JohnDuncan - PC As Source

Alec

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You allude in another thread to your thoughts on how to best use your pc as a source. I didnt want to interrupt the thread, so wondered if you might set out your thoughts here...?
 
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Anonymous

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I can offer some help on the subject. Do you have any specific questions? Asking just for thoughts might lead me to write a novel! I just got back from CES and saw some great products in this area.

Happy to help if I can.
 

Alec

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I think im just going to have to ask for thoughts (and how do you do things?). But for a little context, my system is in my sig, and i want to re-rip all my files this year to a better quality (they are mp3 320kbps (some have been converted multiple times so will have lost quality), sound ok but could be better i rekon, disk space isnt really an issue as ive only around 1000 songs and a 160 hard drive which i dont need for more than Word docs otherwise). The ultimate goal would be to have the msuic displayed on a tv, with playlists operable by remote, as thats what i like most about the computer based method - the visual element (i dont have albums on the pc, just my selection of the best stuff from the albums). Anyway, i think i may be getting ahead of myself with my ambitions because neither my knowledge nor finances are up to the task at the moment - unless theres a cheap way of doing it.
 
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Anonymous

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[quote user="al7478"]The ultimate goal would be to have the msuic displayed on a tv[/quote] Do you already own this TV or are you looking for one to suit your needs? Personally I would connect my PC to the TV and to my sound system, I have the ability to control my PC by either my Microsoft Media Centre iR remote, or my phone, via bluetooth. I only discovered the latter the other day while playing about with my Sony W810i and my missus' W880i. Both have a bluetooth remote control function, and with a little blutooth dongle on the PC, I can control most commands via my phone.
 

Alec

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no, i still have a rubbishy old CRT as yet. Im just trying to gt the best i can sound wise until i can afford to make the move. would it be possible to get a universal remote that would do it all and more? What operating system/software are you using...?
 
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Anonymous

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Xp pro SP2, I havent tried operating my TV with the Microsoft remote, as yet, but, you could program a learning remote with the functions you need to control your PC, all you would need then is an iR receiver.
 

John Duncan

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Ooo me name up in lights :)

If your end goal is to get your content from your PC to your TV, there are two options - Windows Media Centre (which comes with Vista and whose point - generalising - is that your PC sits under your telly and is your main video source) or Apple TV (whose point is to get the content from your PC or Mac onto your TV). I can't quite work out whether Apple TV actually copies your content onto its own hard drive or not, and if it does that becomes an issue as it only has 80gb max (for now). But the interface is absolutely gorgeous - think iTunes Cover Flow on the big screen - and if that were my aim I'd get one, because what you want appears to be precisely what it does. 200 quid a pop I think.

Alternatively, I think some of the iPod docks (the good ones such as Onkyo, Denon, Arcam I mean), have an s-video out so you can browse your iPod via the screen. So if you have a video iPod already that might be a way to go?

If I'm misunderstanding your aim, let me know as there are other options.
 

John Duncan

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OK, I worked it out. You can either synch your Apple TV box to iTunes (like an iPod), so you don't have to have your PC on to watch/listen, or you can stream it over the network (wired or wireless). The former obviously means that the size of the HD you get will be important (there are various up to 160gig), which will depend on how much music you want to synch and at what quality.

A demo of the interface is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4itNWe27d38

Note that a key word here is 'iTunes' - you need to have your music in there, not windows media player. If you've burned all your tracks using mp3, then this isn't a problem. If you've used WMP, then you'll need to convert them - iTunes will do this for you or you may wish to re-burn them for optimal quality.

As for sound, are you hooking it straight into the TV or do you have a separate AV setup? If the latter, the Apple box has an optical out which may sound better through your AV amp than the RCA outs, depends on the quality of your receiver.

cheers

jd
 

Alec

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JohnDuncan - thanks for the answers. I was hoping just to be using my stereo amp, and existing equipment in so far as possible, but realise i may need a new TV and other bits depending on teh method. I was also hoping to just use it to access playlists in WMP using WAV files. Is that doable? I'm happy to experiment with diferent software if its really necassary tho.
 

John Duncan

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OK, step back then - if your PC is close to the TV, then you can hook the two together, provided your PC and TV have the necessary connections (you may need a new video card to give you the requisite connections, though some TVs have a PC in). One issue comes when you want to remote control the PC, which requires either extra hardware or a PC that was designed to be controlled - http://www.pcremotecontrol.com/ is a good place to start on how to go about this.[quote user="al7478"]JohnDuncan - thanks for the answers. I was hoping just to be using my stereo amp, and existing equipment in so far as possible, but realise i may need a new TV and other bits depending on teh method. I was also hoping to just use it to access playlists in WMP using WAV files. Is that doable? I'm happy to experiment with diferent software if its really necassary tho.[/quote]
 

Alec

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OK, well thats given me something to think about when connecting PC to TV. However, a friend of mine has connected a pc to an old LG LCD, ao im hoping where theres a will...(i can be a bit slap-dash like that - connections have never been my strong point, i only found out about how to connect some of my stereo gear up after id bought it). Thanks again, ill look at that link. Actually, wouldnt be surprised if logitech have something so ill check them out to.
 

John Duncan

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Oh you'll find something without a doubt, just depends on what kind of video out your PC has (which you can change with appropriate cards or USB devices), and what your TV has (sockets, SCART or HDMI). Google "PC to TV" and you'll find what you're after.

cheers

JD
 

Alec

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Thanks again. I think i know all i need for now, it might be a while before i can do it anyway. That said, if anyone wants to make any more suggestions do feel free.
 

nads

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why not get something like a soundbridge/sonos etc then you can play your playlists that are on you pc or stream net radio stations..... ?
 

Alec

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nads - sorry, know im being really fussy, but, having used my pc as source for some time, ive grown to really like the visual aspect, and i cant think of a better way than with things on a big screen. This is integral to the remote control thing too. im sure your suggestion may be good for the sound tho, and im no expert in this area, so if ive missed something do ler me know.
 

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