Airport Express to stream music to my Home Theater?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by dont24, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. dont24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Northeast
    #1
    Looking for a device to play my music from iTunes on my Home theater. I will be eventually swicthing from PC to Mac. For now, I'm using iTunes on my hardwired PC. I already have an 802.11g network. Using a Dlink DI-624 router. Since I use iTunes and play on making the switch, I starting to look at the Airport Expess. How well does it work playing iTunes music? I've read up on many wireless devices to get my music to my HT, but they're either too expensive or they get lousy reviews. Seems like the Airport Express would be the way to go, for $129.
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    I've got two of them and they work flawlessly. I love them, they're great. They haven't gone down once. They were easy to set up. They give great quality audio.

    I haven't had experience with alternatives though... :)
     
  3. madforrit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    #3
    The Express has worked very well for my father as well - he has a very high-end system and now his Mac streams to it. Occasionally there are a few stutters (presumably during rebuffering), which are particularly noticeable when playing back files encoded in the Apple Lossless codec or full cd-quality 1411 kbps (AIFF/WAV). Seems to work much better when the Mac is not too far from the router is not too far from the Express - he also uses the same router as you (624).
     
  4. gallivant macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    #4
    I'm just annoyed it's only iTunes. I won't bother with an Express until it'll let me pipe in all of my audio - especially movies and games.
     
  5. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #5
    I've got the setup, but i'd watch out... it rarely works for me. I can't seem to figure it out either.... maybe it's too far away (40ish feet, very little in the way)... and i get audio dropouts every 5 seconds or so. Is it a bufer issue? I have no idea. It does it when there seems to be little going on processor-wise, but happens most frequently when loading large files from the satelite internet (via ethernet). Anybody know why? I've heard many good things about the setup... and wonder why mine works 5% of the time.
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    I hadn't even thought about that. Playing movies wirelessly would be awesome. They've got the hardware in the form of AE, someone just has to write the software now. It shouldn't be too hard because you could take out the encryption process - I can't see why we would need movie audio kept private... :)
     
  7. kanker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Location:
    Indy
    #7
    Maybe this would do the trick. :)

    [Edited as the URL and product name changed over night.]
     
  8. Gee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Try using airport admin to go in and change the channel that your network (or your airport) is using. It may well be that you're getting interference from another radio source, like a microwave or something.
     
  9. dont24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Northeast
    #9
    Thanks for all your input. I picked one up at BestBuy today. Working great.
    I added it to my existing wireless network. I had zero luck using the wizard. I ended up using the Admin Utility to configure. I plan on trying to configure it as another access point/ bridge, but for now it's doing what I want it to.
     
  10. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #10
    With movies and you will still have the buffer latentcy time, so it really wouldn't help. the problem is airport express accepts compressed audio, if you want full 5.1 surround sound pumped into you airport express you got another thing coming because there isn't enough bandwidth. So basically wait all your want, because Airport Express will never have enough bandwidth to to pump 5.1 surround sound out for movies. Basically in order to pump music out the airport express without skipping, itunes/airport express does a skip protection buffer like cd-players do. itunes also compresses the audio stream to a specificed bit-rate size as well. Anyways, I believe iTunes stream it at 192 kbs or 128kbs. Well for 5.1 sound you need 700 kb/s per channel i.e. 4.2Mb/s. Using AC-3 or DTS that only reduces it to about 400 kps or 1.4Mps and you would still have to buffer and the latentcy problem would still occur. This is all considering the Airport express doesn't even have the hardware to handle those signals. So yeah, wait all you want.
     
  11. AAPL_to_$100 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    #11
    If you're an audiophile, you'll notice right away the sound quality is not that great. It was fun when I first got the AirPort Express but now I'd rather just hook up my iPod directly to my preamp...it sounds much better that way.
     
  12. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    #12
    I've had no trouble at all with my Airport Express and have witnessed no loss of audio quality. As far as the desire to use it with all audio apart from iTunes, I don't have that specific need. For any theater stuff, I just throw a DVD into the player and watch it straight from the theater.

    The range is also great. Range clearly depends on the wall materials you are dealing with but I've been very impressed with the Airport wireless to maintain strong signals even at great distances. There is little lag whenever I pause a song or start one back up and connecting to it is a breeze. It takes just a moment for any of the computers to be recognized and then begin streaming the audio.

    I give the Airport Express two thumbs up. I also have the Monster Cable thing that Apple packaged and, in my mind, it was worth it (especially for the power cord extension).
     
  13. cardiffgiant macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    #13
    I'm running hte same setup. DLink 624, with the Airport Express added in client mode. I'm attempting too stream from my laptop to my home theater.

    I get a lot of intermitent dropout. My laptop is probaby 40 ft from the router, airport ex is about 30 ft away, and the laptop is about 10-12 ft from the airport ex.

    I've tried enabling interference robustness on the laptop and airport, but that didn't help. Unfortunatly, changing channels isn't an available option in client mode.

    Does anyone have any ideas?
     

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