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DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

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rgill90's picture
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Hi

Hope this post is in the right place to be seen by the right people - did put it in the home cinema bit but i don;t think it was in the right place - wasn;t sure what to file it under.

I'm rennovating my house and it looks like i'm going to lay some CAT5 ethernet cables in a lot of rooms. I've a Synology DS212J with all my music and MKV videos and photos.

My content comprises jpgs for photos, .mkv and .avi for videos (most .mkvs are 1080p and have a DTS soundtrack) and 320Kbps MP3s.

I'm currently wanting to purchase 2 TVs (one 40" and one 46") to which i'd like to be able to stream my videos from my NAS via wired ethernet.  I know my synology has a DLNA server on it so i thought i could make use of that as long as the TVs I buy are DLNA However the more I read about DLNA the more I find its a bit of a minefield.

I was just wondering if there was anyone out there who had a similar network setup?  Does it work OK? 

Also, are there any other options open to me with the equipment I've got? If not, would this be a neat solution? If so, are there any particular TVs anyone can recommend which are really good at playing .mkvs over a network via DLNA?

I've posted this question here as I've had the luxury of trying to proove the concept on my Dad's Samsung TV Series 5 D TV, and it wouldn;t play ANY of my .mkv's via DLNA - .avi it coped well with though. However, put the same .mkv's on a usb flash drive and plug that directly into the back of the telly and they played a treat! Very strange...which further makes me think going down the DLNA route could lead to problems...or mybe just that samsung haven;t got this DLNA thing quite right!

hoping there's some users out there who can point me in the right direction

Cheers

Rich

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Andy Clough's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

There's some useful info on the DLNA website which may help.

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rgill90's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

Cheers Andy.  Yeap just had a look around there - its a very non-specific...can't find anything which says what files / codecs / versions devices to support to be certified. I've even tried googling for a compatibility list - nothing.

For example - I know my xbox is fully DLNA certified - but will it play 1080p DTS mkvs? answer is no.  Yet my friends Cambridge Audio Bluray player is DLNA certified and it will happily play the same 1080p DTS mkvs.

So it's all really quite confusing and kind of leads  me to believe I'm answering my own question - which is that DLNA certified devices probably only need to be compatible with a very narrow scope of audio / video codecs and that some manufacturers go above and beyond that scope, so....Check the spec sheets of the individual DLNA certified device I'm about to purchase (and make sure i can get a refund if isn't fit for purpose).

However I'm still up for reading any practical advice / experiences / caveats people have experienced if anyone is up for sharing?

Cheers.

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AnotherJoe's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

I would suggest divx(avi) for compressed videos or .VOB if u want them lossless. Nearly all DLNA devices should support these  formats - Samsungs certainly do.

 

For playing movies I always suggest a full 1080p media streamer, like a ACRyan Playon HD! mini2. This will play virtually any format, and you can keep movies in ISO format.

 

 

 

 

 

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tremon's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

rgill90 wrote:
Cheers Andy.  Yeap just had a look around there - its a very non-specific...can't find anything which says what files / codecs / versions devices to support to be certified. I've even tried googling for a compatibility list - nothing.
If you can stomach the average Internet rant and have a technical background, I suggest you read this:

https://gxben.wordpress.com/2008/08/24/why-do-i-hate-dlna-protocol-so-much/

To save you some reading, the short of it is:

- DLNA does not enforce compatibility with a specific codec other than what you find on a dvd or br disc (i.e. mpeg-II and mpeg-IV with ac3 or lpcm). Well, they did add support for aac and mp3 audio (but no flac, nor any other lossless codec other than lpcm).

- The XBox is not dlna-compliant unless you happen to use windows media center as your dlna server

- Almost every dmr supports more codecs than what is minimally required, but that still doesn't mean a compliant dms can stream that content without breaking the spec. Hence, no self-respecting dlna server is fully compliant.

rgill90's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

I was looking around last night and stumbled across that article but I was mindful of the fact is was getting on for 4 years old so wondered if things had moved on from then - clearly not.

Anyway cheers for all info - I think I need to find an alternative. All very confusing as I really like the idea of everything in the home being connected yet the consumer electronic market is still severly lacking in 'one-box' devices which facilitate what i want to do.

(ie one box which records freeview HD telly, plays a bluray or a DVD and also connects to a media source for media streaming)

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the record spot's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

Use DLNA functionality on my TV and Onkyo amp off the laptop wirelessly and it's impressive.  No issues here barring the occasional dropout.  Works pretty well for the most part though others report problems.  Give it a whirl if you can.

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rgill90's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

Cheers - good to know you've got successful use.  I've actually persevered with the Samsung Series D Telly connected to an open source DLNA server called Serviio running on my Synology DS212j NAS and I have to say I've managed to iron out some initial issues I've been having.  I need to test a bit more with trying other high def and standard def files from my DVD and Bluray rips but I'm definitley getting warmer.

what sort of videos do you stream? Standard definition or High Definition, what format and what sort of sound do they have (AC3 / DD / DTS?)

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the record spot's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

I usually tend to look at pictures off my phone stored on the laptop or music than films to be fair.  Films I'll stream off Sony's own website via my TV's internet connection.  Unlike the DLNA functionality, that's been giving me the problems this week!

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johnjay's picture
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similar story...

banging head against wall i was actually loading movies from wmp to a Sony bdp s480 expecting it to stream mkv. after watching a great spectacle via usb...Sad  ,not a chance,all avi. files of which some are good anyway,was so looking forward to supernatural mkv. though. ah well we cant have it all i suppose .

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Ellaguru's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

My Onkyo TX-8050 amp is wired to my Home Network.  My music is on a wired Synology DS212J NAS Box.  I have a Windows Laptop and an iPad.  I want to control what I stream from the NAS box to Onkyo TX-8050 - ideally from the iPad.

The only Windows Media Player I can find which supports outputting to the Onkyo as a DLNA Media Renderer is Windows Media Player - WMP 12 is what I am using (but not a big fan - looking for an alternative).

Cannot find anything to run on the iPad except the Synology DSAudio app - but that doesn't have a stop button by golly...

Can anyone recommend an alternative Media Player to WMP which 100% supports output to TX-8050?

Can anyone recommend an iPad app that allows me a bit more control on what I play?

 

 

 

D3CYPH3R's picture
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RE: similar story...

johnjay wrote:

banging head against wall i was actually loading movies from wmp to a Sony bdp s480 expecting it to stream mkv. after watching a great spectacle via usb...Sad  ,not a chance,all avi. files of which some are good anyway,was so looking forward to supernatural mkv. though. ah well we cant have it all i suppose .

 

As mentioned elsewhere Sony have come up with some free software called homestream this should take care of codec issues when streaming.

D3CYPH3R's picture
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RE: similar story...

Edit: stupid double post :/

AnotherJoe's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

Ellaguru wrote:

My Onkyo TX-8050 amp is wired to my Home Network.  My music is on a wired Synology DS212J NAS Box.  I have a Windows Laptop and an iPad.  I want to control what I stream from the NAS box to Onkyo TX-8050 - ideally from the iPad.

The only Windows Media Player I can find which supports outputting to the Onkyo as a DLNA Media Renderer is Windows Media Player - WMP 12 is what I am using (but not a big fan - looking for an alternative).

Cannot find anything to run on the iPad except the Synology DSAudio app - but that doesn't have a stop button by golly...

Can anyone recommend an alternative Media Player to WMP which 100% supports output to TX-8050?

Can anyone recommend an iPad app that allows me a bit more control on what I play?

 

Do you not have an android phone? There are loads of apps that would do what you want.

 

For the Ipad there is Sitecoms ImediaControl. Never tried the app buts its meant to be ok

 

 

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Ellaguru's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

Thanks for suggestion but I dont have an Android.

Imedia control allows me to play one somg at a time from DLNA Server to TX-8050 Renderer - I need more than that however (a Media Player please )...

legoyoda's picture
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RE: DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

I'm pretty sure .mkv is just a diferent wrapper for .h264 codec (which Xbox does play). I believe you can transcode between  the two quickly without loss of quality. Handbreak rings a bell (www.handbreak.fr) perhaps?