Adding TV and PC Media server

I have a nice Naim setup including, I think most relevantly, a 252.

Unfortunately I do not have a Naim budget these days.

I want to be able to put my TV (a fairly smart device) and PC driven collection of FLAC files through the system. This might be sacrilege, but what is the cheapest … best … compromise for achieving this please?

Hope that makes sense!

You have a very nice system.

Unfortunately there’s a conflict between best and cheapest!

If it were me I would be seriously considering changing the CDS3 for a used NDS streamer.

This would give you the capability to stream all your music and would also provide a DAC for your TV. An NDS would be at a similar level to your CDS3.

A used NDS would cost around £3k and you would realise half that from the sale of the CDS3. You would power the NDS with the XPS. Note the XPS needs to be a black classic unit, not olive.

If you don’t want to do this then a DAC would be the way to go. Something like a Naim DAC used (under £1K) or a Chord DAC such as a QuTest. I personally don’t care for the Chord DACS but many on here and I do know somebody who favours a QuTest over a Naim device specifically for TV sound.

If you went the streaming route you would need to have a UPNP server. This can run on your computer and is inexpensive but having a separate server such as a NAS would be a better long term choice.

If all this is too much then you could always use the line outs from the various devices into spare inputs on the 252. All this would require is cables but especially in the case of the PC it’s going to sound quite poor in comparison to what you are used to.

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I think a lot depends on how good this needs to sound for you to want to use it. If it’s significantly worse than your CD player, why bother, unless you are only ever going to use this for background listening? Also, can you give us some idea of your budget? There are some discontinued Naim digital products that might fot the bill at reasonable cost.

If you want a simple solution for both your TV and computer, a Naim V1 DAC might fit the bill. It’s the only Naim product that has a USB input that can run from a computer, and was specifically developed for that purpose. You could also connect the TV to it with an optical cable.
There are plenty of other possible options, including extremely cheap non-Naim gear, and relatively expensive Naim stuff that would be at the same level as your existing system.

Thank you tricky - you’ve given me some interesting ideas to explore and think about - I might have to come back to this later.

Thank you Chris.

Good points, good questions … at the moment I am just trying to get a feel for things.

It seems from yours and the other response, I really need to do a bit more legwork myself and work out more clearly what I want.

I suppose the good news is that if you want to dip your toe in the water, there are extremely cheap ways of doing it. If you decide that streaming is the way forward, you then have to decide whether you want a digital source that can compete with your CD player. You might also want to consider whether you are prepared to replace the CD player in order to make room for a streamer.

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