Overview On UPnP Network Protocol (Part 3)

3/25/2013 11:11:26 AM

DLNA is an organization that was established by many manufacturers in order to come to an agreement on the common standards to help home entertainment devices communicate with each other. The standard system that DLNA developed was based on the UPnP protocol and some other popular network protocols, helping to ensure the compatibility between devices of different types, platforms and manufacturers. Also DLNA is held responsible for checking the compatibility of a family device series to grant a corresponding certificate, letting users know what the product they are going to buy can do. In addition to recognizing and communicaing with other devices thanks to the UPnP support (with its role as a network protocol), there are also other problems about the processing capabilities, decoding (codecs), etc. to consider when you want to work with multimedia data on a home entertainment device. Users should mainly notuce the certificate on the devices that belong to the "3rd group" as TVs, HD Box, Camera because as mentioned, on your PC, laptop running the operating system with the powerful capability to expand like Windows, Linux, the only problem is whether you can find the appropriate software with all the functions.

DLNA is built on existing standards such as TCP/IP and UPnP.

DLNA is built on existing standards such as TCP/IP and UPnP.

The classification of devices is based on the role that a device can take (which is quite similar to what has been said above). Devices such as PCs, laptops can apparently take at the same time multiple roles:

·         Digital Media Server (DMS)

·         Digital Media Player (DMP)

·         Digital Media Renderer (DMR)

·         Digital Media Controller (DMC)

This is for your information in case you wonder what "Player" and "Renderer" are: a Renderer can be controlled by the Controller as said in the example above, while a Player is not. If you have had a different understanding of the traditional search by file and in the library, as described above, another point is that you can use the Controller to swtich to the file browser mode and use the Renderer to show them – in case the library encounters any error. The Player – for example, the music player will only be able to see and play what is displayed in the library. Also in some cases, we can see the Scanners/Printers which also have the DLNA certificate as they are able to communicate to receive or display images directly from the server or via UPnP, helping users avoid complex steps to follow when using the tools available on Windows or Mac.

But to take a deeper look, it’s not that everything will be ok if we have a Server, a Controlller and a Renderer, if it were that easy, DLNA would not have created a page that provides information about all the certificates that they have granted. DLNA certificate catalogs granted for devices are far more than that. Depending on the device specifications, there will be times when you encounter HD Box that cannot decode some video formats from your home library, or a camera cannot that display images from the scanner – because as mentioned avobe, on the one hand, devices can recognize and communicate with each other with the help of the UPnP, but on the other hand, we don’t know whether those devices can process the received signal.

After you have been fed up with the theory, we will go through a few simple steps to set up the basic UPnP in the LAN system.

Step One: Install the library on Mediaserver

As the applications serve to satisfy entertainment needs, except for Mediatomb, whatever Mediaserver you choose to install – you will not face much difficulty getting familiar with the user-friendly interface of those applications. In this example, we will use XBMC.

To make it easy for searching for content, we should first access Music or Movies, Select AddSource to add data sources for scanning, Locate the hard drive partition or folder on which your videos, images and audio are stored and create a catchy name for them.

The source that’s just been scanned will just appear in the main menu, right-click to select Scan Item to Library, wait a bit for the scan to be completed, then you will have a multimedia library.

Right-click to select Scan Item to Library, wait a bit for the scan to be completed, then you will have a multimedia library.

Right-click to select Scan Item to Library, wait a bit for the scan to be completed, then you will have a multimedia library.

Step Two: Install UPnP on XBMC

Access Settings > Services > UPnP: We will see the option to share data from XBMC library via UPnP, and also to allow controlling XBMC via UPnP connection. Enable the data sharing option (and the control option if you want). Note that the Allow control via HTTP option will allow you to manage your XBMC library via web interface by going to the address "IP server install XBMC": "Port", whose default port is 8080.

Step 2: install UPnP on XBMC

Step 2: install UPnP on XBMC

Step Three: Find XBMC Library Just Created On Other Devices

If you want to test streaming between desktops and laptops, continue to install XBMC on the other devices – they will act as Clients (or even try installing Plex, Mediatomb if you want to test the sharing ability of UPnP in general, not just XBMC only). On these devices, when selecting AddSource, you would not look for any folder on it, but rather access UPnP Devices > the server that has been configured in Step Two will be shown here. After succeeding in adding these sources for scanning, the entire contents of XBMC library from the server will be added to the library of these devices (continue to right-click and scan to library if you have not seen them yet). You will see that no space will be occupied on client devices, but videos or audio files can still be played normally.

Step 3: find XBMC library just created on other devices

Step 3: find XBMC library just created on other devices

Mobile devices usually do not require such a lengthy AddSource step as such. Just turn on BubbleUPnP, PlugPlayer or 8Player, and they will automatically receive the multimedia library of Android/iOS and display them with the name of "Local Library" or "Local Server" and display at the same time the library on the PC(s) you have just installed XBMC on. As stated above, BubbleUPnP or PlugPlayer has the ControlPoint function, what you have to do is to select Server or Renderer respectively from the list of devices then comfortably enjoy your achievements.

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