My house has 2 bedrooms, a living room and a studio (Room for a computer, shelves, etc., don't know how it's called in the US), each one with a RJ-45 connection (LAN, Internet). I want to install speakers in the living room and that they could accept input from every one of the rooms. How can this be done?
migrated from diy.stackexchange.com Oct 1 '12 at 14:56
They vary in price, shape and sizes. If you want to build them into the ceiling then you might find some wireless audio trasmitter/reciever packs.
Ordered in by price. Where the first is the cheapest.
Analog or Digital?
Age old question. If you can find a very strong base emmiter. More than 0.5mw then your analog signal should be good, but neighbours will pick it up on their stereos? and is susceptible to noise from microwaves, CB radios and some other weird things. Digital giver better overall quality, is isolated so neighbours cannot easily access it. But can be choppy if the receiving end is in a dodgy/flaky area.
Since this was migrated to SU ...
... it is only relevant to expand to the software side of things involved in using IP speakers.
You can try and look for Network speakers that plug into your network or use your existing Wifi. This will require a server to run at all times(or when you want to listen to music-like a separate computer). And software to handle everything, for example iTunes server or Winamp server with the software that will send data to your speakers.
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This is actually very easy, but depending on what you want, you can spend an awful lot on it.
Having ethernet means you can easily use solutions like Squeezebox or other networkable/multiroom solutions like Sonos, or even Microsoft's media centre. I use the empeg solution for this, as it works in my car, across my home network and through my PC's and PS3.
For the way you want to do it, simply set up an amplifier in the living room that can accept input over ethernet, and have it connected to the speakers. Then all you need in each room is an equivalent sending device.
It sounds like you're mainly interested in playing audio from computers, in which case I would recommend an AirPlay device like Apple's Airplay Express, Apple TV, or one of the newer receivers that support Airplay (like Denon).
With AirPlay, you can stream music from a Mac or PC to the AirPlay device:
If you get an Apple TV, you can also stream video to your TV from an iPhone or new Mac.
There are also other non-Apple streaming devices such as Roku, although I haven't used that device so I can't speak to its exact functionality.
Any of these network players will require all the devices to be on the same local network. If you've already got house-wide WiFi or a wired ethernet LAN, that's enough. Otherwise, you'll need to set up a network. The Airport Express will create a wireless network, or you can get another router and set up a wireless network or a wired network using your existing ethernet connections.
(A wired network is faster and more reliable and if you already have the cables in place it would be relatively easy, but it sounds like your house isn't huge and a WiFi network is the easiest solution, especially if you get the Airport Express which can do double duty as a wireless router and the AirPlay receiver.)