View Full Version : Wireless audio out?
Aug 11, 2003, 02:18 PM
While at lunch I was thinking about something...all right, so with my PowerBook I can basically lounge around anywhere wirelessly. I can surf the net, transfer files, and with 3 or 4 hours of battery life (from what I hear with Panther), it seems like the wireless lifestyle is becoming more and more a reality. But I was thinking...is there a way I could output my audio to my home stereo without wires? Currently I connect using a Y adapter and standard RCA cables to listen to my music on my system, since it seems a waste to have a 600 watt surround sound system but listening to my music on these dinky laptop speakers. My speakers are wireless, using IR to send a signal to them without having to wire them into my Pioneer unit, and I have see many wireless headphones, so it seems like the technology is there, but is there an actual product that I could use to actually output the sound from my laptop to my system? Like, either Cardbus, or FW, or USB, or BT, or something...there are all these various wireless technologies, but I can't seem to think of anything that would let me use my stereo without having to use wires...
Aug 11, 2003, 02:23 PM
I've only seen wireless audio adaptors for component audio, not minijack, so you'd still be using a Y-adaptor to plug this box into your PB (and it might then need a power source). This is traditionally for semi-permanant installations, not portability. If there exists a self-powered minijack audio transmitter and receiver, i have never seen it--
Aug 11, 2003, 03:15 PM
Only thing I can think is use an iRock style system to send fm signals to your radio, and then it will send it to the speakers.
Aug 11, 2003, 03:22 PM
Cool, I just Googled it and found a review of the iRock, it isn't too bad as far as portability is concerned and the price is pretty nice, too. If there are any other options out there, I am more than open to consider. It'd just be cool to be able to use my PowerBook from the futon in my dorm room and be able to listen to my music without having to go through the task of setting up all the wires to use my stereo system.
Aug 11, 2003, 03:24 PM
Well since your powerbook G4 may not have the "Bluetooth Headset" and "Bluetooth Handset" profile try to find a USB dongle that supports this. Then try to find another, Bluetooth dongle (that can plug into a wall for power) with a stereo mini-jack or RCA out for plugin into your stereo. (I don't know of any for the latter but I'm sure you can find one online.)
Just remember BT supports 64kbps for stereo output for audio listening, and is "ok" for stereo audio. If you do find this or any other solution please post a reply here.
Aug 11, 2003, 03:28 PM
Well, I am still new to BT since my current PowerBook doesn't have it, but I am getting a new 15" AlBook as soon as it comes out. Once I get it, what would I need to get for a BT audio option? The more portable the better, of course.
Aug 11, 2003, 10:15 PM
check out the iTrip. it's supposed to transmit the audio from your iPod to a stereo but i think it just uses the mini jack so it should work on a laptop too. not 100% sure though. any FM transmitter should do just fine.
Aug 11, 2003, 10:22 PM
Why not go with WiFi instead of Bluetooth?
I saw it once in TechTV (www.techtv.com) that there's a WiFi pluggin for your home stereo system. It hooks up your stereo with you pc so that you can access your mp3 files and play it on your stereo. Don't know if it's Mac compatible though... Try a search in their website.
If I'm not mistaken, it even comes with it's own remote too!
Anyway, BT is too slow for decent listening. My friend has to lower the bitrate of it's mp3 files just to listen it over it's iPAQ via BT. Kinda novelty but downright stupid if you ask me:D
Unless if you wanna listen to a BT headset!
Hope this helps!
Aug 11, 2003, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, the iTrip looks damn cool but it looks like it is built for the iPod with the firewire connector next to the jack to power it, and that thing on techtv is $250 and seems to be PC only. Definitely promising technology, though. So far, the iRock looks to be the most promising, but this is all an idea I am playing around with currently, so it's not a pressing issue I have right now.
Aug 11, 2003, 11:00 PM
just to clarify, the iTrip doesn't get power from the firewire port, it gets power from the remote jack, the firewire port is just used to secure the unit.
But for your problem, with VNC if you had an older desktop Mac connected to your network, you could make a "home theater" mac, with a big hard drive, and store all your media there, even video. Hook it up to your stereo, and TV if you have one and remote control the computer from your laptop. There are a number of ways to do this, VNC even lets you control PCs, so you could get an old PC, like a P1 233 or something. Seems like the cheapest solution always involves doing a lot of work yourself, which can be fun and rewarding, but also time consuming. Good luck, and tell us how you do!
Aug 11, 2003, 11:04 PM
That would be real cool if I were doing it at home, but in the dorm room with 2 other roommates, it'll be a tight fit. I'm going to do a little researching on other products, but the best price/portability option seems to be the iRock. Thanks for all the ideas, though, it definitely opens my options learning about the various different techniques that could be used.