Squeezebox options?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by plz, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. plz

    plz

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    I'm close to springing for a Squeezebox. Current PC setup at home is a wired network using a good ole Linksys router. The music server PC will reside in a different room from the hifi. The network wiring will be a hassle so I prefer to eventually use the SB in a wireless mode.

    But...do I buy the wireless SB now and get a wireless router in the future or get a wired SB now and do as Silm Devices customer support suggests:

    My Question: "Is it possible to add the wireless support to a regular wired Squeezebox after purchase?"

    SD Answer: "Unfortunately the wired Squeezebox cannot be readily upgraded to a wireless Squeezebox. The best solution would be to purchase a wireless ethernet bridge. If you purchase an 802.11g bridge, you will be able to take advantage of extended range and increased bandwidth compared to the wireless version we sell which only supports 802.11b."

    My understanding of this is that the wireless bridge would have to be connected to the SB via a Cat5 wire and I'd still have to get the wireless router anyway. Correct?

    Does it make sense to get the higher bandwidth of the g spec gear or is b spec perfectly adequate for streaming CD quality data?

    What about the future? I assume the SB will eventually get the higher spec networking but not sure when.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    -Peter
     
    plz, Jan 7, 2005
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  2. plz

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    b spec is more than adequate for streaming cd data over however there are a couple of caveats.
    1) if you want multiple squeezeboxes you will reach a limit if they are all playi9ng different streams.
    2) some wireless networks / routers / bridges don;t like mixed mode running either dropping to the lower speed (for everything) or refusing to work at all.
    3) the squeezebox only supports wep security which is pretty poor if someone is determined to access your network.
    if you go with squeezebox's solution you'll circumvent most of these problems (i think). however you'll still get dropouts when you use your microwave or a cordless phone. if you can - go wired it's a hassle but imho worth it.
    cheers


    julian
     
    julian2002, Jan 7, 2005
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  3. plz

    oedipus

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    Don't use wireless

    11b is 11Mega bits/second. The protocol has considerable overhead and the best acheivable end-to-end transfer rate is around 4.5Mb/s.

    For FLAC your squeezebox will be send around (1.5Mb/s). People using MP3 compression have a much better chance of getting a continuous 128kbps.

    The problem is wireless bandwidth isn't fixed and shifts around... Although 1.5 appears to be substantially less than 4.5, wireless also suffers from other maladies which means that in reality the bandwidth available isn't always, or necessarily 4.5Mb/s (for instance when you start sharing bandwidth because your neighbour is downloading his porn - even though he's using a different hub; or other interference because there's a lot of other stuff going on in the 2.4GHz band, like handsfree phone...)

    11g/a have higher bandwidth, and this appears to be better on the face of it. However, the wireless link is still unpredictable..

    In my case I have 2 devices on my wiresless network (my notebook and roku box) I'm using 11b, and my nearest neighbour is 100ft away and I live in a sparsely populated area - this is an almost ideal situation from the perspective of (a lack of) interference. Nevertheless, my roku will stall occasionally.

    Wired is the way for lossless compression...
     
    oedipus, Jan 7, 2005
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  4. plz

    plz

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    julian & oedipus,

    Thanks for the heads up on wired/wireless trade offs in a Squeezebox type application. Although I think you both are European based, right?

    I wonder if the wireless situation (as far as performance goes) is any different in North America?

    Although given the security concern you raised julian, perhaps I'll just get a wired SB version. Maybe in the future the SB wireless will be a better solution.

    -Peter
     
    plz, Jan 7, 2005
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  5. plz

    oedipus

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    I'm in California.

    The frequency range may be slightly different in Europe, but the performance problems stem from: the limited bandwidth, the protocol overhead, the sharing (by other wireless networks and devices) and wireless problems like multipath and objects reducing signal strength (such as walls). Try it, but be prepared to fall back to cat5 cable :)
     
    oedipus, Jan 7, 2005
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  6. plz

    plz

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    Wired it is then :)

    Thanks!
     
    plz, Jan 7, 2005
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  7. plz

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    plz,
    probably the right choice. however the pc world moves fast an i believe that there is another wireless protocol in the works that adresses most of the problems mentioned. also if you wanted to go for one of the proprietory multichannel wireless accelerators you could.

    on a slightly different note as the squeezebox is open source it should be possible to remove the pcmcia 11b adapter from the wired squeezebox and replace it with a similar 11g version. you may have to bugger about with the code for it though but if you're that way inclined it's maybe a possibility.
    cheers


    julian
     
    julian2002, Jan 7, 2005
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  8. plz

    plz

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    Julian, I'm sure you're right. So when that happens I'll just get a new Squeezebox (if they support the new protocol). After all, the SB is not really that much in relation to the cost of all the other parts of a decent hifi system. Probably be easy to sell s/h as well.

    -Peter
     
    plz, Jan 7, 2005
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  9. plz

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    or just replace your router / bridge combo on the ethernet port of the squeezebox you have...
    cheers


    julian
     
    julian2002, Jan 7, 2005
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  10. plz

    Mr Perceptive

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    plz

    I bought a wireless unit this week, I went for wireless for 3 reasons,

    1) It supports wrired + wireless so I can have a play
    2) I can experiment with the unit in different parts of the house
    3) I reckoned that if I didn't like it would easier to resell the wireless unit

    Haven't had too much time experimenting yet, too many business committments!

    Mr Perceptive
     
    Mr Perceptive, Jan 7, 2005
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  11. plz

    oedipus

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    Not so fast. The server - which runs on the PC - is open source.

    The firmware that runs on the squeezebox (which drives the 802.11[b/a/g] interface) is to my knowledge NOT open source...

    Writing a driver for an wireless networking card is no trivial undertaking, especially on an embedded platform like a squeezebox..
     
    oedipus, Jan 7, 2005
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    technobear Ursine Audiophile

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    No need to bother anyway. WiFi is gaining in popularity and once all your neighbours have it, it will be worse than useless and you'll chuck it out and go back to wired. This is already happening in some parts of the UK.
     
    technobear, Jan 8, 2005
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  13. plz

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    Just to throw another spanner in the works...

    Are you aware of the NAD Netcap?
     
    I-S, Jan 8, 2005
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  14. plz

    Tom Alves

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    Yup but I think it was decided that Squeezebox did all it had to offer and then some.
     
    Tom Alves, Jan 8, 2005
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  15. plz

    I-S Good Evening.... Infidel

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    Depends... the Netcap will handle streaming video which the Squeezebox won't. Obviously a question of what is required.
     
    I-S, Jan 8, 2005
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  16. plz

    Tom Alves

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    I'll bear it in mind if I ever need a PC based video library
     
    Tom Alves, Jan 8, 2005
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  17. plz

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    isaac,
    my biggest problem with the netcap is the lack of display meaning you either have to use a pc to set up what you want to listen to or have it plugged into a tv.
    this point opens up the issue of the audiophool aversion to having video clocks and things of that ilk anywhere near their delicate audio circuits. bollocks perhaps but there you go.
    cheers


    julian
     
    julian2002, Jan 8, 2005
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