Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

Topic Author
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 7:49 pm
Location: Ottawa, Canada

You guys are costing me money!

Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:34 pm

Here is my tale of woe:

A buddy of mine told me about a neat device called a Roku and described what it could do. I checked his out, and of course I had to have one. I purchased an M1000. Since I had all my CDs ripped to MP3 format, this was really neat - no more CD's when I use my stereo!

Got it all set up, and realised that my vision isn't quite up to par, so I acquired an M2000. I could now read the display clearly from across the room!

Then I heard about a fellow named Ron Pedde and the things he was doing with Linksys NSLU2's, commonly known as slugs. Sounded really neat, so I got one. I also bought a 250GB external hard disk. Not having a clue about Linux, I spent many hours figuring out how to get it working with mt-daapd (now firefly). Don't forget, time is money!

Doing more research, I realised that the slug could play Apple Lossless format - thanks to Ron. Re-ripped everything (more time, more money), but the sound quality was considerably better.

Unfortunately, I couldn't fit my collection on a 250GB drive. Back to the store for a 500GB.

So now I have good sound playing in my living room, but I also have a rec room. Back to the store, another M2000 (more money).

With both M2000's running off the slug, I noticed that there were times when the wireless-B network couldn't pass enough information in lossless format to both units - usually while my network was busy doing other things. I had heard about using Linksys routers in bridge mode to replace the internal wireless CF cards, so back to the store (more money).

I learned about flashing the Linksys routers with DD-WRT (more time = more money). Did this, and now both M2000s run flawlessly, each wired to a wireless-G bridge.

At this time, my 1977 vintage Sony STR7800SD stereo decided to die (well, one channel did anyway). I think this is RokuMike's fault, or maybe Ron's (I have to blame someone - this beast served me well for nearly 30 years, and it only quit when I started messing with Rokus).

Off to the store for a new Moon I-3 integrated amplifier. No need to get a receiver, because the Roku does internet radio, so I guess for the first time in my tale of woe I actually saved some money.

I was telling an audiophile friend about my situation. His response: "You can't use that nice new amplifier with the digital-analog converter (DAC) built into the Roku! Go get a proper DAC!" (this is a guy that thinks it is OK to spend $500 on an RCA cable - I won't even mention what he thinks is reasonable for speaker wire).

More research, more shopping. I found a place that would send me a Lavry DAC10 and a Benchmark DAC-1, do a "shootout", pick the one I want and return the other. After much listening (more time = more money), I picked the Benchmark. It's true, it makes a difference! (Lavry lovers, please don't flame me).

I will remain silent on what it cost me for a Toslink cable and an RCA cable.

Now I am thinking about another DAC for my rec room!

So, to summarise my tale of woe, an innocent consumer spent a couple of hundred dollars on an M1000 and this led to:

- two more Rokus
- a slug
- two external drives
- two routers
- a new amplifier
- a DAC
- cables
- hours of my precious time
- the potential need for another DAC

I hope you guys at Roku feel guilty (and you too, Ron), for what you have put me through.

Keep up the good work!
Posts: 2664
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 10:14 am
Location: Sausalito,Ca

Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:42 pm

Passions suck! :P Thanks for the tale! Lemme tell you about my espresso/homeroasting addiction! :P
Then as it was, then again it will be
An' though the course may change sometimes,
rivers always reach the sea

M1000x2,M2000,Twonky 4.3.3 RC1 beta on LinkStation HGLAN400gig,Buffalo whr-g54s on DD-WRTfirmware-luv'in it!
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:29 am
Location: UK

Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:14 am

An all to familiar tale! :D Haven't bought the external DAC yet but I have been looking....
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 3:58 am
Location: Watford, UK

Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:12 am

Excellent story :)

I am currently happy with my M2000 playing MP3s encoded at 192kbps, playing through the SB's internal DAC to my Yamaha DSP-AX620 and some rather old Mission Cyrus speakers.

I could start going the same route as you did, mmcinnis2, and it is quite possible that I would hear better sound quality... but I fear even starting down that route just in case it does sound better, if you see what I mean!!
Have you tried the Roku / iTunes Track Counter?
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:45 am
Location: USA East Coast

Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:34 am

Love the story :D

Mine is similar but it starts all the way back to a couple of years ago when I wanted to figure out how make CDs out of my vinyl collection!

Amazing how a simple curiosity or desire can grow a life of its own!!! :lol:

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