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Movies/Music Audio question


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What I got

Main desktop Win 7 PC located in study with all music/movies/photos on HDD. This PC is used for all general PC stuff. From PC, I have wired Ethernet to Lounge room where we will listen to music / watch TV. Lounge room already has Amp / Speakers. I've got Tablet/ phone for future App control.

 

What I'm thinking about buying

Laptop for Lounge room. Separate DAC for music.

 

What I'm wondering

For Music I'm pretty sure I got the basics under control.

 

For Movies; Here comes the question

Since I got the LAN and soon the Laptop in the Lounge room, why not connect the Laptop to the big screen TV as well and watch movies from time to time. So the Laptop does double duty. I could watch the Movies via Windows Media Player.

I guess I connect the Laptop to TV via HDMI. I don't necessarily want to watch movies with the movie audio going thru Amp/Dac/ Floor standers.

 

Is there some way to set up the Laptop audio to always use DAC/Amp for music, but for movies use HDMI>TV speakers? Or do I need to go into 'Playback Devices' and change this manually each time depending on the source? Is this possible?

 

Suggestions welcome.

 

 

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Guest thathifiguy

You could alternatively buy yourself a good player like the Oppo 105 (or equivalent) and that would do the job of both, allowing you to stream video/music content via it's own in-built media player. Plus you'd end up with a kick ass bluray/cd player too.

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What I got

Main desktop Win 7 PC located in study with all music/movies/photos on HDD. This PC is used for all general PC stuff. From PC, I have wired Ethernet to Lounge room where we will listen to music / watch TV. Lounge room already has Amp / Speakers. I've got Tablet/ phone for future App control.

 

What I'm thinking about buying

Laptop for Lounge room. Separate DAC for music.

 

What I'm wondering

For Music I'm pretty sure I got the basics under control.

 

For Movies; Here comes the question

Since I got the LAN and soon the Laptop in the Lounge room, why not connect the Laptop to the big screen TV as well and watch movies from time to time. So the Laptop does double duty. I could watch the Movies via Windows Media Player.

I guess I connect the Laptop to TV via HDMI. I don't necessarily want to watch movies with the movie audio going thru Amp/Dac/ Floor standers.

 

Is there some way to set up the Laptop audio to always use DAC/Amp for music, but for movies use HDMI>TV speakers? Or do I need to go into 'Playback Devices' and change this manually each time depending on the source? Is this possible?

 

Suggestions welcome.

 

I'd also explore any hundred dollar upwards media player hooked via ethernet to do all this...and then matter of hooking up the media player to dac/amp and TV via hdmi. lot neater than having the laptop there...and will seamlessly hookinto the rest of the system for yourself or anyone else using :)

 

some media players to explore are boxee, asus O!play, popcorn hour, WD hdtv live, apple tv, dunehd, sony ps3/4, even the google chrome cast

 

also as indicated if dont have a blu-ray player, many also come with media players bundled in that will likely also do the job :)

 

bit of exploring to work out which if any do what your after...whcih might be surprised find at relatively low cost and with overall usability can make for very handy solutions for this kind of thing

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Satanica,

I am using Musicbee at the moment.

 

:) al,

I'm interest in Media player solution but not quite sure if it would suit me..

 

So for music I would need the TV turned on in order to see my songs? What is the interface? Just use the media player remote?

 

I really like having an App on my phone. This makes searching for songs / setting up playlists etc really quick and easy. and I can do it from anywhere in the house via wifi.  Is there an App for controlling a media player such as WD HDtv live?

Can you expand on this a little?

 

 

NB; Sorry but don't know how to Quote your posts.

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Satanica,

I am using Musicbee at the moment.

 

:) al,

I'm interest in Media player solution but not quite sure if it would suit me..

 

So for music I would need the TV turned on in order to see my songs? What is the interface? Just use the media player remote?

 

I really like having an App on my phone. This makes searching for songs / setting up playlists etc really quick and easy. and I can do it from anywhere in the house via wifi.  Is there an App for controlling a media player such as WD HDtv live?

Can you expand on this a little?

 

 

NB; Sorry but don't know how to Quote your posts.

 

most if not all can use an "app" just matter of researching it :)

 

e.g. with the hdtv live, if you do a search you will find WD TV remote from western digital and as with any app ...a range of spawned non official ones 

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What I got

Main desktop Win 7 PC located in study with all music/movies/photos on HDD. This PC is used for all general PC stuff. From PC, I have wired Ethernet to Lounge room where we will listen to music / watch TV. Lounge room already has Amp / Speakers. I've got Tablet/ phone for future App control.

 

What I'm thinking about buying

Laptop for Lounge room. Separate DAC for music.

 

What I'm wondering

For Music I'm pretty sure I got the basics under control.

 

For Movies; Here comes the question

Since I got the LAN and soon the Laptop in the Lounge room, why not connect the Laptop to the big screen TV as well and watch movies from time to time. So the Laptop does double duty. I could watch the Movies via Windows Media Player.

I guess I connect the Laptop to TV via HDMI. I don't necessarily want to watch movies with the movie audio going thru Amp/Dac/ Floor standers.

 

Is there some way to set up the Laptop audio to always use DAC/Amp for music, but for movies use HDMI>TV speakers? Or do I need to go into 'Playback Devices' and change this manually each time depending on the source? Is this possible?

 

Suggestions welcome.

 

Right...

 

So...if I've understood the info you've given rightly you have a PC in one room with all your media on (music/movies) and you would like to listen/view said media in your lounge room which already has a TV and hifi system (you don't mention specifics of these).

 

Firstly - I am not understanding what you mean by Ethernet from PC to Lounge room? Have you got a router/switch/other network device somewhere? How will the laptop connect to the network? Are you planning to connect the laptop and PC directly with an Ethernet cable?

 

Laptop-->Big screen: If the laptop has an HDMI output this type of connection is the easiest. I assume you're running windows on both your computers. If you have a USB DAC connected to the laptop you will get sound through this. If you have only HDMI connected you will get sound through the TV. You don't mention why you don't want movie sound through the hifi system - assuming this is to simplify playback for someone else then the easiest way I can think of to do this is to have separate applications for music and movies.

 

You don't mention how big your movie/music library is or what file types you are using. I would not use Windows Media Player. It is severely limited with file types and the metadata facilities (tagging etc) are crap. I would use something like Plex or XBMC. Plex runs as a server application on your main PC and will search for and catalogue all your movies/TV series and music while also downloading metadata/posters/info etc. You would then need to run Plex Media centre on your laptop (or any other device on your network) and watch/listen to stuff. XBMC is similar but runs solely on the laptop without needing a server application running elsewhere. Plex is better and more flexible. XBMC is easier to set up. Both are free. Google will point you to their respective websites.

 

One thing to note is that if you are going to buy a laptop for this, make sure the graphics capability is not average. Your 400 dollar laptops won't be very happy streaming a 1080p file and playing it on a 65 inch TV so you will something with beefier spec. If you don't need another portable computer I would consider something like a Mac Mini or Intel NUC platform (small quiet and quite powerful) to connect to your TV. Also don't shun the media players that @Al mentioned above. Most of them are very powerful, can stream and play anything and yes...most of them have apps to control them from your phone (although I can tell you that it's a novelty that you will get bored of after a while).

 

Lastly in terms of DAC, you don't mention a budget, nor do you mention the rest of your hifi but there are plenty of options on every price range. Make sure you get a device which has the connection options you need and will likely need in future as well (USB is a must if you're going for a PC as a source).

Edited by Stedes
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