We’ve been on a quest for DIY whole house music for nearly a decade. Going all the way back to the Squeezebox from Slim Devices. We even tried a digital media player with a built in FM broadcaster we could pick up on our old school radios throughout the home. Over time, Braden settled in on Sonos while Ara landed on an Airport Express solution. There are other options, though, so we decided to check out what Chromecast Audio from Google can do.
Entries in Streaming (84)
There has been an explosion of devices recently, or perhaps going back a couple years, that are based on the Kodi Media Center software or include Kodi as a standard app you can run along with other the other apps available on the device. A simple search at Amazon for ‘Kodi’ yields pages and pages of options for devices. Intrigued by this streaming platform that seems to have taken off like wildfire, we decided to pick up one of these little boxes and see what all the fuss is about.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t think Netflix totally changed the game in home entertainment. First, with the unlimited DVD rentals for a small monthly fee. They essentially ended the video store business. Then, with the shift into unlimited streaming movies, anywhere, anytime, again for a small monthly fee. It has changed the way most of us watch movies, and in some cases, television series. They’ve been so succesful, others, like Amazon, have tried to copy their model. But you can’t be king forever. Someone will eventually come along with a different game changer and dethrone you.
We have read countless emails from listeners who have cut the cord over the years and many of them have turned to Tivo to become the center of that process. With an antenna and a Tivo box you can cut your TV subscription services to almost nothing. Tivo boxes support Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, Plex, and Amazon Prime so you really don’t have to give up everything. Yes there are cable channels that you may miss, but many of those have an app where you can watch some of the programming for free. Worst case you may need to buy a few season passes of a couple of TV shows that are not available through an app. Regardless, you should be able to watch everything you want and dramatically cut your yearly bill.
Since close to the beginning of our podcast, a video server has been high on the HT Guys list of gear that everyone should have in their setups. Back then there was a product that did exactly what we wanted but it cost upwards of $50,000! The Kaleidescape was THE video server we all wanted. It had a great user interface with best looking experience.
Since almost the beginning we have been looking for ways to ditch wires. They are a pain to run across rooms, create unsightly bulges in carpet or even require drywall cutting. There are a few technologies that have been out for some time now. We have AirPlay by apple, Chromecast by Google, Bluetooth, and few other lesser known technologies. They all work pretty well and have support from various receiver manufacturers.