DLNA - Any good? Any Advice?

rgill90

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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
 

rgill90

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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.
 

AnotherJoe

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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.
 
A

Anonymous

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rgill90 said:
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

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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)
 
T

the record spot

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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

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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?)
 
T

the record spot

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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

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: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...:( ,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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Anonymous

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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

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johnjay said:
: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...:( ,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.
 

AnotherJoe

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Ellaguru said:
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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Anonymous

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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

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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?
 

kinda

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I use Samsung BluRay player, (BD C6900), which will play VOB or mpg (with DD5.1) from my DLNA NAS, plus any AVI files I've tried, .TS, (which a lot of PVRs record in), and although I don't often do it I'm pretty sure I've streamed the odd MKV. No ISO.

The quality is very good, but the fly in the ointment is it won;t recognise anamorphic. If I export a .TS file from my Sagem PVR, or rip a DVD as VOB, (even of I rename the vob to mpg - every vob is a valid mpg file, but not vice-versa), it doesn't show them properly as it doesn't recognise the anamorphic video, so they are narrower than they should be. No fix seems to be on the horizon. I believe this also affects Samsung TVs, but there are custom firmware versions from non-Samsung enthusiasts that address it.

The problem with DLNA is the spec is limited, and so devices and servers do more, but often finding out what and exactly what the results will be isn't easy. The differences between USB and network playback don't help. I'd like to see a lot more in reviews about what they do in this respect.

There is a BluRay / DLNA / Freeview HD PVR box, the Samsung E8500 / E8900, and they will also act as servers for stored content. Not sure how that works for HD encrypted recordings, but hopefully this box wouln't have the anamorphic issue.

I wonder whether the streamers like AC Ryan perform to the standard of something like a BluRay player when streaming froma pure picture / audio perspective and like to see more about this in reviews also. I haven't worried too much about ISO playback as if I want to store away one of my DVDs I tend not to be bothered about the disk extras so a ripped vob of the film gives me the unaltered film and takes up less disk space.
 

AnotherJoe

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A streamer like an ACryan will allow perfect playback of BD-ISO.

The BD is usually ripped with error correction using a PC to a NAS, and the streamer is certified to fully support the required video/audio codecs.

ISO's are also my preferred format for ripping dvds- as any subtitles are copied also. Otherwise your ripper will need to add an .srt,.sub etc file to the .VOB

Many films (eg Kill Bill1, Hunt for Red October) have parts spoken in foreign language - without the subtitle encoded you wont get the translation.

For the sake of £80 or so, I would always recomend a streamer as the best quality solution for both video (DVD/BD) and lossless audio (eg FLAC), when plugged into an amp.
 

tj27

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Not sure if this is any help:

i bought a NAS drive from western digital, set it up over the network via my PC - youu can tell it who can have access over the network etc, transferred all my audio & pics etc to it & then my Yamaha A810 is DLNA certified & i just put the amp on, tell it to read the WD NAS drive & i select what i want & its all there on the TV screen. 1tb WD NAS drive cost me about £100 from Amazon.
 

rgill90

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Hi All

Just logged on here and found this old post is alive and well, so as the OP I thought i'd do an update.

I disabled the media player on the Synology NAS and installed a DLNA server called Serviio - great support, forums and profiles. I did this as my research showed the DLNA server which comes bundled on the synology is resource hungry, leaks memory, clunky and confines you to using a certain directory structure.

Anyway hardwired the NAS via my router directly to the Samsung TV Series D TV and it plays all my videos I've thrown at it. 1080p mkvs in their proper format - with DTS audio

Forced Subtitles (Avatar / district 9 / Bourne films, etc) seems to be a bit of a minefield. I've found the best way to deal with them is to ensure they're hardocded into the MKV file. (various ways of doing this but its prob out of scope of this post)

So, so far I've learned Serviio on the Synology DS212j is far better than the DLNA server which comes prepacked.

I've yet to try with a Samsung Recorder / Bluray player (as i've yet to buy one) but more updates as i get them.

Streaming with the boxee box is also flawless as well
 

AnotherJoe

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As you have a Samsung TV I suggest you also try installing the plex client on your TV, and the plex media server on your NAS

http://www.plexapp.com/linux/linux-pms-download.php

Ensure your films are name in the format name_year_type and the thumbnails, movie info will appear for each film when you browse them.

Eg. A Beautiful Mind_2001_DVDRip.ISO

This is what my TV looks like when browsing my NAS using PLEX.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/34970833/IMAG0016.jpg
 

rgill90

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cheers, joe - yeah used to use plex server and client on my macbook plugged into my telly for a year or so. Was really interested to see the client on the samsung so I installed it a while back when it first came out using my macbook as the server and it works a treat. However its not really an option for me since I really want to free up my macbook and my Synology is a DS212j which has the ARM chipset reather than Intel so the plex server for Synology won't install. I've been watching the 'plex server for Synology ARM' thread for about 6 months now though and one chappie posted the other day that it's 'not far away'.

Will be interested to try it when it surfaces (I really miss that plex interface!) but having said that Serviio is absolutely excellent and so efficient in terms of resource footprint on my NAS so I'll be hard pressed to find something that matches it I think.
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi everyone !

I have a Synology NAS server with DLNA on my local network and I'm considering buying the Onkyo TX-8050 to play the music stored on my server (connection via ethernet link).

Is this amp capable of reading the DLNA flux from the server directly via ethernet ?

I'm also thinking of getting the usb wifi dongle to be able to control the amp from an android tablet/mp3 player (which i think is easier than browsing through all the files from the amp directly)

What do you think ?
 

AnotherJoe

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cyril_13 said:
Hi everyone !

I have a Synology NAS server with DLNA on my local network and I'm considering buying the Onkyo TX-8050 to play the music stored on my server (connection via ethernet link).

Is this amp capable of reading the DLNA flux from the server directly via ethernet ?

I'm also thinking of getting the usb wifi dongle to be able to control the amp from an android tablet/mp3 player (which i think is easier than browsing through all the files from the amp directly)

What do you think ?

Yes the Onk can stream music straight from the NAS. For best quality use FLAC format.

If you have a wireless router then you shouldnt need the wifi dongle to control it with a phone/tablet.
 

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