jakes

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About jakes

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  • Birthday January 1
  1. Any reason it has to be an 885? Apparently, you can get still get new 785s (See here) The button layout is basically the same as the 885 (possibly slightly better even), it's just a different shape (not peanut shaped - more standard remote shaped). The 885s are now a couple of generations old - you may have trouble locating one.
  2. You can use a home theatre pc (using software like ffdshow) or an external video processor like those from DVDO, or an AVR that does upscaling. Alternatively, your source devices will mostly all do some sort of upscaling anyway. If you set the output resolution on, say a, PVR to 1080i - it will upscale all the SD channels to 1080i for output. It's also possible to buy upscaling dvd players, which do the same thing with sd video from a dvd.
  3. As I understand it the OP is intending to leave the metal strip in place bridging the two red terminals together and the two black terminals together. Each pair would simply be used to connect a separate source. So it's not a bi-amping type situation. I don't think this is a particularly good idea, although I don't have any specific electrical knowledge that allows me to say why. My biggest fear would be failing to remember that one source was already on and switching the other on as well - not sure whether this would cause damage to either of the amps or your speakers, but I wouldn't like to test it. I think brabs's suggestion about a switch of some sort is definitely your best bet.
  4. Cheaper models than the One available that operate in exactly the same way (except for funky touch screen, that is). Eg Harmony 525 - around $60-70 (if you don't mind not having a colour LCD screen); Harmony 785 - cheaper than One, has colour screen (although not touch). Also, it's entirely possible to get a Harmony One for under $200, see here - starts at $169 + delivery.
  5. In terms of price it depends on what you already have - but you could certainly do it for less than $300, depending on your requirements, and whether you get the absolute cheapest parts or spend a bit more. A budget, budget build would be something like this: There's a mini-itx foxconn board that I've seen for under $100, paired with 1 gb of DDR2 ram, you're looking at maybe $140. But then you'll need a case, and depending on the case perhaps also a powersupply. There's a range of mini-itx cases by Aywun that can be had for under $40 depending on supplier (see here for options). They have come with PSU installed, but it's possible to put an itx board into any standard ATX case (which you might want to do as the mini-itx cases will only take one 5.25" drive and one 3.5" drive). So, we're currently at about $180. A CD/DVD drive will cost maybe $25-30, so we're up to $210. You might be able to get everything shipped for that, too. If you're going to run the server headless, you don't really need to add a video card, as all the atom boards I'm aware of come with on-board video. Most are VGA out only though, so if you're intending to hook up to a tv, you might need a newer model video card for dvi or hdmi out. Upshot of that is you could do it for well under $300. Probably where I'd spend a bit more is on the motherboard, there are quite a few options at the moment at the $130-$140 price point (Gigabyte, Asus, Intel) using the Atom D510 chip. Also, if you're intending on using more than one HDD you'll need a larger case, which will push the total up a bit.
  6. I've been following the development of Vortexbox and it does seem like it could be a good server solution - particularly if you're using squeezeboxes. I haven't used it, but I'm upgrading my file server to an atom system and am tossing up between Vortexbox and ClearOS, as they both will perform similarly I believe (major differences being ClearOS is somewhat more lightweight, but it doesn't do the auto cd ripping out of the box as far as I know). Certainly, I'd be interested to hear your experiences if you do end up continuing to use it. Anyway, my main reason for responding is to suggest against the P4 system - although the price probably does make it appealing. P4's are notoriously hot-running and not particularly power efficient, so not very well suited to a file-server set up. Also, it's likely that the motherboard will be IDE only, so if you're planning on chucking any large capacity hard drives in you're not going to be able to use SATA drives. It seems the little atom boards are ideal for these type of applications - they are quite efficient, but have sufficient power to run things like squeezeserver reasonably well. Main issue in your case, is I guess, that it will cost more than the P4 system - particularly if you're needing to purchase a case, powersupply, etc. Sorry, can't answer your question about WOL with the Dell.
  7. What model MB is it? It's possible that there's a bios setting that will allow you to boot regardless of any errors (like no video output). I know I've set my server MB to ignore the no keyboard error, maybe there's something similar on yours? it's a bit of a problem though, as you'll need to have it plugged into a monitor to set it, and that will require installing a video card...
  8. If it's a 2 channel source you're after - I'd totally go the above route - although using a squeezebox touch, rather than a duet (although the portability of the duet controller is nice). Anyway, the Touch has your LCD screen which makes for navigating your music library easy - otherwise you have to replicate this functionality in your own pc and that brings with it software issues as well as the noise issues associated with installing a monitor in your pc case. Anyway, given that Squeezebox requires a server, you can still build a pc - go with an Ion nettop (or whatever they're calling them), or an Atom based solution is whack a linux server type distro on it. I've been using ClarkConnect (now called ClearOS apparently) and that's been working well (on a 666mhz celeron, no less - serving 4 squeezebox players and also doing video file serving). But you could look into Vortexbox, as well - this is a squeezebox dedicated distro - I've been looking into replacing my now very aged server with an Atom system and this would probably be my first choice for software now (followed by ClearOS, I think, or a server install of Ubuntu, but ClearOS and Vortexbox have nice web-based interfaces for managing them).
  9. Not sure what exactly you mean by this. If you set up a windows share on your mac any media player should be able to see these shared files and play them without problems. Alternatively, get some media server software installed on your mac and create a upnp share - plenty of media players do this. Finally, if you want something that works with yout mac seamlessly, why not get an appletv? I don't think it supports divx natively, but I'm pretty sure you can software that will transcode such files to allow you to watch them on the appletv. Also not sure about wireless support, but as has already been pointed out, you're far better going wired for watching video, wireless is just too flakey, particularly if you move to streaming of hi-definition files.
  10. No, I don't think you do - it was a sketch comedy show. Although, that's beside the point. Back on topic - have the last couple of episodes waiting for me to watch them - I'm not yet entirely convinced, the series certainly doesn't have the immediate impact of BSG, but ozdoc's comments give me some hope that it will develop into something worthwhile.
  11. Okay, I'll try to address your questions. A pre-out is a jack that sends a line-level signal to an amplifier. They'll be rca outs on your avr, in addition to whatever amplified speaker outputs it has (if it has them at all). The subwoofer out is likely to be a pre-out as most subwoofers have their own amplifier. Pre-outs for the other channels are less likely, however, if you're just going to connect the speakers directly, you don't need pre-outs. But see below, in relation to connecting your speakers directly. The black plug is for rear left and right. These colours match with the colours used on the output jacks on most pc soundcards. I'm going on the colour assignments from what the manual for the logitech system says, ie orange for centre and sub. RCA isn't a standard speaker connector, so you'll probably have trouble connecting any of those speakers directly to your AVR without making up a cable. You probably could connect them directly if you had a cable that had an rca plug on one end and bare wire on the other, but you'd need to check the power handling of the speakers and the output of your avr to ensure that you weren't going top overload the speakers. My guess is that your AVR has significantly more power than the amp built into the subwoofer in that system. Yes, you have to use the front right speaker because the input for the subwoofer is connected to it. There's no way of plugging the sub directly into your avr without knowing exactly what each of the pins in the db-15 connector do, and then making up a cable to fit. So unless you have a detailed schematic or are comfortable pulling it apart and then soldering up a cable you'll need to use the 3.5mm inputs (coloured headphone plugs) that are connected to the front speaker and then connect that speaker to the sub using the supplied cable. Assuming that the supplied cable between the front speaker and sub is long enough, yes, you could just hide it behind the tv cabinet and only plug in the subwoofer using an adapter to the orange plug Note that The sub channel isn't being split from the centre - each is a mono signal going through one half of the stereo output. In fact with three stereo channels you have 6 mono signals - front l, front r, centre, rear l, rear r and sub. Given this, you need to keep the two signals separate - you can't just go from mono rca to stereo input, so your adapter needs to adapt the headphone plug to two separate rca inputs, so that you can ensure that the sub signal is actually going to the sub and not the centre speaker (if that happens you just won't get any sound, since there won't be a speaker connected). If you use the 3.5mm socket coupler plugged into a 3.5mm stereo to 2 rca adapter or cable, like I linked to above, you'll be fine. So, if you can get the correct cable, you can try to use the speakers as rear speakers, and as long as you're happy hiding the front speaker and the supplied cable is long enough, you should be able to use the subwoofer.
  12. The three 3.5mm stereo plugs are the inputs - they're supposed to be plugged into your computer. This makes what you want to do a bit difficult, although not impossible, it may not be very convenient in terms of running wires. Also, it will only work if your AVR has pre-amp outputs for the back left and right speakers. If you've only got speaker outs, what you're basically doing is running an amplified signal into an amplifier and amplifying it again. This is bad . I will attempt to explain how I'd approach this, assuming my avr had pre-outs, and this was my only option for hooking up a sub and rear speakers. Basically, as the system is currently supposed to work, the signal from your source is run though the front right speaker into the db-15 connector on the amplifier amplifier in the sub. The signal is then amplified and split to run the sub and each of the speakers. So, the only way I can think of to make this work is to use the front left and right speakers hooked up to your sub as your rear left and right. The problem will be connecting the 3.5mm plugs to your avr. The AVR- you're going to need some pretty long rca cables and a some way of connecting the rca cables to the coloured headphone (3.5mm) plugs on the speaker. Assuming you can find some sort of adapter - one adapter will plug into the green headphone plug for left and right, and the other into the orange, but you're only using one channel as the orange plug is meant to carry both sub and centre. So basically the connections will go like this: AVR (rear left and rear right and sub) -> rca cables x 3 -> rca to 3.5mm adapters -> coloured headphone plugs -> left speaker -> supplied cable -> sub -> right speaker. Having had a quick look at rca - 3.5mm adapters all I can think of to connect the cable is to get an 3.5mm socket to socket coupler like this and then a 3.5mm plug to rca socket adapter like this. This really isn't ideal because of the number of joins, but unless you can get a really long cable with an rca plug on one end and a 3.5mm socket on the other (x3), then you're limited to doing something like this. You might be able to come up with some other combination of cables and adapters, but ultimately it will depend on how far from the AVR you need to sit the speaker. Let me say finally, that I think this as a solution is less than ideal (and it won't work if you don't have pre-outs) but you wanted to know if it's possible. So, yes, I think it is possible, but it's a lot of mucking around. Also, given that the logitech system is separately amplified, it may be a struggle getting the rear speaker levels correct as they have their own volume control.
  13. Both these points are entirely wrong. It perfectly possible to stream music over a wireless network with no impact on sound quality. For example, using a Squeezebox and streaming a wav file over a wireless connection will result in exactly the same decoded output as if you're streaming it over ethernet. Granted, a wireless connection is susceptible to interference and you may experience dropouts, but this doesn't amount to 'processing' of the signal. Via wi-fi or ethernet the data is transferred digitally and then decoded, there's no extra 'processing' that is inherent to wireless. Secondly, Apple Lossless ("ALAC" - a codec developed by Apple), isn't AAC. It's a form of lossless compression - myminirocks's point is a bit ambiguous here. But in relation to the compression point you've made - compression does not necessarily mean loss - look up FLAC, SHN, APE or ALAC as examples of codecs that compress audio without loss. They don't compress to the same small size as, say, mp3, but they are compressed and are capable of being decoded to bit-perfect reproductions of the original source file.
  14. Just above the first post on this page on the right hand side is an 'Options' button. Set the desired display mode there. I think you want 'Standard'.