Media Streaming using DLNA

24 March 2007 One Comment

Media Streaming using DLNA

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) is a much newer standard (2004) than UPnP, but which uses some of is specifications and protocols (mostly those involving networking and media control). However, DLNA also adds its own set of protocols, including media format protocols to ensure that each DLNA-equipped device can read the media files being transferred, and (get ready with the boos!) DRM content management guidelines (booo!).

Some of the things that DLNA can do include:

  • The ability to print on the network using Digital Media Printer (DMPr) devices with a focus on photo printing.
  • The ability to push images, video, or audio content from a server to a player/renderer (e.g. Uploading images from a digital camera to a PC or TV for viewing.)
  • The ability to manage media with a mobile device (e.g. Use a mobile phone to transfer a song from the PC to the stereo, and then play the song).
  • Extended mobile support with AVC (MPEG-4) video coding standard.
  • The ability to upload/download content between mobile devices and AV products.

[See DLNA.org for more details]

As you can see, the principle difference between UPnP and DLNA is the latter’s support for mobile phones, which have now become as much a part of the digital entertainment ecosystem as HD-TVs, Hi-Fis and DVD players. Sony Ericsson is rumoured to be working on several DLNA mobile phones later this year, which will be able to transfer media between the phone and other home gadgets with ease and virtually zero configuration.

Better yet, DLNA-equipped mobile phones will be able to transfer media files to other DLNA-equipped mobile phones just as easily, enabling you to swap tunes, videos and pics between your mates, then watch them on your HD-TV when you get home, all at the touch of a button. Most of the big mobile phone manufacturers are part of the DLNA consortium, so they’ll all be rushing out DLNA-supporting phones later in the year.

DLNA is a very new technology, and as such, there aren’t that many devices out yet that support it. However, given that much of its connectivity rests on the already existing UPnP standards (for which there’s a lot of support) and that most of the major consumer electronics and mobile phone companies are part of the consortium, it’s certainly the standard of the future. Expect to see many DLNA-equipped devices at CES 2008 and CeBIT 2008.

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  1. […] also supports the increasingly-popular DLNA, which is used to transmit pre-recorded video to your DLNA-equipped TV (the Wooo incorporates a DLNA server), and also to browse the contents of the […]

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