internet music same for any tuner?

I read a lot about Squuezebox, DAC and things. How does this work? I was thinking of upgrading my tuner to a McIntosh or Sansui or something, but with internet music, would it all sound the same regardless of the tuner, or does the tuner still synthesize the music differently? Thank you, Alan
AFAIK, your tuner has nothing to do w it. Its not a radio signal at all, but a digital data stream. Internet "radio" is just a reference to a "broadcast" of music over the internet, available to anyone w a web browser and a DAC/audio card.
Streaming internet music has pretty much replaced my tuner for home listening. I still listen to the radio in my car. There are some really wonderful internet stations that don't have commercials. Radio Paradise being one of them.

Also most radio stations do stream their broadcasts over the internet which brings up another point: Some stations, like Radio Paradise stream at a much higher bit-rate than most local stations that often only stream at 48Khz. A decent DAC and high-end system will show you that this rate will not compete with the fidelity of a decent FM radio. At bit-rates 2.5 times (or more) this problem is solved.
A conventional am/fm tuner will not work for internet.

There are devices that provide the equivalent of an am/fm tuner as a high fidelity stereo system component for finding and playing internet radio stations as sources. These also generally allow for additional sources besides internet, an in house computer functioning as a music server, for example.

Roku Soundbridge (<$200, see my system here for an example) is one such device.
If you have a local college or NPR station (non-compressed), then a good tuner sounds as good or better than a Squeezebox/DAC. This is my opinion of course.
I use both a tuner and a squeezebox because I have a great jazz station in my city that I cannot pick up on the Squeezebox. The Squeezebox is well worth it for the vast variety of musical choices.
I grew up on music heard over FM radio.

But there is a much larger assortment of stations with very good sound in most any music genre on internet compared with FM these days, even in larger metro areas.

Plus, you do not have to worry about noise or other distortions due to weak signal, interference etc.

There is no comparison...internet blows away FM in most every regard already and the trend will only increase most likely over time.
I stream digital radio to an airport express which is connected to an aux input on my pre-amp. I love it many stations available especially classical. I use i-tunes or you can use windows media player streaming to the airport via. air foil software.......... No Tuner Needed............GREAT STUFF INDEED.
Two good classical internet classical "stations" are and Bartok radio. Goggle both. They are both MP-3 steams. At work,for casual listening,I use WinAmp,and for what it is;an MP-3 feed,it is OK.

My understanding is that if you load your digital music onto a hard drive,you use a Squeezebox between the hard drive and a DAC,and from the DAC,to your preamp.

A compact disk at 44.1,16 bit is just under a gig(about 800+mg),so a rough rule of thumb is that an auxiliary hard drive that is 500 g would hold a few more that five hundred cd's of music.

I'll let others get into "lossless" formats and all.
I have a Squeezebox and it is excellent for listening to FM broadcasts.

However, I do have a Sansui TU-X1 FM tuner for listening to the local jazz station here in LA. As good as the Squeezebox is, the Sansui is head and shoulders better. When listening to the Sansui, you know you are unquestionably listening to a high-end component.

But, I use the Squeezebox more often because I now listen to jazz radio stations around the world and it is way more flexible and convenient than an FM tuner.

For critical jazz radio listening, I listen to my Sansui FM tuner, for that, there is no subsitute.

Are you saying you listen to FM stations via internet connection using the Squeezebox? The Squeezebox is not also an over the airwaves FM tuner, like the Sansui, is it?

That would make sense to me in that the sound quality of many (not all) FM station internet broadcasts are often inferior to the over the air sound quality as well as sound quality of other internet only stations when I listen with the Roku Soundbridge.

The Roku Soundbridge is definitely internet only...not an FM over the airwaves tuner.

I still use my FM tuner on occasions for certain local stations in the Baltimore/DC metro area as well, but not very often anymore.

WWOZ New Orleans is an example of an over the air FM station that I listen to often via internet with the Roku that does provide very good internet sound quality, though I do not live near New Orleans so I cannot a/b compare WROZ's internet to it's over the air sound quality.
Mapman, yes, I do listen to FM stations on my Squeezebox....though it is not an FM signal. My local FM jazz station here in LA also has a simultaneous webcast that I can get on my Squeezebox. Through the SqueezeCenter web interface I'm able to load the URL's of FM stations around the world and access them through the Squeezebox. The sound quality varies depending on the streaming rate.

No, the Squeezebox is not an over the air's totally internet based in order to get radio station broadcasts.

That makes sense.

I've found though that streaming rate alone is not a reliable indicator of sound quality. I've heard stations at lower streaming rates sound better than the same station at a higher rate.

The Roku device buffers/caches inbound data in on board memory. Then, data is sent from the on board memory cache to the DAC. I think Squeezebox does the same.

So even though higher streaming rates send more bits per period of time, that alone does not assure better sound. The quality of the bits sent matters more. As long as they arrive fast enough to keep the cache loaded, you are in good shape. If they do not, then rebuffering will occur. The Roku mutes the sound altogether whenever re-buffering occurs.
ok....that explains why some some with higher streaming rates sound awful and some of those with lower streaming rates sound pretty good. ........thanks for the heads-up.