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Drgiggles1
2010-05-21, 11:14 PM
I am interested in hooking up a wireless media sever to my stereo amplifier via a digital optical cable so I can play my flac, VOB, etc, files off any computer on my network. This makes physical CD's/DVD's obsolete for me on my home system. Better yet no cables needed to hookup a PC to stereo. Has anyone here done this yet ? Please advise on equipment. My operating systems are all Windows. Thanks in advance.

direwolf-pgh
2010-05-22, 09:53 AM
a lot of different ways to slice it..

A few thoughts from my config:
for the main media server: $450 Asus wrkstn (dual core/ 6GB RAM / HDMI video out / HD Audio (via hdmi or optical)) + standard Media Center remote.

For gapless audio playback: Winamp and/or Foobar2000
-not much to config.. point the software to the audio folders and press play.

Windows Media Center will playback your flac collection - but its not gapless audio (its fine on shuffle)

******

For HD video playback: VLC and/or Windows Media Center

With VLC you can easily queue folders if video is in multiple VIDEO_TS folders (read: shows traded here).
VLC will also mount .iso rips with full menu and chapter support.

Windows Media Center kinda sucks in standard config, but..
when using this tweak Windows Media Center can now mount and play any .iso rip.
also, Windows Media Center is very easy to navigate with a remote from the sofa.
read this How To: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/11071/automatically-mount-and-view-iso-files-in-windows-7-media-center/

Download links for WMC to mount .iso files for playback (freeware and tested)
http://mikinho.com/wmc/mount-image/
http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html

*******

In short, flac audio playback is a no brainer - straight up config.
video playback depends on the folder/file structure.
personally, I prefer VLC to queue multiple VIDEO_TS folders for playback - WMC for the .iso collection.

As the media server wrkstn is hardwired via ethernet to the network - streaming audio and video to/from any wrkstn/laptop is not a problem.

Using the standard wireless G connection:
streaming 24bit flac = no problem
streaming standard video = no problem
streaming Blu ray video with HD audio = no way

********************
there are many ways to slice this. I too would be interested to see what others use. likes/dislikes.

You mention using a wireless connection to your amp.. then mention using an optical cable.. then mention .vob video files.
Perhaps you should look at the Squeezebox solutions - audio only.
http://www.logitechsqueezebox.com/products/overview.html

DanielG
2010-05-22, 11:53 AM
Something to consider is the WDTV Live. It connects to your TV via HDMI and it also has an ethernet port so it can connect to your network to play files stored elsewhere. The WDTV Live box plays FLAC, VOB, MKV (high def), your various standard definition files as well as many other types.

You mentioned you wanted a wireless solution so you can purchase a wireless dongle that you can plug into the WDTV Live. Playing 1080p video wirelessly maybe be problematic but DVD's will be fine.
Official site
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=735
Huge discussion on the product.
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1309351

GhostInTheMachine
2010-05-22, 04:24 PM
WDTV Live is an excellent product, yet has one major flaw - no gapless flac.
there is a 2 second gap between any song on any album played.

Drgiggles1
2010-05-23, 03:48 PM
Thank you Wolf for pointing me towards ASUS. For my needs I may go with the O!PlayAir HDP-R3. I should have been clearer when mentioning wireless and optical cable and VOB files in the same sentence. Wirelessly I meant via my Cisco 802.11n Wireless Networking router and hooking up a TOS cable to the receiver from the media server. As far as the mention of VOB files i was referring to DVD audio as well as video files capability. If anyone has any bad reviews about this product please state them. Here are the specs.

Specifications
ASUS O!Play Air HDP-R3 HD Media Player
Supported Video Formats MPEG1/2/4, H.264, VC-1, RM/RMVB
Supported Video File Extensions .mp4, .mov, .xvid., .avi., .asf, .wmv, .mkv, .rm, .rmvb, .flv, .ts, .m2ts, .dat, .mpg, .vob, .mts, .tp, .trp, .iso
Supported Audio Formats MP3, WAV, AAC, OGG, FLAC, AIFF, LPCM, WMA, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
Supported Image Formats JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF
Supported Subtitle Formats SRT, SUB, SMI, SSA
Outputs

* HDMI 1.3
* Composite Audio/Video
* Optical Digital Audio

Inputs

* 1 x USB2.0
* 1 x eSATA/USB2.0 combo port
* Card Readers

*
o 1x CF
o 1x SD+MMC
o 1x MS+MS Duo

* 1x RJ-45 LAN port
* 1x 802.11n Wireless Networking
* DC Power In

Dimensions 181.0mm x 125.3mm x 47.7mm
Power Source 12VDC, 2A
Power Consumption <10W
Operating Temperature 5C (41F) ~ 35C (95F)

saltman
2010-05-24, 08:44 AM
You will have no problems with 1080p with hd audio on an N network or a Gigabit wired connection.

VLC chokes on HD video files with 24 bit audio. won't play them. Media Player Classic plays them without a hitch.


I have an Acer Aspire Revo r3610. It's very quiet and uses little power. Works great if you use software that supports hardware acceleration. This moves the video calcs from the atom to the ion chip.

Windows Media Center can also be tweaked to play mkv files. Pretty sure it does gapless flac now also.

I use foobar and media player x64.