My wife and I built a new home a few years ago and included lots of low voltage wiring. This wiring provides for security, audio, video, and computer networking. The audio system I installed is pretty robust and allows for a variety of audio sources, including any of our Macintosh computers. Being able to use the computer as an audio source allows internet audio streams like Pandora and local audio like iTunes to be shared.
The technique I used for the computer audio feed can be applied to any home system, large or small.
What you need:
- A Macintosh computer. (Also works with Windows.)
- A wireless local network (WiFi) established in your home. If you don’t have a wireless router/modem, you may be able to use your computer’s WiFi abilities through Internet Sharing (also techradar.com). You must also have the password for getting onto your WiFi network.
- An Apple Airport Express base station. The Setup Guide has lots of information about this project.
- Airfoil, a program from Rogue Amoeba Software. You can learn a lot by reading their manual.
- Speakers & amplifier for your remote location. The amp must have an auxiliary audio input jack. Speakers designed for computer use work well, if they contain their own amplifier. A home stereo amplifier and speakers will normally work as well.
- A patch cable to connect the AirPort Express to the amplifier. Since the AEX has an Audio minijack, your patch cable can be either an analog electric or an optical/digital. A 3.5mm mini plug to RCA stereo cable may also be used. Note: Most, if not all, amplified computer speakers come with their own patch cable.
- Position your speakers/amplifier in the desired location.
- Connect the Airport Express to your amplifier / speakers using the patch cable.
- Plug the Airport Express into a wall outlet.
- Install the Airport Utility software that came with your APE (it may already be installed). If your software is out-of-date, try Apple’s downloads.
- Follow the instructions on this instructional video:
Learn the basics of WiFi.
Apple’s instructions for setting up your Airport Express.
Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil software.