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  1. Default Audio System + Digital Receiver

    So I was looking into getting two things for my residence, and I'm not really informed on anything regarding speakers or receivers.

    What I want is:
    1) A 4.1 or 5.1 speaker system that is good, but not too expensive. It doesn't need to be able to play sounds excessively loudly, and it will never blast at any point at all. I highly doubt it would ever reach half volume if that. I've been checking around NewEgg but mostly I hit things that have cheap quality or what not from reviews, or other issues, and I was wondering what other people have been using that is within my expectations without being too expensive.

    2) A Digital Receiver, whether it can only receive audio or both audio and video. I won't be using the video though; when I want to watch movies my monitor and headset do a fine job with that. I only want it for audio. It preferably needs to be able to connect to my home network whether wirelessly or wired...or perhaps just have massive storage space that then connects to the above audio system so that I can play whatever I want off of it.

    I don't really have a price limit. I can simply save Y dollars on X number of paychecks to put together whatever is required to purchase it. I simply don't want to waste money. Since I have no experience in this field, and especially since I see all kinds of bad feedback on various sets on NewEgg, I really have no idea what to go after, and the digital receiver is completely new grounds for me, so I have no idea there either.

    Any help would be great in this matter.

  2. Default Re: Audio System + Digital Receiver

    For residence 2.1 will do, something like Logitech z623 will do fine. Can be had for about $100.

    Also I don't think you are looking for a digital're looking for something to stream music? Airport Express or iTV could do.

  3. Default Re: Audio System + Digital Receiver

    I'll look into the Logitech, but 5.1/4.1 isn't just because I want more speakers, but some music is literally attuned to individual channels, making it sound different. My old 5.1 set from years ago allowed for this, and it, in my opinion, changed some songs and how they sounded. That's why I wanted 4.1 or 5.1 over 2.1.

    As for the digital receiver...I definitely do not want anything Apple related. When I mentioned this stuff to a coworker, he informed me that Apple has been locking out which audio types you can use to "beat piracy," and you're essentially limited to mp4s. I do not want to have to convert every song I have (Even free fan remixes) just so that I can listen to them. Plus, FLAC files are a superior quality and I would prefer them over a set required format. Plus, when you have nothing else Apple, there's absolutely no reason to force yourself into their programs and bloatware simply because you are required to to do anything with them. No thanks.

    As for iTV...I'm not sure what you're talking about there. I tried searching for it and I cannot find anything besides a streaming service like Hulu or Netflix. I distinctly do not want it hardwired into a single PC. That's one of the reasons I want a network connection to access the music, so that I can play it anywhere I want in my house without needing to be on my PC. I essentially want it to be a separate entity from my PC, and be able to grab music from any computer in my house that's connected to my network, or have it's own storage.

    Think old school speaker system. You have a bunch of speakers that are wired into a large media player with a CD, DVD, Cassette, etc player. You can insert whatever media you want and play it through those speakers without needing any computer. The only difference is that instead of needing a CD, DVD, Cassette, or whatever, you instead just need to connect to your router (Or it has a harddrive with the media on it). I know this exists, I just don't know the brands and which would be the smartest investment, because I've never looked into this kind of stuff before.

    My coworker had suggested Boxee Box, however as that's being discontinued I don't see that as a wise investment. I don't mind that it would hook into my TV, so long as it is not required to use whatever my TV's audio is set up as. I wouldn't even really mind if there was a PC based control panel, I just don't want to have the requirement of my PC or it's speakers and be able to control it outside of those. For example, if I have to set up a playlist with my PC, that's fine. I don't want to have to control every aspect of it with my PC (Like Previous, Next, Start/Stop, etc).

    Maybe I am asking for too much.

  4. Default Re: Audio System + Digital Receiver

    My reasons for suggesting 2.1 over 5.1 is purely from experience. You mentioned that this will be used in residence, a lot of the times there is not enough room to properly set up the 5.1, so a lot of the times you'd end up with just the speakers bunched up beside each other which defeats the purpose of having a 5.1 system.

    As for the airport express recommendation, I thought you simply wanted something to play music TO. The airport express's main function is a router, but there is a audio out port on the back for Airplay that will allow any ipod touch, iphones, ipads, macbook pros, itunes NATIVELY send audio to it as long as it is on the same network. There are programs you can download to use it as your windows speakers too.

    As for the iTV suggestion, it also has Airplay, same as the Airport Express but supports streaming video from those devices to your TV. It isn't just Netflix.

    I'm suggesting these is because I have personal experience with all these devices and they've worked very well for me. Example, the music streaming, I have my library on my desktop but I have a iTV and Airport Express in other places in my home. I can use my iPhone and browse my iTunes library and play songs to either the iTV or Airport Express. Also there are apps that you can download for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to have your computer encode videos in real time to stream it directly to your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or iTV.

    Also for your idea of carrying your music around, having iTunes on your computer with Home sharing on will allow you to stream anything that's already in your iTunes library to your iPod/iPhone/iPad.

    With the FLAC problem. There are ways to import them, or they could be converted apple lossless format, so there shouldn't be a quality change there.

    But the explanations aside, it seems like you're against them, so there is no point for me to go into too much details.

    For simply sharing music on different computers, you can just share the folder across the network and you would be able to play them off of any PC.

  5. Default Re: Audio System + Digital Receiver

    My main reason I'm against the Airport Express is because I do not have anything else Apple. It makes it a complete waste of money. I also don't intend to get anything Apple in the near future. I did like it when I saw it, but then I noticed it was Apple which kind of killed it. I know from experience that to do anything with Apple products you have to go through hell if you're not already in Apple formats with all of your media, which I'm not, and then not owning any Apple handheld kills half the functionality, if not more.

    I'm okay with 2.1 or 4.1/5.1 speakers. I would prefer the latter, but the former is fine if the latter is too expensive. I will definitely check out your suggestion there.

    Do you happen to know the full name for the iTV item you're suggesting? I really couldn't find anything on their site outside of their web streaming service. I definitely want to at least check it out before I make any decisions for or against it.



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