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November 7, 2009

Using Play To in Windows 7 with the Linksys Wireless-N Music Extender

After seeing Brad Brooks’ demo of Play To in Windows 7 a couple weeks ago at the New York City Windows 7 Launch Party, I decided immediately that I must use Play To in my home. I went out a picked up a Linksys DMP100 Wireless-N Music Extender by Cisco. This device is on the market today with firmware that is currently compatible with Play To for Windows 7.

Future releases of firmware for the DMP100 will enable it to be logo’d for Windows 7 which means it will have passed all of Microsoft’s internal tests and has complete functionality in Windows 7 such being see it in Devices & Printers, ability to name the device, and easier setup with wireless networks.

What you do with this device is connect it to a stereo system and/or a set of speakers and then to your network. You then can play your music to this device over your network.

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The Linksys DMP100 supports Draft Dual-Band 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and WEP, WPA, WPA2 for security. If a physical network connection is needed, it also has an Ethernet port. For connecting to a stereo or speakers, it has a RCA L/R Input, a RCA L/R Output, an S/PDIF Output, and a 3.5mm Stereo Headphone Output.

I set up the Linksys DMP100 on a shelf in my office (please pardon the Star Trek DVDs) and connected some Altec Lansing speakers to it via the 3.5mm Stereo Headphone Output.

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With my D-Link DIR-655 Router, I was able to easily connect the Linksys DMP100 to my wireless network as it supports Windows Connect Now.

On my Windows 7 PC, I fired up Windows Media Player and I have a playlist for the entire Beatles catalog (I purchased ALL of their remastered albums a few months ago). To “play to” the Linksys DMP100, all I needed to do was right-click on my Beatles playlist and chose “Play To” and select “Cisco Player”. I was then able to start playing the playlist.


And while I was playing music to the Linksys DMP100, I was also able to play music and video to other PCs on my network and videos to my Xbox 360.

I will also be talking about other devices that support Play To in Windows 7 – stay tuned!