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DLNA on multiple components in a home theatre setup?

As more manufacturers are supplying DLNA-equipped network hardware for the home-theatre setup, it may be worth wondering whether you should have just one DLNA-capable component in your home AV setup and stay at that, or install more DLNA-capable components in your setup as you upgrade equipment.

Here, I am talking about DLNA-capable media-player or media-renderer equipment, rather than media-server or media-controller equipment. This is to cater for setups where a dedicated media server device like a personal-TV service or hard-disk-based media jukebox device is part of the equation due to its role as providing media for the network.

One DLNA-equipped unit in the same rack

It may be more efficient and cost-effective to have just one DLNA Media Player unit such as a DLNA-capable flatscreen TV, network media adaptor or video-games console, in the rack. This may be cost-effective when you are getting your feet wet with network-based audio and video or the setup comprises of a TV and a video peripheral that doesn’t have its own speakers. It may also be easier to manage in relation to integrating with the home network or gaining access to the media on the DLNA-capable media server(s).

Two or more DLNA units in the same rack

This situation will appeal to people who are taking advantage of the fact that, over time, DLNA media playback will appear in more pieces of home AV equipment at price points affordable for most people. It will also appeal to people who upgrade their home-entertainment setup to newer technology on a “piece by piece” basis as and when they can afford it. It involves the same AV rack having two or more DLNA media playback devices like a TV and a home-theatre receiver.

One main benefit of this setup would be to perform network-media tasks with one piece of equipment. This is more so with a network-ready home-theatre receiver that has a good onboard display or is capable of working as a network-controllable “media renderer” because you don’t need to turn on the TV if you just want to listen to music. Similarly, you could have a DLNA-equipped TV show a collection of pictures related to a party you are hosting while your DLNA-equipped home-theatre receiver plays music during the party.

It also allows for the use of components that excel at playing particular types of content like, for example, a network-capable receiver that is highly-tuned for audio content or a DLNA-compliant TV that works with the latest codecs. Similarly, you may have a games console that may run games that make use of media held on secondary storage integrated with or attached to the console or available on the network. A possible example of this could be a “street racing” game of the ilk of “Need For Speed Underground” where the driver chooses the style of musical accompaniment for their drag-racing and drifting challenges.

What should I go for

This depends on your setup. If your setup is primarily a video setup with just a TV and one or two video peripherals, you could just add one DLNA-capable playback device to the setup.

But if your setup has a separate amplifier or you intend to add a home-theatre sound system with its own amplifier and speakers, it may be worth running a separate DLNA media player capable of playing sound independently of the television. Similarly, if your home theatre has a DLNA-equipped plasma or LCD TV that is used for “regular viewing” and a projector-screen that is used for “special viewing” like Hollywood blockbusters or major sports events, you could use a separate DLNA media player like a DLNA-enabled Blu-Ray player with the projector.

Things to remember about such installations

If you intend to install multiple network-ready devices in a home-theatre setup, you will need to make sure these devices connect reliably to your home network. If your network runs WiFi wireless, you might be tempted to connect the devices to the WiFi wireless segment, either through integrated WiFi connectivity that the device has, by purchasing the optional USB WiFi kit that the device’s manufacturer offers or by purchasing an Ethernet-WiFi client bridge device from a computer store. The limitation with this is that WiFi wireless networks can be very flaky at the best and the problem can be made worse with metal shelving or a metal frame; or installations that are close to a brick or stone chimney.

It may then be preferable to use wired networking such as Ethernet or HomePlug powerline to the entertainment rack with the components connected via an Ethernet switch to the Ethernet or HomePlug backbone. This kind of setup will lead to the networked components in the home AV rack operating reliable when it comes to network and Internet activities. There are some HomePlug-Ethernet bridges, available in either HomePlug 1.0 Turbo or HomePlug AV, that have a switch with 3 or 4 Ethernet ports. These units can definitely do the job of bridging a rack of networked AV equipment to a HomePlug segment.

Conclusion

Once you know what direction to go for as far as far as DLNA-capable devices in a single AV rack is concerned, you can then know how to integrate your AV racks in your home’s or business’s DLNA media network.

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31 July 2009 - Posted by | Home computer setups, UPnP AV / DLNA |

3 Comments »

  1. This was a really great read, I am very glad I came across your site.

    Comment by caravan shop | 6 August 2009 | Reply

  2. i only buy my pc parts on very reputable computer stores both online and offline”`~

    Comment by L-Lysine : | 28 October 2010 | Reply

  3. DLNA Projector-Enjoy Vacation AVCHD videos on Projector with NAS sharing via DLNA
    Share AVCHD Videos via DLNA on NAS with Window 7 MTS/M2TS Joiner

    We have a happy summer in Hawaii. With our travel companion, the compact Panasonic Lumix FZ100, we shot videos in 1920×1080 60i. But we got a large amount of clips when we connect the camera to PC from our vacation. Our PC with Windows Media Player 12 can play the videos, but we generally put the videos to NAS, so that our devices can find and play the videos via DLNA. I use the HD Writer AE, but could not join several clips in a quick and easy way.

    My friend recommends me to use Aunsoft Final Mate, and it really does a good job with the preview. There seems no quality loss while the files are joined into one large file. What is more important, the whole process is done in a blink second.

    It facilitates the Video Management for DLNA, which would be stored in NAS. We can not only play the videos on PS3 hooked to my Samsung HDTV, but also watch them on LCD projector connected to the HTPC. Below are my simple steps using Final Mate to merge AVCHD clips on Windows 7.

    About DLNA Projector :

    How to Merge AVCHD Videos and Connect/Stream to Projector via DLNA?

    1. Import videos to Aunsoft Final Mate.
    For the videos on PC hard drive, run Aunsoft Final Mate as MTS/M2TS joiner NAS sharing via DLNA, go to the Resource tab, and click the “Add file path” button to browse the folder with the .mts or .m2ts files.
    For videos on camera, just use USB cable to connect camera to PC, and follow the pop-up message on Final Mate to import clips to Camcorder tab.

    2. Merge AVCHD footage for lossless output.
    Click the Create New Movie button, and a new Movie ID for lossless output will be created on Movies tab. Drag and drop the clips with the same event to the Movie ID. For another event or other clips, just create another lossless movie.

    3. Get AVCHD file for DLNA sharing.
    Click the Export button under the volume settings, and click the OK button to start joining AVCHD files into one large file.

    So no matter you are using Popcorn Hour, PlayStation 3, NAS from Netgear, Synology, QNAS, LCD projectors like LG HS200 or other home projectors, you can easily Stream and Play HD videos with projector via DLNA.

    Comment by sunyanan85 | 5 July 2011 | Reply


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