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Thread: Streaming Audio

  1. #1
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    Streaming Audio

    I am wanting to stream cd rips and hd downloads from my computer to my sound system. I have a Wi-Fi network but would probably need at least a wireless bridge, since my processor does not have wireless capabilities.

    The bridge would also need to have hdmi out capabilities to hook up with the processor, which already has built-in dacs.

    Suggestions and recommendations greatly appreciated!
    -merlin

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    Re: Streaming Audio

    There are many different ways to solve this issue. But since I don't understand some of your terms, I'll just guess.
    A few cautions first - wifi that isn't a perfect connection will probably stutter for hidef video content. Audio should always be fine on any wifi network with a good connection. SD quality video should work find too over most wifi (DVD/480p).

    So - the way that most people handle what you are asking is by getting a video playing device with wifi. Something like a chromecast, WDTV-line, or no-name Chinese models. These all have pros/cons. Chromecast mandates that google "watch" everything you playback. It really wants you to use internet content, not content inside your home already. It will not work without an internet connection, I've tried.

    So - the chromecast is $35 - it is also really, really, really picky about content. That means your PC will need to have enough power to transcode videos on-the-fly. Oh - and plex server will need to be installed. I'd been screwing around with other software for years, it was a happy day when Plex Server was installed. It is the best DLNA server I've used. Better than MS stuff.

    Or you could build/buy a media center PC and connect that. For SD content, this is easy. Any system in the last 5 yrs can handle it, but for 1080p stuff, you'll want GPU support.

    Oh ... if you have a Playstation or Xbox - those can be used as playback devices for Plex too. As do many networked smartTVs and Bluray players. These all support DLNA.

    So ... does that help? Are there complexities that I missed? What is the source system specs?
    Last edited by TheFu; July 5th, 2014 at 03:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Streaming Audio

    Hi, and thanks for your response -- much appreciated! I only want to stream audio (cd rips, and tracks extracted from youtube videos via audacity) from my desktop computer to my sound system. I have a wireless network, and need hdmi out from any device to my surround processor.

    My computer is fairly powerful -- i7-3770 cpu @ 3.40 GHz x 8, 16G RAM, 80G SSD, 500G HDD, 2TB USB WD drive. It resides in a different room from my sound system, so direct streaming is not possible. My surround processor does not have built-in Wi-Fi nor USB.

    Someone suggested Roku 3, and installing MediaTomb as a server, but I do not yet understand how that will actually stream the audio files to the device.
    -merlin

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    Re: Streaming Audio

    mediatomb is a DLNA server, like Plex.
    Ruko is a DLNA client, like chromecast, ps3/4, xbox, WDTV, smart-TVs, bluray players, any android device, ... all of these would be connected to the audio receiver.

    The client and server would communicate over wifi ... just like any other laptop/server does.

    With a Core i7 - I'd load up plex server and call it "done." No need for any online plex account. I don't have one and it works great inside my LAN from many different DLNA clients.

    Whether your wifi network is fast enough for HD video ... I can't say. Too many variables. I've designed wifi deployments for 1200+ locations - I use wired at home for every device that can possibly support wired connections. Heck - my chromebook doesn't have an ethernet port, but does have a USB3 port - which gets a USB3/GigE adapter. Wifi sucks in comparison.

    To me, wifi != wireless. Wireless is GSM/LTE and completely different.

  5. #5
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    Re: Streaming Audio

    Thanks again for the info. I am not wanting to stream video, only audio, so the speed of my wifi should not be an issue. Wired connection would of course be best, as you say, but am not wanting to drill holes in walls and closet to run the cable from my desktop to the sound processor, which is in another room.

    Is plex server in the repos, or???

    And is there any way I can stream audio files directly to my sound processor via an hdmi cable, or do I need a device such as Roku?
    Last edited by merlinus; July 5th, 2014 at 09:26 PM.
    -merlin

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    Re: Streaming Audio

    So - I don't know of any cheap audio-only solutions to your issue. Sonos (sp?) comes to mind, but it isn't cheap. Heck, "premium" doesn't describe how expensive they are either. If you have some other device near the stereo that is wifi (DLNA client or local media) and puts out audio over HDMI, then I think that should work too.

    You seem to think that wifi can be magically converted to HDMI and work. Googled "wifi to hdmi" and the results were for $100-$1500+ solutions ... which means that a $35 chromecast would be much more cost efficient. Does that make sense? If you go with a consumer-video-DLNA client for less than $80, I think it will do what you want for a reasonable price. Heck, you may want to stream video at some point too.

    What do you mean by "sound processor"? Is that a stereo or a receiver? If you can stream to it - that would be a major feature and in the manual. I'd suspect it would have a built-in DLNA client and a network connection. Lacking a network port, I think not. Obviously, if you have some device that has an HDMI output and you can get it to put sound down that cable, then a normal receiver will play it back. But you didn't want to run an ethernet cable through the walls ... so I assumed you didn't want to run a much thicker HDMI cable either.

    I think plex server is in the software center. My plex machine is only for that - so I was willing to install a .deb file directly from the plex team. It doesn't have much of a GUI on it (nor a keyboard or mouse). I manage it via ssh 99.9999999999% of the time.

    Otherwise - no, you cannot magically wifi stream directly to hdmi. They aren't the same technology. When I see your bean count, it makes me think I'm missing something. Am I?

    I own these playback devices:
    * mediagate
    * WD TV Live HD (non-netflix model)
    * chromecast
    * roku3
    * PC running Ubuntu 12.04 w/ XBMC and Plex
    * Android smartphone
    * Android tablet
    * any laptop running Win/Linux/OSX

    To playback audio over hdmi, the chromecast is the cheapest answer. It requires an android device to control it and it will need to be configured when connected to a monitor, but moving it to a pure audio device should work ... I guess. I don't have any receivers that work with HDMI inputs, sorry.

    I'm a video guy, so video output in hidef is a core requirement in my systems. All of those devices are DLNA renderers (a client has more capabilities) except the mediagate. That means pushing audio to it from another device on the network is possible (if you allow it in the settings).

    For all the time we've chatted here, you could have installed the Plex Server and tried it already. The install was fairly painless. Management is through a web interface ... http://IP address to plex server:32400/web/
    That should be enough for now.

  7. #7
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    Re: Streaming Audio

    You could hook up a RaspberryPi and use that as your ethernet-to-HDMI audio solution: http://www.runeaudio.com/

    I would drill holes and run an ethernet cable. WiFi suffers from interference and will result in stuttering of high-bit-rate sources.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Streaming Audio

    @tgalati4 -- thanks for the suggestion, but I could not figure out from their website if I would still need some sort of device such as Roku. I tried using my laptop with hdmi out into the surround processor and playing .wav files from Rhythmbox, but it did not work.

    Drilling holes and running a cat5 cable is not an option, because of the distance across the room from where my computer is located to the closet and wall inside it. I have streamed videos via Kindle and hdmi with few or no problems using my wi-fi network.
    -merlin

  9. #9
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    Re: Streaming Audio

    @TheFu: Thanks hugely for your continuing assistance, advice, and interest -- much appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    So - I don't know of any cheap audio-only solutions to your issue. Sonos (sp?) comes to mind, but it isn't cheap. Heck, "premium" doesn't describe how expensive they are either. If you have some other device near the stereo that is wifi (DLNA client or local media) and puts out audio over HDMI, then I think that should work too.
    I tried using my laptop with hdmi out into the surround processor and playing .wav files from Rhythmbox, but it did not work. I have used a Kindle to stream films from amazon via hdmi using my wifi network, however.

    You seem to think that wifi can be magically converted to HDMI and work. Googled "wifi to hdmi" and the results were for $100-$1500+ solutions ... which means that a $35 chromecast would be much more cost efficient. Does that make sense? If you go with a consumer-video-DLNA client for less than $80, I think it will do what you want for a reasonable price. Heck, you may want to stream video at some point too.
    I quite agree. I am certainly amenable to purchasing a Roku 3 for about $90, and see whether it will work. If not, amazon has a great return policy, including paying for return shipping.

    What do you mean by "sound processor"? Is that a stereo or a receiver? If you can stream to it - that would be a major feature and in the manual. I'd suspect it would have a built-in DLNA client and a network connection. Lacking a network port, I think not. Obviously, if you have some device that has an HDMI output and you can get it to put sound down that cable, then a normal receiver will play it back. But you didn't want to run an ethernet cable through the walls ... so I assumed you didn't want to run a much thicker HDMI cable either.
    I have a Classe SP-800 processor for audio and video. It has hdmi inputs which I use for my video player and Kindle, but does not have a built-in DNLA client of any kind, and no ethernet nor usb inputs. I use xlrs from my sacd player to it.

    As stated above, for some reason it would not work with my laptop. I have emailed Classe in hopes of finding out why. Perhaps it is Rhythmbox (which I used for playing the .wav files from the computer), or perhaps the unit will only recognize disc-type material, or streaming video such as films from amazon via Kindle.

    I think plex server is in the software center. My plex machine is only for that - so I was willing to install a .deb file directly from the plex team. It doesn't have much of a GUI on it (nor a keyboard or mouse). I manage it via ssh 99.9999999999% of the time.
    I have installed plexmediaserver, and got it running in my web browser. But it is probably of no use until I purchase a DLNA-capable unit.

    Otherwise - no, you cannot magically wifi stream directly to hdmi. They aren't the same technology. When I see your bean count, it makes me think I'm missing something. Am I?
    When Ubuntu 7.04 first came out, I ditched Windows and have never looked back. Most of my beans are from those earlier days, when I was very involved with the forum in terms of helping out with questions about installation, grub, connecting HDs, and such. Since Canonical has moved to Unity, I have kind of dropped out of sight. My 12.04 installs use the fallback to Gnome 2.
    -merlin

  10. #10
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    Re: Streaming Audio

    Ah ... it is a 7.1 preamp. Did you force the Ubuntu mixer to output to the HDMI? Has that worked before on the system?
    WAV files are probably 2 channel. Have you tried audio with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 channels? And raw, DTS, and DD encodings?

    I'd test with and without HDCP too. The roku3 has HDCP on everything, even content that shouldn't be protected. You may need "other solutions" to get around that aspect too.

    As to Unity - that is easily solved. Just load one of the alternate DEs or a pure WM setup and run with that. 5 minutes after the install and you'll never need to see Unity again.

    You can stream videos/audio through the plex web interface from any machine on the LAN. No DLNA needed. Just an option. BTW, out of all the options that I've listed, the Roku is my least used. I dislike the HDCP on all content when it isn't required. Nothing on NASA TV should be HDCP. Plus it makes splitting the video and audio to different hardware difficult for absolutely no good reason. My setup needs connections to a TV, projector, and optical audio THX receiver. I don't want the TV audio return, which down samples to 2.1 audio and can't use audio return on the projector due to cabling complexity. I am NOT a fan of roku3 hardware for those reasons.

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