Monday, 25 June 2012

D(L)NA

Some times this gadget freak manages to amaze himself with his lack of imagination. Some times things border the criminally negligent level. I bring forth the case of DLNA as evidence.
DLNA is a technology that allows the wireless transmission of video content between two DLNA compatible devices. The promise of the technology is comfort and ease of use: have a DLNA enabled TV, for example, and it can display anything a DLNA enabled source component in your house can throw at it through your wifi. Quality would suffer due to the bandwidth limitations of the modern wifi network, which is why I’ve been neglecting my DLNA implementations, but the potential is still great.
The other week it occurred to me I have everything I need in the hardware department to run a good DLNA implementation:
    •    A DLNA enabled PS3 is already connected to my hi-fi and my TV.
    •    I have been using a powerhouse of a wifi 802.11n router for a year now.
    •    Source components in the shape of laptops and netbooks have been known to be seen at my house.
Once this realization hit me it did not take long at all for things to work. A quick browse through the Internets revealed this open source PS3 Media Server software is probably the best software for me to use. I quickly installed it on my Mac (and later on my Ubuntu netbooks) and it was all up and running within five minutes: I search for a media server on my PS3, find my Mac there, browse through the laptop’s drives on the PS3’s menus, choose a media file, click play… and sit and watch.
The beauty of this DLNA solution is that it turns every computer in your house into a media server. It also allows you to watch videos of any format on the otherwise limited PS3, as the DLNA process converts the videos on your computers into a PS3 friendly format.
The downside of this whole affair is that you need a PS3 to have an implementation along the lines of mine. However, with Target now selling PS3s for $250, and with the PS3 being a capable Blu-ray player and a media portal by its own rights (iView, SBS on Demand, music videos and more) – not to mention video gaming – one can do much worse than put one’s hands on one.
I love it.


Image: PS3 Media Server

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