OK. I have a wireless network. Had one for some years now. Excellent for roaming around my property with my notebook. Also just perfect that I can wire my own desktop along with my wife's and we can share the high speed cable internet connection, as well as share files among these computers. After all, I guess that was my primary purpose in setting up the network. However.....
I have a load of media files stored on my desktop computer and also on external drives, both USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 (Firewire). I keep hearing and reading all about how great it is - running an NAS or especially a home media server - that I can enjoy my media files all over my house. But can I? I mean, practically? I realize that I can access and play any of my media files on the network via my wirelessly connected notebook. Heck, I do that all the time. But let's face it: music sucks big time when it's trying to blare out of the tiny speakers that most notebooks have.
I would like to be able to play my music in any room in the house I like. From my network storage. And on something that is made for listening to music! I finally developed enough interest in this to start roaming the web, looking high and low for receivers of some kind that will play my music from my network. Without, that is, having to outfit the house with another, new-fangled "system". Without dishing out several hundred or a couple thousand dollars of new equipment.
Alas, I don't think that I can.
All my searching keeps bringing me to sites selling great and wonderful "systems"; basically meaning linked, proprietary servers and receivers, that will only work with each other. All naturally claim to be the latest and best out there on the market. Yeah, right. I'm talking about systems like Popcorn Hour which is now owned by Logitech. (Which means that they will very soon have drivers that will confound your computer to no end!).
Is there really no way to listen to my music over my network using just a media server, like maybe an HP Media Server, and some sort of standard receiver? Not a personal media player. Something that has speakers and can be heard throughout a room? Am I really required to purchase a bunch of new equipment to send and receive the files which I already have the ability to send? Just no way to receive and play them...
I recently read a ton of forums and blogs that all had a lot about house-wide A/V options, but didn't really give me a clue as to how to do that without getting a new, proprietary set of equipment. Aaarrgghh!
I'm hoping that we have some experts - or even pure amateurs - here at DC who can advise me about this. Or at least point me in a direction where I can learn without being bombarded with ads/advice about new whole-house systems.