Set up home media servers with DLNA
home media servers

Set up home media servers with DLNA

Set up home media servers

You may be one of those people who are interested in watching movies, seeing photos or listening to music. If the files are on your computer and you want to watch them on TV with friends and family, you need to transfer the data to a flash drive or external hard drive. But this has many problems; Not supporting a flash drive or hard drive, not supporting its format, especially when the video volume is large and you have to use NTFS and the lack of a USB port, are just some of these problems.

But don’t worry anymore. Recently, these problems have been alleviated with the proliferation of devices that support DLNA. Using DLNA, you can easily set up your home server and view your files from multiple devices at the same time. Join us to learn more about this feature.

1. Birth of DLNA
In 2003, Sony created a structure called DHWG, the Digital Home Working Group. The purpose of this structure was to interact between digital home players. Twelve months later, in 2004, a number of digital broadcasters decided to create a Guideline for the interaction and sharing of digital media between these devices. 
Their purpose was to structure the guide in a way that would make it easier to set up. In June 2004, the first version of this guide was released, and the DLNA was renamed the Digital Living Network Alliance. DLNA is not a protocol, but a mechanism.
DLNA several standards such as (Universal Plug and Play (UPnP, standards broadcasting digital formats and standards for wireless networks and wire covers. Network standards in the DLNA have been used, the data server for Hmhpkhshy (Broadcast) are. 
It complications such as Enter Reducing the IP server in the player (such as IP TV) and reducing the use of security mechanisms for ordinary users, so that everyone can use it easily.Figure 1 shows that by setting up a DLNA server, everyone in the house can easily and simultaneously access resources Server to use.

The use of DLNA spread rapidly, and the number of devices that supported it grew every day. In June 2015, the number of companies that supported it reached more than 200 companies. DLNA is not owned by a particular company. It is being developed and updated through the collaboration of the members of the thirteen major companies. These companies include Arris, AwoX, Broadcom CableLabs Comcast, Dolby Laboratories, Intel, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Time Warner Cable and Verizon. Apple is the only company to use a protocol called “DAAP” called Digital Audio Access Protocol instead of UPnP in DLNA. That’s why Apple devices can only have a DLNA-like mechanism with Apple products themselves.
In October 2015, the number of DLNA-compatible digital devices reached more than 25,000 models. It is estimated that in 2017, more than six billion compatible digital devices, such as cameras, game consoles and televisions, will be installed in users’ homes.
In March 2014, the DLNA launched another guide called VidiPath. Some refer to this guide as “DLNA CVP-2”. VidiPath’s responsibility, in simple terms, was to create a common interface for communicating and using cable TV users. VidiPath should be designed in such a way that different cable TV service providers are able to provide services through it. VidiPath also quickly found its way among these companies.

2. DLNA Versions DLNA is
being completed and updated. This evolution has led to different versions of it. The first version of DLNA was released in June 2004. In the first version, there were only two classes and it supported 50 types of formats. Version 5.1, released in March 2006, increased the number of classes to 12 and the number of formats to 250. In addition, the Link Protection feature was added.
The release of the next version took about 9 years, and finally in August 2015, versions 2 and 3 were introduced. In version 2, features such as EPG, RUI, WPS DRM, synchronization of content and recording according to schedule were introduced and added. Version 3 supported IP version 6 and HEVC. Version 4 is being prepared and will be introduced this year.

3. Device Classification
DLNA has divided compatible devices into 12 classes. Each compatible digital device falls into one of these classes based on its capabilities; In fact, these classes specify the tasks of each device. These features can be stored, controlled and played. These classes can also be divided into three categories:
1.Home network devices: such as computers, televisions, audio-video receivers, and game consoles
2.Mobile devices: such as smartphones, tablets, and digital cameras
3.Home infrastructure devices: such as Routers, ADSL modems and hubs


  Figure 1: Simultaneous use of DLNA

4. Does my device support DLNA?
If you are interested in using DLNA, just look for the DLNA mark on the part box or even the body. Do not despair if you do not see this sign; Because in the past, DLNA was referred to as “Media Server Support”. But for detailed information about support, justvisitwww.dlna.organd in the Product Search section, based on the manufacturer, type of device and its model, check whether your device is supported by DLNA. Also, if you are planning to buy digital players, we recommend that you make sure that your device supports DLNA before buying.

5. How is DLNA set up?
To set up and use DLNA, you need at least one DLNA server or media server and a device that can connect to the DLNA server. A new home NAS device, ADSL modem and even Windows, can act as a server. Smartphones, smart TVs, and multimedia players that can be connected to the network can be used as players and play the role of client in the network. For more familiarity, we are going to teach you how to set up these devices.

Windows
If your files are on your computer’s internal hard drive or you only want to have a DLNA server when your computer is turned on, it is enough to use Windows capabilities to achieve these goals. 
The computer must be connected to the home network and there must be no router. In addition, the network card settings that are connected to your home network must be selected as Home Network, as shown in Figure 2, in order to turn on Network Discovery.


  Figure 2: Selecting Home Network

This guide is based on Windows 1.8, but its structure is similar for different versions of Windows. First, right-click on the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen and select “Control Panel”. In the control panel, enter the “Network and Internet” section, and in this window, enter the “Network and Sharing Center” section, and click on “Change advanced Sharing Settings” on the left side of the page. Click on “Choose Media Streaming Options” in the “Advanced Sharing Settings” section and the “Media streaming” section, as shown in Figure 3.

  Figure 3: Changing Media streaming settings

In the new window, click “Turn on Media Streaming” to set up the DLNA server. After launching, you will see a window like Figure 4. In this section, other servers and clients will be displayed and you can change the client access or change the settings related to the type of shared files. 

  Figure 4: Changing accesses in the DLNA server

When you turn on Media Streaming, the necessary ports in the firewall open automatically. If you encounter a problem, you should check the ports listed in Table 1 and make sure they are open.


Table 1: Ports used in Media streaming.

If port 554 is in use, for example by Media Center Extender, ports 8558-8554 are used as an alternative. Also, if ports 5005-5004 are in use, ports 50013-50004 will be used as a replacement. If your computer is a domain member, “IPsec”, the Internet Protocol security title, will turn on automatically. IPsec is not DLNA compliant; For this reason, you must turn off IPsec before using it. To turn it off, go to System and Security in Control Panel and then select Administrative Tools. On this page, log in to services and then open the IPsec Policy Agent until the corresponding window appears. Select Figure Manual in the Startup Type section as shown in Figure 5.


  Figure 5: Change startup Type

If you do not set the Startup Type to Automatic, you may be denied access to the system when the system is restarted, and the computer may not be able to communicate with other domain devices. After changing the default settings, do not turn off and exit the Windows account until you restore the original settings.
 ADSL Modem
If the ADSL modem has a USB port, it may have the capacity to set up a DLNA server. The difference between this type of server and its Windows type is the need for an external hard drive connection. The files you want to share via the modem must be on an external hard drive.
A TP-Link TD-W8980 modem was used to set up the DLNA server. After installing the external hard drive, enter the modem management console through your browser. If you have not changed the default modem settings, your modem management console address is 1.1.168.192. Then go to USB Setting and select Media Sharing. As you can see in Figure 6, after turning on the server, you can use the Add New Folder to specify the path where your files are located so that they can be easily shared. In this tutorial, we shared a folder called “Film”. You can now watch your movies through all the devices that connect to your network and support DLNA.


  Figure 6: Setting up a DLNA server on a modem

6- How to use it after starting the server?
The method of using DLNA varies depending on the type of device – TV, computer, audio and video receiver and the like. But here we explain how to use it in Windows operating system and Android-based smartphones.

Windows
Using a DLNA server is much simpler and easier than setting it up. Just run Windows Media Player and see your server and its files, as shown in Figure 7 in the Other Libraries section.


  Figure 7: Identification of DLNA servers in the media player

Android
There are several applications in Android that are compatible with DLNA. But in our reviews, Wondershare Player and VPlayer outperformed other apps. These advantages include ease of use and proper support for video formats. If you want to use VPlayer, you need to install VPlayer uPnP and only through this program you can connect to your DLNA server. Wondershare Player is able to connect to the DLNA server without the need to install add-ons, and supports more file access methods than VPlayer. In this section, we have used Wondershare Player to connect to the DLNA server. As shown in Figure 8, just refer to the Share section. After a few moments, the DLNA server will be displayed and you can play its files.


  Figure 8: Connection to DLNA server by Wondershare Player

7. Challenge
One of the problems we encountered in the reviews was the lack of proper support for subtitle files. If you want to watch movie subtitles, you must download them separately in your program. Of course, with MKV Merge it is possible to merge movie files and subtitles, but doing it to watch movies will be a bit tedious and repetitive. In addition, there is no guarantee that all existing DLNA broadcast programs will support subtitle and movie synchronization.

8. Conclusion
Although the emergence of DLNA is a very big and important step in the proper use of the network platform and easy communication of electronic devices, it seems that despite the age of DLNA, more progress is still needed to reach the ideal point. Lack of proper support for subtitles and lack of security mechanism are the biggest reasons for its weakness. There is no security mechanism for authentication because of the DLNA developers’ view and the assumption of using it in the home network. People who can connect to your internal network and are on the same subnet can access your files. Therefore, you should try to increase the security of your internal network in other ways so that your information is not stolen.

See Also find network information on any device

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