A DLNA media server is a device that can store digital media in one location and stream the media to a DLNA player. It is used in homes to store digital music, videos, and photo files. DLNA is an acronym for Digital Living Network Alliance, a non-profit alliance of over 250 companies who manufacture digital equipment. Technological devices that are DLNA certified can be connected with other digital equipment and operate from a wired or wireless home network. All DLNA certified devices have the capacity to work together.
Some people use a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device to store their digital media. These devices plug right into the network, so the PC does not need to be on all of the time serving media. It is possible to access the digital media stored on the NAS even when you are away from home and your computer is turned off, which is a big advantage. DLNA players simply locate the media on the NAS and play it on a TV, cell phone, lap top, or game console. The NAS devices can do many things in a simple way. They can act as an iTunes server and as a photo server for PCs. Many models have installation wizards to guide users through the process of managing media files and backing them up.
It is also possible to turn your PC into a DLNA certified media server. If you want to stream movies to a player like XBox360 or PS3, you need to first set up your computer to allow the Media Player to share information that is stored in files on your computer. Although there are many steps involved in this process, it is simple to do. You simply need to activate Windows Media Player 11. First, it is necessary to open Media Player, and check “Share My Media.” A window will appear that says, “Media Sharing.” You then click that it is okay to share your media. It is usually necessary to turn the firewall off on your computer for about 15 minutes during this process. The next step is to click “Settings,” and the “Media Sharing – Default Settings” window will pop up. This window gives you options as to what you want to share. The options are music, video, and pictures. While you are still on this window, you will be asked to name the media server, so you will need to think of a name for this device.
If more than one person uses your PC, each user must have a server and media sharing needs to be configured for each person as well. Next, you will need to click on the “Networking” button. In the Sharing and Discovery column, you will have everything marked as “On” except for Printer sharing and Password protected sharing that need to be on “Off.” Then, it is necessary to return to the “Windows Media Player” window where you can select the folders to monitor. The second option of “My folders and those of others that I can access” should be checked. The default setting will have the box that says “Add files previously deleted from library” checked, but this should be unchecked. When you click “Add” next, you will see folder that you can browse and add if you want to. If you decide to add any folders, it will appear in the next window. When you click on “OK,” your computer will search for the file and add it to the library. The process is complete, and you have finished making your PC a DLNA media server. You can then use the Ethernet connection on your PS3, receiver, or TV to connect to the server and view media that you have stored on your PC.