Want to stream videos, photos or music around your home? You need DLNA.
DLNA stands for the Digital Living Network Alliance and means that lots of new phones, computers, HD TVs and other devices can share information with each other, regardless of their make or model. Over 200 manufacturers are members of the DLNA and we are one of them. DLNA-enabled devices let you share photos, music and videos, around your home in a really straightforward and convenient way because the standard combines methods to stream and convert all the common file formats. Sure, it sounds a bit techie, but all you really need to know is that DLNA devices will play nicely together, as long as they’re using the same home network.
How does DLNA work?
A DLNA network needs two components – a DLNA server and DLNA clients. Everything connects together via your home WiFi, or wired Ethernet network. A DLNA server is a computer or networked storage device running a piece of media server software that controls how your videos, photos and music are shared. Devices designed to store your media, such as networked hard drives, PCs and even mobile phones, have a DLNA server built in, assuming they’re carrying the DLNA badge.
DLNA clients are the devices you use to view photos and videos, and listen to music. These can be anything from your HD TV to another laptop, a mobile phone, a camera, portable media player or internet radio. They can stream content from any device acting as a DLNA server.
In most cases that’ll be a laptop running Windows 7 with Windows Media Player 11, letting you look at photos from the laptop on the big screen in the lounge, or tune into your music collection through the internet radio in the kitchen. The key to DLNA is that it makes it simple to get all your kit working together. You don’t need to worry about which devices are servers, and which are clients. Just hook them all up to the same network, and they’ll handle everything automatically.
Toshiba and DLNA
Lots of Toshiba products support DLNA. In your living room, HD TVs including the REGZA RV and REGZA SL series come with DLNA support, while our newest laptops have Toshiba Media Controller built-in to make it easy for you to share and stream media from the computer to other devices in the house.
Why Windows 7 matters
Using a Toshiba laptop as your DLNA server makes sense because with Windows 7 DLNA support is baked right into the operating system.
Windows Media Player 11 works as DLNA server software to control the streaming of content from your hard drive and the web around your house. Windows 7’s DLNA support makes it easy to find and share music and video collections between other computers in your home too.
As well as using other devices to grab media from your Windows 7 PC, Microsoft also includes a feature called Play To, which lets you sit at the PC, and send music to other devices without even touching them.
It’s more advanced than standard DLNA, but uses the same technology and means you can play albums on your office computer through the stereo in your living room or to the DLNA certified radio in your kitchen. Think of it as a true multi-room sound system, letting you send music to every room in the house, wirelessly. Perfect for a party, or listening to music as you get on with household chores!
You can even access your media further afield with Windows 7’s support for streaming over the web. Using your Windows Live ID, you can securely access your home computer to get at music, films or photos. It’s all possible through DLNA technology, so keep your eyes peeled for the DLNA seal of approval.