Monday, 6 December 2010

Stream ON

Why does Radio 2 sound so good? If you're expecting a critique of the station stop reading because this is a blog about a visit to my good friends David and Diane and whilst chatting in the kitchen, as you do, I noticed how good, technically, Radio 2 was sounding coming out of their kitchen radio. 

Turns out they were listening on a Logitech Squeezebox to an internet stream of the station which sounds much better than FM and obviously better than grotty crunchy DAB.  The internet radio could also play his music collection, get anything from BBC iPlayer play podcasts and had a whole range of other apps all in a neat little radio with a full colour screen and all for about £113.00

Yes there are a few things to think about before buying an Internet steaming set, the server either has to be on your home PC or NAS drive or you pick up the default servers in Germany and the US and it appears to be hard to switch easily between those options, which means if you have the server on your home PC or Laptop, they have to stay on all the time. But I was very impressed by this set.  I did ask Dave why he didn't have a DAB - he laughed and told me they don't get any DAB signal where they live - well what a surprise!

2 comments:

james said...

"Yes there are a few things to think about before buying an Internet steaming set, the server either has to be on your home PC or NAS drive or you pick up the default servers in Germany and the US and it appears to be hard to switch easily between those options, which means if you have the server on your home PC or Laptop, they have to stay on all the time."

Huh? What on earth does all this blather mean?

Internet radios connect directly to the audio from broadcasters, not through some default server anywhere. If you're using an internet radio that requires you to leave a PC on, you've bought the wrong one. (You probably are talking about sharing music through your network here, not the radio).

Technical note: BBC Radio 2 on an internet radio is a 128kbps Windows Media stream; roughly similar to 160kbps on DAB if you like. If you're outside the UK, BBC Radio 2 on an internet radio is just 48kbps Windows Media.

Interesting, too, that you see a mono radio as being superlative audio quality. Goes with what I repeatedly say: that actually, audio quality counts for very little.

Steve Campen said...

Hello James

Blather: Its actually what people who were using the product say from Amazon customer reviews site I should have qualified that v. sorry. I guess they mean that Logitech have their own little app which you use to access the radio stations, but that's just a guess?

Quality: Lovely clean sounding mono in the corner of the room does it for me as much as two stereo speakers shoved closely together.

I just wish that DAB, FM and Satellite would work together in harmony rather than it has to be one or the other or the other - seems such a shame.

Steve