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Use a computer or a Sonos, or other streaming box

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I'm hoping to get a digital audio rig set up by end of January or so. There are so many options that I'm not really sure which way to go. I've considered Sonos, Squeezebox touch, apple TV, WD, and Roku(with Sonos probably being my top choice currently), but now I'm maybe thinking I should just go with an all in one PC or a nettop PC and connect one or the other to a DAC, via usb or i've seen a toslink on a couple nettops.


what are y'alls thoughts? everything is likely to hardwired as the 2 channel rig will be in the same room as the router and I'm either going to hook up an NAS or get a new router with an USB port so that I can still access the music through the house on the house laptop for my wife's ipod.


part of my reasoning for an all in one or nettop is I could connect an external Blu ray so I can play music blurays through the 2 channel rig.. we already have a ps3 for the home theater. But i'm not sure That I want to deal with a whole extra computer... anyway.. thoughts?



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I will comment on Apple TV since I used this for about two years. I used the optical digital output of the Apple TV to connect to an external DAC. Apple TV can be connected to your HDTV via HDMI.


The major downside of Apple TV to me is that it does not support 24/96 files. If you do not have or do not anticipate having any 24/96 files then it is a non-issue.


You can view and manage your music library using the included remote control or with an iPod Touch or iPhone with the free download Remote app. It also supports video so you can rent or buy movie and TV content including high def programs from iTunes or Netflix.


I liked the Apple TV controls better than Front Row (I am a Mac User)for managing your library. I enjoyed the screen saver modes that will display full screen artwork from your library on your HDTV.


The new Apple TV is quite a bit less expensive than the original version ($99 vs $329). The original Apple TV had a built in hard drive. That hard drive allowed you to synch your library to the Apple TV (store part or all of your library, depending on size, on the Apple TV) Apple TV which meant you did not have to have your computer on to play music versus just being able to stream (computer must be on and iTunes library must be open)music to your Apple TV.


Frankly it was a very nice way to easily start a "music server" option but I have decided to move on an I currently connect direct from my computer (iMac) to my audio system and will soon get a dedicated music server computer (Mac Mini). Good luck and have fun.




"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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