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DLNA server as media source


maxSEPHIROTH
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Can we use DLNA server as a media source ?

 

I have a Promise SmartStore 4600 Nas Device and it has DLNA server capablity too.

 

I can access the content of the nas device as a standart windows share.

 

But with windows shared files the media players cant use a streaming ability like a DLNA server and this can be a real problem on a wireless network with high rate videos.

 

how can we set a DLNA server as a media source ?

 

Thanks...

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You can use the server, but you wouldn't be using it's DLNA capability. You would just access it like you access it for putting files onto the NAS. It probably has a server name, so your source would be something like "\\PROMISE-NAS\Movies\"

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Is it on the roadmap ? The DLNA as media source ?

Streaming is very important when network is wireless.

Like i said before video players performance is not good on wireless networks with a high bitrate video.

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Not sure what you are meaning as a media source. DLNA is a protocol for streaming, not for something to be used as a data source. If your asking if a DLNA Media Browser plugin will ever be available for the Media Browser Server, then not sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Really hope we will see a DLNA client soon as this will eliminate the requirement for extra hardware. Do not want to compare MB3 with the competition (there is no comparison - MB3 is simply the best) but they have DLNA client. Would hate to be "forced" to move to the competition.

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This "request" was completely unrelated to DLNA though. DLNA is never going to be a source that the server reads data from. It would be a method to push the server data out to a DLNA client.

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Deathsquirrel

Pine there is no reason why you would need new hardware to read data from a NAS device.  You would just configure your MB3 server, or MB2, to read the contents of the NAS the same way you would content on any other drive.  The format for the pathing is \\devicename\sharename\foldername.  So if your device is called Bob, your movie share called Movies, and under that you had folders called HD and SD full of movies the paths you would add to the media library config are \\bob\movies\hd and \\bob\movies\sd.

 

Having the server read DLNA sources wouldn't make any sense but it's always possible someone will add it to a client app though accessing the same movie as described above would be MUCH faster, more responsive, and include metadata and art support I've never seen in a DLNA client.

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Hi Deathsquirrel. Thks for the help. I do however think there is a small misunderstanding here. I do not want MB3 to "read" data sources from DLNA devices I want DLNA to "read" the MB3 server. I have got the NAS setup exactly as you suggest. I would however like to play the media on my Smart TV (DLNA enabled). As far as I understand to do this I either need extra hardware (eg HTPC, Roku etc) connected to the TV or a DLNA client installed on the TV to "read" the media from the server (and NAS).

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Honestly you will be better off with another client connected then with DLNA. There is a reason that DLNA has been around for 10 years and has not taken off. It is a horrible technology that no 2 vendors followed the same specs. So what works on one doesn't always works on another. Plus the display and browsing items is like browsing something from the early 90s. It is all text and very slow to navigate. An HTPC or Roku box will actually give you an interface that you can browse and see things like movie covers, etc. Plus they will be a thousand times faster to actually navigate around and find what your looking for.

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry to resurrect a thread but I figured starting a new one would be worse...

 

To say DLNA hasn't taken off is somewhat arguable - there are a ton of hardware and software implementations.  The reason I wanted to chime in is that being able to set a DLNA source within MB3 may bring some added functionality that is perhaps being overlooked.  There are DLNA servers out there that provide some fairly decent content that MB3 isn't currently capable of.  Take PlayOn for example.  I for one, would love all MB3 clients to have access to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Instant, Food Network, Pandora, Icefilms, etc.  If support for DLNA sources were added, all of these would be instantly available via PlayOn (or any similar server).  Anyway, just food for thought.  DLNA does not just serve local content.  I for one believe that this would be a huge value add to MB3.

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I'm not really following how us providing a DLNA server for our data would allow people to access all those other services through our clients.

 

But, as for PlayOn - this is the one part of DLNA that we will be working on.  We'd like the ability to be able to play MB content onto any device that can accept this type of stream request.

 

This topic, however, is geared towards us providing our data to DLNA clients for display and, due to all the limitations mentioned here, I believe it is much more useful for us to just create actual clients on those platforms rather than the dumbed down interface of DLNA.  

 

When we have the ability to PlayOn to capable devices, plus ChromeCast, I think the need for an actual DLNA server drops to just about nil.

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ebr wrote: "This topic, however, is geared towards us providing our data to DLNA clients"

 

The original poster wanted MB3 to be able to play *from* DLNA sources (the same as my request).  It was Pine (the second poster) who wanted MB3 to act as a DLNA source. A subtle but important difference.

 

I think part of the confusion here is that you have been reading my mention of "PlayOn" as "Play To". PlayOn is a very capable DLNA server that can provide access to a ton of online streaming sources.  You can check it out here: http://www.playon.tv

 

For example, if MB3 were to add support for reading DLNA sources, a user could add their PlayOn server and MB3 would have instant access to a ton of online streaming sources including Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Instant, Food Network, Pandora, Icefilms, etc.  The PlayOn server also provides some metadata for its content (thumbnails and show descriptions).  Other DLNA servers can do similar things as PlayOn but I personally view PlayOn as the best in its class for streaming online content.

 

Again, if MB3 were to add support for viewing DLNA *content* then it would essentially have a way of adding all these online sources without having to program them manually as plugins or keep them updated.  Consider it outsourcing :) 

Edited by cracksloth
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Confused - seems that we are talking about 2 topics here and that there is confusion between "server" and "client".

 

My question - if I have for example a TV which is DNLA enabled I would like this TV to access my MB3 server without addition of further hardware. Plex does this but I do not want to go this route as I like MB3 a lot more. What will be required to do this?

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@Pine:

Yes, the original poster was wanting MB3 to be able to read from DLNA sources (as a renderer). You were requesting a different feature, the ability for MB3 to act as a DLNA server (source).

 

In retrospect, I should have started a new thread to avoid confusion. Sorry for that.

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@Pine:

Yes, the original poster was wanting MB3 to be able to read from DLNA sources (as a renderer). You were requesting a different feature, the ability for MB3 to act as a DLNA server (source).

 

In retrospect, I should have started a new thread to avoid confusion. Sorry for that.

 

@cracksloth:

No problem. Looking back at the posts I might have been the one that started all the confusion. At least all future readers should now be able to establish the difference between the two (server and client). Now let's see which one MB is going to tackle first (if any).

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Actually, I think there are at least 3 permutations here :)

 

1) MB as a DLNA server providing data to other DLNA clients - this is the one I think we are least likely to implement any time soon because the benefits don't outweigh the difficulty and there are better ways to achieve the same goal (our content on other devices).

 

2) PlayTo - This is something we are actively working on and will enable a MB client (say, your phone or tablet) to tell a DLNA-capable device like your smart TV to play some of your content without having an actual client on that smart TV.  This is kinda like Chromecasting without the Chromecast.

 

3) The PlayOn server functionality mentioned by cracksloth - this is not something I have personally looked into but, if it does provide basically an API to all of those services, then, yes, this is definitely something we would want to investigate.

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Cracksloth - PlayOn is a product not a protocol.  I don't see how we could leverage that to get all of those services inside of MB.

 

It appears to be its own media server that then uses PlayTo functionality to get content from those services to your DLNA devices.  That's not going to provide us access to those services inside of MB clients (other than simple playback).

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PlayOn is a product.  It serves content via DLNA.  It is considered a "digital media server" (DMS).  It can play to "digital media players" (DMPs) such as TVs, game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices that are capable of navigating content typically via remote or on-screen interface.  A DMS can also play to "digital media renderers" (DMRs) which typically have a minimal interface and simply serve as a target for content (Windows uses "play to" as the verb of sending the content and this acts a lot like Chromecast).  Finally, a "digital media controller" (DMC) acts as a sort of middleman in that it is aware of the DMSs that are serving content and it simply provides the UI to direct a chosen stream to a chosen device that supports it (DMPs and DMRs).  Technically, my request is that MB3 server act as a DMC with the added feature that it transcode the stream as necessary depending on the codecs supported by the client (however, I am willing to bet that most DMSs can be instructed to transcode into an acceptable format natively).  To the user, it would appear as if they were adding a DLNA server as a source that other MB3 clients could access.  In addition to PlayOn, there are many more DMSs that have similar features regarding streaming online content (with the added bonus that they are free).  I only use PlayOn as an example because I think it is the best at what it does (in my experience).  DLNA has its virtues.

Edited by cracksloth
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But, the only way that would work (for accessing those other services), would be if someone also had the PlayOn server.  Probably too narrow of an audience for now.

 

With our ability to play to ChromeCast and, hopefully in the future, most smart TVs from any of our remote clients, I wouldn't see the huge benefit to being a DMC.  We already are our own DMC without all the DLNA hassles.

 

Of course, any dev who wanted to step up and build such a thing is more than welcome.

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I honestly don't see the benefits of PlayON, the thing they offer seems it should be plugins for MB like exactly these sorts of plugins there are for XBMC.

 

As an example :http://www.rieter.net/content/ <-- All play channels for tv one could possibly need.

 

Also the fact that its a paid program makes me really cautious.

 

However not everything fits everyone :) So i think you should make a new Request for this specific thing and see if any dev wants to incorporate it!

Edited by plumblum
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PlayOn is just an example of a DLNA digital media server.  There are many (free) options available and many support plugins for online content such as Hulu, Netflix, and others.  Perhaps I should never have mentioned PlayOn - there are many servers that do a good job of this.

 

The benefit of supporting DLNA is *not* for streaming files that belong to a file structure (as far as I'm concerned, MB3 already does a good job of this).  The point of supporting DLNA is that you are leveraging the strengths of a mature technology and utilizing the coding manpower of others who have already found solutions to similar problems.  I think we can all agree that users would like MB3 to support streaming from online sources especially given this is a strength in other products like XBMC.  I think we can also agree that the ideal solution would be native plugins.  The problem is finding that many dedicated developers who will keep their plugins up to date.  The second problem is the amount of time users would have to wait for all of these plugins to become available.  I have no doubt that MB3 will get there eventually but in the meantime, why not support DLNA as way to instantly support virtually all online streaming sources?  I can't think of a way for MB3 to accomplish this functionality with less code.  MB3 already supports the playback infrastructure, it just lacks the UI for navigating the sources.  

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...but in the meantime, why not support DLNA as way to instantly support virtually all online streaming sources? 

 

Because there is absolutely nothing "instant" about it ;).  Developing to the DLNA spec is probably harder than coming up with native solutions.  As a "standard" DLNA is a mess.

 

But, like I said, if a dev wants to take it on, we'll support them any way we can.  I really don't think DLNA is a route to those paid streaming services though.  We are always going to have licensing and API issues with them.

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Well, I certainly defer to your experience, however, if MB3 were to support DLNA, you would not have to worry about licensing and API issues as those problems are dealt with by the DMS software developers (and the plugin authors).  MB3 could keep its hands clean and just support a common standard :)

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