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
- 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!