Brains of the Operation, Pt. 3

Brains of the Operation, Pt. 3

Stream Music to Your Home Stereo

Audiophiles have their own glossary of descriptive terminology: codecs, signal-to-noise-ratio, lossless compression (which, oddly enough, makes more grammatical sense than “lossy” compression). But you don’t have to know what those things mean to use the Slim Devices Transporter ($2,000) - you just have to be able to afford its jaw-dropping price. Still, this device streams music at a higher quality than any other streaming device we’ve tested, especially if you habitually rip your music at a high bitrate (above 192Kbps or Apple Lossless).


1. Turn on Music Sharing

Download SlimServer for Mac (free). Open the downloaded file, and open the Install Files folder. Double-click the file called SlimServer.prefPane, click Install, and click the Start Server button to share your music files.


SlimServer for Mac is a free system utility. After you start it, you can control the Transporter by clicking the Web Access button.


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2. Get Your Rig Connected

Now you’ll move into the living room to setup the Transporter. Connect it to your component stereo system using one of the following: a digital optical cable, a coaxial digital cable, old-fashioned RCA cables, or the BNC or XLR hi-fi outputs. We used a Marantz SR8001 receiver and Snell D7 speakers to keep the fidelity as high as possible.


Load the Transporter’s remote with batteries and follow the prompts on the Transporter’s display to select your wireless network and choose your music library on the Mac, which is shared using SlimServer. Press the right arrow on the remote to move through the options. When you’re done, press the Play button to play music housed on your Mac. Adjust volume with the Transporter remote or with the volume knob on your stereo receiver.


There are plenty of options for connecting the Transporter to your stereo, but analog RCA cables work best.


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Stream Video and Photos to Your HDTV

We don’t know why it’s been so difficult in the past to move videos from point A (the office Mac) to point B (the living room TV). Many so-called “streaming media adapters” don’t work well, and they rarely come equipped with an HDMI hookup for high-definition TVs. Not so with the Apple TV ($299 40GB, $399 160GB). It uses an 802.11n Wi-Fi connection, features just the hookups you need to make it work with a widescreen HDTV, and it’s easy as pie to set up.


1. Plug In

Connect the Apple TV using an HDMI cable like the XtremeMac XtremeHD HDMI-to-HDMI Cable for Apple TV ($19.95) to your HDTV. You can also use component video cables. The Apple TV walks you through a few simple steps, such as selecting your wireless router’s name. Then it shows you a five-digit number, which you’ll need for the next step.


The HDMI cable carries both audio and video to your TV.


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2. Tune In

Make sure your Mac is connected to the same wireless router as the Apple TV. Launch iTunes, and after a few moments you’ll see the Apple TV listed under Devices. Select it, type in the code from your TV screen, and you’re done. You can now go back to the television in your living room and select video (or audio) content using the included Apple Remote.


If you type the code wrong, no worries. Just restart the Apple TV, quit iTunes, start up again, and type in the new code.


Follow the rabbit into the hole and read part 4 of Brains of the Operation here.




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