Feeds

WTF is... DLNA?

A cure for media playback blues - or will it just have you seeing red?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Don't mention DLNA. I did, but I think got away with it...

A difficult promise to fulfill - which may be why it’s only whispered to the public. DLNA members like Samsung, Acer and Microsoft seem never to use the initials. Samsung calls its implementation “AllShare”. Acer’s brand name for the technology is “clear.fi”. And Microsoft wraps up DLNA in its all-embracing Media Player and WIndows 7's Play To... command.

DLNA... er... UPnP player

This media player isn't an official DLNA device - so it's capable of handling formats like MKV and ISO that are outside the rigid restrictions imposed by the Alliance

Panasonic is a notable exception. "We do promote it as DLNA, because we think that's more recognisable for the consumer," says Steve Lucas, Panasonic Product Specialist for Consumer Products. "But then we explain which DLNA file formats we support. One of the things that I think is confusing with DLNA is that although there are a number of file formats that are part of the affiliation, it's down to the individual manufacturer which formats are supported in their products."

It was Microsoft that first devised UPnP AV - the universal plug-and-play protocol that forms the underpinning of DLNA.

“UPnP was the original standard and DLNA is a certification process on top of that,” explains Bob Hannent, CTO at set-top box manufacturer Humax. Significantly, Hannent’s own company hasn’t chosen to go down the DLNA route. ”We don’t even mention UPnP,” he says. “We’re just referring to ‘home media networking’.”

Some software options

Users of Windows 7 are already in the game, and earlier versions of Windows can be updated to suportg DLNA simply by upgrading to the latest version of Windows Media Player.

Twonky offers a suite of products that enjoy the approbation of the Alliance, but are not officially certified, because no framework for software certification has been hacked out yet.

TVersity is a very well liked Windows-only DLNA-type server available in both a free and a paid-for version.

As its name implies, the PS3 Media Player is targetted solely at the Sony Playstation 3, but has the merit of being cross-platform and free.

Boxee is also cross-platform and freely downloadable, but with much wider scope - it can run on the first-gen Apple TV, for example. A hardware implementation from D-Link is expected toward the end of the year.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.