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Streaming is a way to listen to music and watch video without storing the media on your device whether that is your home computer, Digital music streamer or even mobile phone. As consumer computer devices have increased in performance and the Internet speeds have increased digital streaming is now easier, faster and more available than ever. Services like Spotify, Deezer, Tidal and Qobuz for music. Netflix and Amazon prime are used for movies and TV all store huge libraries of media that you can access at any time anywhere over the internet. For full access to all of the available features from these many providers and to be able to use these services on one of the many devices available a subscription is needed.
All of the different services offer different options, ways of play listing, differing collections of music and most importantly for the HI-FI enthusiast different qualities of stream. Spotify has possibly one of the biggest libraries of music available and has a high Quality Stream of 320Kbps. Tidal on the other hand will provide a smaller library of music but with hi resolution music. This can be of CD quality of higher.
First and foremost you will need a subscription to the chosen service and a broadband internet connection for use at home. The hardware you need all then depends on what you want it for. Do you have and existing HI-FI system? Do you want Multi room? Do you want an all-in-one music solution? Luckily at Frank Harvey and HIFIX all of our staff are up to date with the latest in streaming products and can advise you on the best products from the best brands. We stock Products from Bose, Denon, Marantz, Sonos, Naim, Bryston and many more.
Most devices also have App control. Apple iPhones, IPod touches and iPads as well as Android tablets and smart phones can all connect to the digital music streamer and act as a full colour remote control. This means you can have quick and easy access to all the music on the internet, your home network and you mobile device quickly and easily.
As with the services themselves the Hardware you can stream to can vary in quality. The big differences in these can be found in the DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) Section. This piece of electronics is responsible for turning all the digital 0’s and 1’s into analogue information your amplifier can send to the speakers. Companies like Naim, Bryston and Primare are meticulous about the selection of components used in this stage and every other for that matter. The construction is well thought out and the higher quality components means that the information if converted to sound in the best possible way and in most cases up sampling and improving the quality of sound from the Stream it receives. This all adds up to a fantastic sonic performance but with the greatest of convenience.
So in essence digital streaming is a very convenient way to listen to music, streaming media means you don’t have to wait for the file to download because the media file is received in a continuous stream of data you can play it as it arrives on your device, so it’s fast, convenient and easy to pause, rewind or fast forward as necessary. Streaming has come a long way since the original concept was conceived, new products are being launched by all the major manufacturers and brands such as Sonos, Denon, Yamaha have all launched digital streaming devices and more will follow this coming year.
A major benefit with most of today’s streaming devices is the ease of being able to link loudspeaker modules around the house so that whatever room you are in you can select what music you wish to listen to with complete control of volume levels and obviously with Wireles technology in most systems you have a really easy job of installation without having to worry about running speaker cables and switching units around the house, Wireless does it all for you. At HiFix we have various models and systems on demonstration for our customers to experience the full benefits of streaming technology, so for any advice or help just contact one of our sales teams.