but I really didnt' need duplicate
storage for my music, which I also wanted for streaming to any of my pc's. I
have seen others mention finding fault with the 30,000 song limit. I only have
10, and I can't imagine tripling that. However, for some, it has apparently
been an issue.

Squeezebox, software remains comaptible with the older slimp3 hardware, and
continues to add features where the hardware allows. Aside from a
difficult-to-fix issue of sincronization, problems are solved very quickly.
Being open source, means you have a much better chance that someone who has the
same problem that you have found, also has enough perl knowledge to submit a fix.

Another thing to watch for, is that some players require the use of a TV to be
able to see the interface. The VFD on the squeezebox isnt' always easiest
reading from across the room, but it does make it fit anywhere with or without a
tv or computer. The graphic interface works through any browser.

Finally, if you are on using any platform outside of Windows, then many of the
players listed on the site you have given, arent even an option.

Just so you know, I am biased of course, I have 4 slim devices at home, and I've
written bits and pieces of code, as I am one of those who find I can help fix
some of the problems along the way. Hopefully you can take some of this and aply
it to your decision-making.

cheers,
kdf

Mike Beranek
2004-01-19, 10:29
kdf -

Would you mind sharing your configuration of 4 slimp's? I'm curious to how
you are leveraging the features in this great product to fill your home with
delightful tunes. :-) Issues that come to mind include speakers, volume
control, other audio sources, and how you've addressed various room types.
(those with PC's in them, those with TV's in them, a room with a home
stereo, hallways, bathroom's (?), etc.

Thanks,
Mike



"kdf" <slim-mail (AT) deane-freeman (DOT) com> wrote in
message news:1074500633.400b941938d8a (AT) callisto (DOT) deane-freeman.com...
> Quoting maths <maths (AT) singnet (DOT) com.sg>:
>
> > I have just come across a consolidated list of Digital Audio Receivers
> > that are currently available in the market.
> >
>
http://forums.designtechnica.com/showthread.php?s=f20823f7596b84c55d44616417bfcebc&threadid=3079
> >
> > I am expecting that the obvious answer to the question of "Which Digital
> > Audio Receiver should I get" when placed to this group will be the
> > Squeezebox. However, compared to the various options available, could
> > anyone help me rationalise why the Squeezebox vs the others. For
> > example, the Creative Wireless with its Remote with built-in screen
> > sounds attractive. However, the Slim Server and the ability to stream
> > internet radio stations sways it the way of the Squeezebox.
> >
> > Any info in helping me make a final decision will be appreciated.
>
> While the LCD in the remote is pretty cool, my experience with Creative
has left
> me disappointed as they leave hardware with driver issues in favour of new
> hardware. They promise fixes, which never come. They then release a new
> product and thus abandon all work on anything previous. I vowed never to
buy
> form them again, even if they are the leading sound card company.
>
> Audiotron was a possible choice for me, but I really didnt' need duplicate
> storage for my music, which I also wanted for streaming to any of my pc's.
I
> have seen others mention finding fault with the 30,000 song limit. I only
have
> 10, and I can't imagine tripling that. However, for some, it has
apparently
> been an issue.
>
> Squeezebox, software remains comaptible with the older slimp3 hardware,
and
> continues to add features where the hardware allows. Aside from a
> difficult-to-fix issue of sincronization, problems are solved very
quickly.
> Being open source, means you have a much better chance that someone who
has the
> same problem that you have found, also has enough perl knowledge to submit
a fix.
>
> Another thing to watch for, is that some players require the use of a TV
to be
> able to see the interface. The VFD on the squeezebox isnt' always easiest
> reading from across the room, but it does make it fit anywhere with or
without a
> tv or computer. The graphic interface works through any browser.
>
> Finally, if you are on using any platform outside of Windows, then many of
the
> players listed on the site you have given, arent even an option.
>
> Just so you know, I am biased of course, I have 4 slim devices at home,
and I've
> written bits and pieces of code, as I am one of those who find I can help
fix
> some of the problems along the way. Hopefully you can take some of this
and aply
> it to your decision-making.
>
> cheers,
> kdf

kdf
2004-01-19, 11:11
Quoting Mike Beranek <beranek (AT) us (DOT) ibm.com>:

> kdf -
>
> Would you mind sharing your configuration of 4 slimp's? I'm curious to how
> you are leveraging the features in this great product to fill your home with
> delightful tunes. :-) Issues that come to mind include speakers, volume
> control, other audio sources, and how you've addressed various room types.
> (those with PC's in them, those with TV's in them, a room with a home
> stereo, hallways, bathroom's (?), etc.

I'm afraid this is where is gets less pretty ;)

1) Wireless Squeezebox, connected via Toslink to Yamaha RX595 Amplifier. This
is connected to a couple Sony Towers, and built-in surrounds. I also have it
running to a pair or wireless speakers to fill the space through to the kitchen,
which is off the living room. Fixed volume on SB, mostly adjust using the AMP.
I have a URC8911 Universal remote (custom programmed with squeezebox remote
codes) to control it all.

2) Wireless SB connected again with Toslink to a Creative DTT3500 speaker system
in Master Bedroom. This shares the Creative 5.1 PC speaker setup with on of my
computers, used to watch DVD on those late nights or lazy weekends. Squeezebox
here is use for alarm clock. I have the amp set at a fixed volume (for safe,
non-neighbour-annoying dvd play) and I adjust SB volume for the mood.

3) Wired Slimp3 in spare bedroom. Shares Creative 4-point speakers, analog
inout (naturally). This needed a splitter for direct and via pc because the
speakers have a digital connection to the PC which cuts off the auxilliary
analog input. This way, I can use the slimp3 whether the PC is on or off
without having to rewire. Generally leave this at fixed volue too, since the
speakers have a wired volume control that I have mounted to the monitor

4) Wired Slimp3 in rented room. I have part of the garage converted for a
rental suite. I have wired cat5 down to it, and have a slimp3 in there for use.
My housemate has OSX10.1 and has had me rip some of his CDs to my server so
that he can listen.

For parties, I just leave my laptop out with a fill screen "kiosk-mode" browser
window. Most ppl pick it up fairly quickly. I have used sync once or twice,
but I dont rely on it. Well, recently, for obvious reasons, I can't :) I'm one
of those people who can't relaly find fault with 192kbps VBR Mp3's vs CD. I
find it very useful to be able to set up playlists from any one browser, or
carry one remote and control any player along the way. I guess really the only
thing impressive in my setup is the number of ways that the device can be hooked
up and be quite enjoyable. I hav ecomputers all over the place, but I hate to
have them on unless I'm using them. SB and Slimp3 are significantly less power
hungry, and only need one pc running.

Removing the huge pile of CD's really is the BEST thing about it, I have to say.
Even for friends who just dont' "get" mp3's, they can understand what's cool
about never having to keep a pile of cd's around. Aside from that, having the
motivation to learn Perl has been an unseen bonus. There is no faster way to
get the server to do things the way you would like. I've contributed bits here
and there, and SlimDevices have been very kind to me. I would have the setup I
have without that. :)

cheers,
kdf

David Ranch
2004-01-19, 19:09
>Removing the huge pile of CD's really is the BEST thing about it, I have to
>say.
> Even for friends who just dont' "get" mp3's, they can understand what's cool
>about never having to keep a pile of cd's around.


I agree but I hope that Slim Devices's 3rd product will be a video server as I
want to get rid of my DVDs too! Ideally (pie in the sky mode), this unit would
have:

- A DBS-based PVR that can record two things at once -OR-
- Accept DVI/FW/Toslink as input and as output (no analog to digital encoding
loss)
- Do HDTV 1080i
- Support Dolby EX, DTS ES, and DVD-Audio via TOSlink
- play music or video off an off-site server
- Be able to burn video/audio to an enclosed DVD burner (offload)
- Still has a VFD display for quick manipulation

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