So, you don’t want to run cables and you also don’t want to interfere with your wireless hot spot or your cordless phone. A digital media receiver lets you use a network (wired or wireless) to transmit audio from your computer to receivers throughout your house. Most digital media receivers let you control music playback on your computer with a remote control, which can also be programmed to control your stereo receiver. Some digital media receivers include small built-in displays, while others rely on your television set.
A network connection provides the advantage of handling the digital to analog conversion outside of the noisy environment inside a typical computer, and it eliminates the interference, hum, and loss of high frequencies typical of analog cables and wireless audio connections.
Home networking has come down in cost and is fairly easy to install. Today, you can set up a small home network for well under $200. Besides allowing you to stream audio to any room in your house, a home network allows you to share an Internet connection and transfer files between computers.
Options for home networking include wireless (the least expensive and most flexible option, but subject to security issues) and dedicated wiring (more expensive and less flexible, but with much better security). The range of wireless networks is limited to about 150 feet, which should not be a problem in most homes.
Digital media receivers are relatively new products, ...