Multi-room audio (the easy way)

Posted on July 3, 2010 by Adam under Uncategorized

I have a mythtv box in the lounge that I use for playing music and videos, but for a while now I have been looking into ways of extending the audio into additional rooms in the house (primarily the kitchen). I looked into running speaker cables (or a fibre optic cable) across the room but didn’t want to start pulling up the carpet or having unsightly wires everywhere, so I started looking into other options. I looked into software options using my existing powerline or wireless network, but with all of them there were synchronisation issues – the overhead of network streaming means getting the audio in the lounge and kitchen sychronised was impractical.

Then I stumbled on a much simpler option. I already have a good quality DAB and FM radio in the kitchen. It occurred to me that I could use an FM transmitter like the ones used in cars for mp3 players to transmit audio to the car radio. I found a basic FM transmitter on amazon for £6.99 – link.

I didn’t want to run it on batteries, and obviously I don’t have a cigarette lighter socket behind my PC, so I cut the cigarette lighter plug off the end of the cable and replaced it with a USB plug from Maplin for £1.39 – link. You can use this page to find out which pins provide the 5v output – the transmitter works fine on 5v.

FM Transmitter

Then, all I had to do was plug a splitter into the audio output from the myth box so it feeds into the speakers in the lounge as well as the FM transmitter. It works like a charm now and the music is perfectly in sync between the lounge and kitchen. Range is pretty good too – I can even tune in the radios upstairs and listen in there too!

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