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Wednesday, 27 April 2016 21:04

Share External Links with DeviceOnline

How To Share External Links with DeviceOnline 


  1. Share YouTube clips
  2. Share TED clips
  3. Share VBox7 clips

 

1. Share YouTube clips and movies

As we all know YouTube is one of the biggest sites on the web for free videos sharing. It allows people to create and share their own video clips with the whole world. Today YouTube is one of the most popular web sites with visitors watching around 6 billion hours of video every month.

The DeviceOnline application is capable to accept YouTube links and stream them to your Smart TV or other DLNA device. In order to do this, users need only to copy video URL using browser address bar or using the context menu on the video element as shown on the picture below and paste it inside DeviceOnline URL text field.

YouTube Firmsinfo video share 

Note that DeviceOnline app allows streaming of free YouTube videos only. In case of attempt to play resticted clips an error message will pop-up as shown on the image below.

YouTube sharing error 

 

2. Share TED clips

TED is a huge platform for ideas sharing. It is started in 1984 as a conference for technology, entertainment and design. Today a lot of people are using TED to share huge diversity of ideas and topics - from science to business to global issues.

 

To share a TED clip, user needs to follow the following steps:

  • Open the desired video clip
  • Mouse click over the Download button
  • Choose desired language if any
  • Open context menu by right mouse click over "Download video" and select "Copy link address"
  • Paste the link inside the DeviceOnline URL text field

TED Download 

3. Share VBox7 clips

Published in Technology
Sunday, 24 April 2016 07:46

What is UPnP and DLNA

What is UPnP and DLNA

Detailed information about Smart TV features such as Universal Plug and Play (UPNP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)


  1. Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Architecture overview
  2. UPnP AV architecture
  3. UPnP AV Components
  4. What is DLNA?
  5. References

1. Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Architecture overview

The concept of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is an extension of plug-and-play, which is technology for dynamically attaching devices to each other without the need of physical device configuration or user intervention. The UPnP architecture allows device-to-device networking of electronic devices such as mobile devices, personal computers, Smart TVs and other type of home networked devices. It involves a lot of standards and technologies such as the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP), HTTP, XML, and SOAP. The UPnP is based on client-server concept where UPnP control points (clients) are searching for UPnP servers (devices), which provide different standard services. The UPnP specification is divided into six phases:

  • Adressing

This point is related to device IP address assignment. In order to be a part of the networking, a device must have an unique IP address assigned. This can be achieved using a lookup into Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server or assign an IP address using AutoIP.

 

  • Discovery

After device addressing, the next step into UPnP networking is device discovery. The discovery protocol is known as the Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP). The device advertise its services to the network using SSDP alive messages. When a control point is added to the network it can actively search for devices of interest on the network or listen passively to these Discovery Service messages. The fundamental exchange is a discovery message containing a few essential specifics about the device or one of its services: its type, identifier, and a pointer (network location) to more detailed information.

 

  • Description

 When device is discovered by a control point, the control point knows very little about this device. In order to gain more information about the device and its capabilities, the control point must retrieve the device's description from the location (URL) provided by the device in the discovery message. The UPnP Device Description is expressed in XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which includes information like vendor, model name, serial number, URL, etc. One of the most important information provided by device description XML is a list of supported services and their URLs for control and events listening.

  

  • Control

 In order to interact with discovered device, the control point sends suitable control messages for invoking actions on services. These control messages are expressed in XML format using the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP).

 

  • Event notification

 A control point may register itself at a service to be informed for any device state changes. This event notification protocol is known as General Event Notification Architecture (GENA). The service sends events notifications to all registered control points at any change of a state variable. Event messages are under XML format and contain the names of one or more state variables and the current value of those variables.

 

  • Presentation

A device may provide an adapted user interface (UI) using an Uniform Resource Location (URL) in ordered to provide control for itself. So a control point may connect to this URL and use it to display a specific HTML page in a web browser and depending on the capabilities of the page to allow user to view device status and control its services.

 

2. UPnP AV architecture

The UPnP AV architecture is an audio and video extension of UPnP and it is trying to define a standard for interaction between multimedia devices. This standard extension is supported by variaty of devices such as TVs, VCRs, CD/DVD players/jukeboxes, settop boxes, stereos systems, MP3 players, still image cameras, personal computers and so on.

 

Goals of Universal Plug and Play AV Architecture

The main goals of UPnP AV Architecture can be defined as following:

  • To support arbitrary transfer protocols and content formats.
  • To enable the AV content to flow directly between devices without any intervention from the control point.
  • To enable control points to remain independent of any particular transfer protocol and content format. This allows control points to transparently support new protocols and formats.
  • Scalability, i.e. support of devices with very low resources, especially memory and processing-power as well as full-featured devices.
  • Synchronized playback to multiple rendering devices.
  • Access Control, Content Protection, and Digital Rights Management 

Normally in UPnP scenario the involved devices do not not interact directly with each another. The coordination between the devices is performed by the control point and not the devices themselves. The control point coordinates and synchronize the communication between devices in order to provide synchronized end-user effect. The most of AV scenario involve exchange of media content between devices. The AV control point uses UPnP to configure and setup the involved devices, but the media data is exchanged using out of bound non UPnP connection. So the control point is not directly involved during the content transfer.

 

3. UPnP AV Components

In the UPnP AV architecture, there are three main components:

  • the control point
  • MediaServer (DMS) - the source of the media content
  • MesiaRenderer (DMR) - the sink of the content

 

4. What is DLNA?

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) is an industry wide standard for sharing media content between devices. It is founded by a group of organisations some of which consumer electronics manufacturers, which desired to create a standard enabling all DLNA devices to exchange media over a home network. Nowadays many multimedia devices such as TVs, Phones, Hi-Fi systems, MP3 players, Network Attached Storages (NAS), etc are compatible with this standard and many users can take advantage of DLNA capabilities. Users having DLNA compatible devices are able to remotely control them and watch their favorite photos, movies and also to listen favorite songs, while sitting comfortably in their sofa.

The relation between UPnP and DLNA is that the digital network alliance is delivered from Universal Plug and Play protocol in order to normalize media interoperability. The DLNA puts some additional restrictions such as media formats and adding some additional features such as Digital Rights Management (DRM).

Note that in most cases adding Digital Living Network Alliance support to existing devices is impossible. The existing electronic products either have a build-in DLNA capabilities or don't support it at all. Ofcourse this is not true for devices such as personal computers, smart phones and other devices like these, since they allow installation of additional software applications to extend their ability.

A video DLNA explination:

One of the most common DLNA Devices are:

  • Digital Media Controller (DMC) - discovers Digital Media Servers (DMS) in the network and instruct digital media renderers (DMR) to play the content. Similar to UPnP AV, the content transfer is using an out-of-bound connection out of the DMC.  
  • Digital Media Server (DMS) - this is the source of media content and makes it available to networked digital media players (DMP) and digital media renderers (DMR). As examples for such devices are PersonalComputers and network-attached storage (NAS).
  • Digital Media Renderer (DMR) - play content as instructed by a digital media controller (DMC). Such devices are Smart TVs, audio players, video displays, etc.

 

DeviceOnline Media Streamer

Our DeviceOnline application combines some of the features of Digital Media Controller  and Digital Media Server. It is a tiny app, but is easy to use and capable to stream variety media content to different kind of media renders.  Our aim is to provide fast and reliable media sharing software, so please feel free to download DeviceOnline and give it a try.

5. References

Published in Technology
Thursday, 14 April 2016 09:08

What should we know about SMART TVs

What should we know about SMART TVs

Everything about smart TVs and their features and benefits. How to set up your TV to watch movies remotely and listen music by DeviceOnline DLNA streaming.


  1. Smart TV Overview
  2. Functions and benefits
  3. Why do I need to have a Smart TV
  4. How to connect my Smart TV to internet and use DLNA

1. Smart TV Overview

The term "Smart TV" comes from some major companies as Samsung, LG, Sony, JVC, Philips and so on. Not all of the IT companies are using the "Smart TV" term for their products, so sometimes is referred to as "Connected TV" or "Hybrid TV". Nowadays these terms denote any television (or set-top box) that provide ability for Internet connection to access streaming media services, can run entertainment apps and provide Web browser.

The Smart TV can be used for television set as well as for a set-top box for television, which provide advanced connectivity and computation abilities than traditional basic television set. The Smart TV devices are much more sophisticated and can be considered as a computer system with advanced television functionality. These systems run complete operating system and allow software updates and additional software applications to be developed for them. Third-party application developers can use the public so called Software Development Kit (SDK) in order to create new apps for particular Smart TV brand and allow end-users to install them.

 

 

Smart TVs may deliver multimedia content such as video, audio, photos from other devices like personal computers, network attached storage (NAS), mobile phones and other devices attached to same network using DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) / UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) or similar technique. This feature of Smart TVs is one of the most popular and convenient to users, since it allows the TV to be used as a remote screen for watching favorite media.

 

2. Functions and benefits

Obviously there are a lot of benefits to posses a Smart TV device and recently on the market these kind of televisions are more than the traditional ones. One of the main functionalities are:

  • Internet connectivity
  • Dedicated Web Browser
  • Third-party applications such as YouTube, Netflix and VBox
  • Speech recognition or other natural user interface
  • DLNA / UPnP media support
  • Improved remote control system

 

As mentioned above, these kind of devices similar to smart phones can provide different kinds of internet connectivity services, provide additional different applications, games, multimedia streaming and web browsing. These kind of devices provide an important service called Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) - receive multimedia content directly through the device internet connection without the need of a rooftop antenna, satellite dish or similar.

Along with enhanced software and internet connectivity features, most of the Smart TV manufactures put significant effort to improve the TV remote control functionality. These devices are pretty close to smart phones and may provide similar applications and user experience but in contrast the users are not able to control them using screen touches since normally they are several meters away. So most of these modern devices come with improved control system which is close to wireless mouse control. Some devices even allow to attach wireless mouse and use it to control some of the TV functionality. One of the best enhanced remote controls is this of LG smart tv - Magic Remote. It has pretty close user experience to those of Nintendo Wii and allows you to point over the screen items and select them with a click.

 

3.Why do I need to have a Smart TV

The Smart TV devices provide a huge set of functionalities. One of the most popular one is the DLNA services. Using DLNA services, users are able to cast content from their devices such as Smart phones, laptop, personal computers, tablets, etc directly to their television set using Wi-Fi connection. This means that you are able to share media content to your TV without the need of USB sticks, HDMI cables or other hardware. To do this comes in help the DeviceOnline applications, which allows you to bind and share any media content you have directly to your TV with just a click. You can read more about the device online apps from here.

 

4.How to connect my Smart TV to internet and use DLNA

Every modern Smart TV device possess an Ethernet cable connector at behind in order to be used for connection with the home network. The process is very similar to connecting a PC to a home network. Some tv devices has an additional embedded Wi-Fi adapter within themselves and it gives the capability to create wireless connection with your television set. If your device doesn't come with embedded Wi-Fi adapter, for most of them it is possible to plug and external one. Although Wi-Fi connection seems more convenient, most technicians recommend using wired connection since it is more secure and stable connection.

Some of the major steps required for TV network setup are:

  1. Go to your Smart TV's Network Settings, Network or Settings menu.
  2. Select the WiFi or Wireless option and wait for the device to scan for available wireless networks
  3. Select desired WiFi Network Name from the list of available networks.
  4. If your network doesn't appear you may need to choose the Search or Add a Wireless Network option
  5. When prompted, enter the Password using the keypad (from remote control or screen).

 

Network settings

Network Settings example (LG Smart TV)

 

After the TV Network is configured, the DLNA functionality of your TV is almost done. One of the things an user should do is to download the device online application on his PC and use it to share and control the media stream. In order to find more detailed information on How to use DeviceOnline apps read here

 

Published in Technology

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