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Author Topic: Are DVD and CD obsolete?  (Read 752 times)

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Offline lds490

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Are DVD and CD obsolete?
« on: February 10, 2005, 02:17:54 PM »
I have not been following recent developments in multimedia technology.  I saw an ad on TV the other day (Dell, I think) for a multimedia PC that functions as the brains of a home playback system.  Then, I stumbled accross this auction on Audiogon for a Niveus Media AVMediaServer250gb:

This thing looks so cool!  It is a Windows PC media computer that functions as a digital "front end," replacing CD/DVD/VCR/TIVO, built on a stereo component form factor.   It uses passive cooling so fan noise is eliminated.   All you need is a DAC and amplification. 

Anyway, this got me thinking about my current home playback system. I am primarily interested in audio playback.  I can output a 24/96 bitstream from my soundcard to my digital receiver and play back over my speakers using the receiver's DAC.  This leads me to a couple of questions for y'all.

1.  My computer is accross the room from the stereo.  I don't want to run optical cable accross the room.  Can I send the signal over a wireless network?  In other words, I am looking for a device that will receive the wireless signal and pass it to my receiver.  I know that D-Link (and others) makes a wireless media player that appears to do this.  However, when I read the literature for these products, I am not sure if they can handle the 24/96 format.

2.  Are any TS members currently using PC and hard drive storage as their primary playback system?  if so, can you describe the "front end" of your system?  I'm particularly interested in your storage solution.  How big a HD do you use?

3.  Is it practical to convert my entire music collection from CD and DVD to hard drive?  There is something reassuring to me about CD and DVD, but I spend a lot of money on storage, not to mention the vast amount of space that my music collection occupies.  It seems like it would be cheaper to just store everything on HD.  Has anyone around here done that?

Thanks for the input!
Open: Studio Projects C-1s-> Mic2496 -> PDAudio-CF (IPAQ 5555) -> Addonics Pocket EX
Stealth: AT 831 -> Mic2496 -> PDAudio-CF (IPAQ 5555) -> IBM Microdrive

Offline ducati

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Re: Are DVD and CD obsolete?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2005, 02:57:58 PM »
I have streamed 24/96 over an 802.11b wireless network...  But depending upon my S/N ratio sometimes it wasn't pretty ;)  I quit doing it and went to archiving on DVD and playing over my laptop...  Then I started burning DVD-V's and liked that a whole lot more as the computer wasn't in the media room anymore.

Honestly, I don't want a computer anywhere NEAR my hifi, for two reasons: power and noise. With regard to power, I heard a big jump in audio quality when I ran 2 dedicated 20A circuits to my hifi stuff (thus separating it from sharing power with my TiVo and whatever else was on that circuit).  Digital gear and crappy power supplies found in computer-based equipment shoves so much grunge back on the power lines it 'aint funny.  As to noise, I find computer fans and hard drives (honestly the hard drives are just as bad!) to be incredibly annoying to my listening, to the point I shut down the entire TiVo/Home Theatre when I'm listening to the hifi...  That drops the noise floor quite a bit and bam I can hear what everyone in the audience is talking about ;)

Also, you have to deal with jitter as you're going to want to pump the digital out to a good DAC.  My experiments with computer-based playback were not always great; even certain applications produce less jitter than others.  WinAmp, for instance, was almost unlistenable to me, it was jitter hell.  I have had much less problem with 24/96 digi-out from a DVD-V or DVD-A player.

Is this the future, though?  I think it very well may be--people seem to LOVE to have their audio all in one place, on one massive hard drive.  It would be prohibitively expensive to store ALL your high bitrate material in today's world...  But it's not so crazy to think about storing 16/44.1 on a hard drive as the drives get more and more massive (talking about terabytes is the next joe consumer's thing)...  And with 802.11g, I can see consumers streaming media all over their houses...  Just think, small portable LCDs to carry in the crapper  :o

It's also very easy to build your own HTPC--hit up the AV forums and look into it.  The array of options is staggering. 


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