This site uses cookies to help us provide quality services. Using our services, you consent to the use of cookies.
 
   
Sign up  
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
Sunday, 13 December 2015 15:46

How to work with DeviceOnline

How to work with DeviceOnline

 


How the main DeviceOnline window looks like

DeviceOnline main screen

  1. Drop down menu for Player selection - will be filled with the found network players
  2. Playlist Search box - used to find fast desired playlist items. Note that this will not change the playback order.
  3. Clear Playlist button - Remove all items from playlist area
  4. Browse button - Open browse dialog used to add files to media playlist
  5. Remove item button - Hover a playlist entry and click the cross button in cases you desire to remove it from the playlist
  6. Playlist area - Use the Browse button in order to add file entries to the playlist.
  7. URL text box - place the media (audio, video, image) URL here and hit the Enter key to add desired URL to playlist. Note you can directly place YouTube URLs and they will be automatically resolved ... read more
  8. Add URL button - click this button in order to add the desired URL to playlist (same as the Enter key)
  9. Media controls - media controls buttons and progress bar. User can directly perform track navigation by simple click over the progress bar line. The media buttons so far are: Previous song, Play. Pause, Stop, Next track and Repeat track.
  10. Status bar - shows number of players and other events. When a new event occur (e.g. a new player comes online) the text blink effect will be observed to indicate the event.
  11. Help button - In case you need to check this page again

 


How to connect to your Smart TV or UPnP Box

The DeviceOnline application is designed to connect and stream media to your smart TV and similar devices. Once it starts it scans your local network for UPnP / DLNA compatible devices - Digital Media Renderers. This means that if you own devices like Smart TV, Mobile Phones, Tablets, etc connected to your local area network (LAN), the DeviceOnline should be able to detect them. Once the device is discovered, the application will include it in its list of mediaplayers for possible selection.

Below are several simple steps that describe how to share content to your Smart TV or UPnP / DLNA complient device:

  • Download, install and start the DeviceOnline stand alone application or the Chrome extension
  • Drag and Drop desired folders and media files into the window
  • Choose the desired Media Player device from the Drop Down
  • Double click on an item from your playlist
  • Use the playback controls in order to Pause. Resume, Stop or Skip the current item
  • You can use the following short cut keys for playback controls:
    • F1: Open the Help page
    • SPACEBAR: Pause / Resume command
    • +: Volume UP
    • -: Volume DOWN
  • To use subtitles, a "srt" files are supported and should be with same file name as the movie. Note that subtitles must be present in the track list.

Subtitles set up

  • File naming - Rename the subtitle "srt" file to match the name of corresponding video file.
  • File encoding - Most UPnP media renderers require the subtitle's file encoding to be in Unicode encoding (e.g. for LG Smart TV the encoding is UTF-8 with BOM). You can use some advanced text editor to change the encoding.
  • Playlist notes -The "srt" file should be present in playlist along with the corresponding media file.

Watch external links

DeviceOnline is capable to provide playback from external links. In most cases user can extract the URL from web page content using the context menu over the desired element. The extracted URL should be placed inside URL Text Box filed and hit Enter to add it to the playlist. Normally the external links should contain an extension, but there are some exceptions such as YouTube. In order to find out how to share links from YouTube, TED, VBox7, TWiT, Revision3 and others, please follow the link.

Known limitations:

  • The DeviceOnline Remote Media Center uses the browser build in HTML-5 player, so it may not play all media files provided by the server APP. The reason for this limitation is that different browsers can play different types of media, and the built-in HTML-5 player is bound to it.
  • Sometimes adding external URLs such as YouTube videos may lead to message like - "Failed to add URL entry due to website restrictions!". This notification rises since some video clips are restricted for streaming outside YouTube service.
  • The Chrome application is not capable to put itself into the Windows firewall exception list, so a manual firewall setting for port 8090 is required.
Published in Menu
Tuesday, 08 December 2015 22:00

About

We are small and passionate team willing to create helpful software applications and tools. Our goal is to create software which will help people enjoy the multimedia world. We are working on different kind of projects and we give best of us to provide high quality software applications.

The one of our most passionate projects is DeviceOnline. We believe DeviceOnline is a simple, easy-to-use yet powerful media streaming and sharing tool. We are happy to improve it every day and watch how it is evolving towards a better program. Our tiny media streamer can offer many different features such as: UPnP/DLNA support, fast playlist management by simple drag&drop, small footprint and many more.

 

If you want to contact us, please do so from here.

 

Published in Menu
Tuesday, 08 December 2015 02:27

Downloads

Download DeviceOnline Software, a free Media Streaming Tool

Choose desired distribution


DeviceOnlineLite - Tiny Media Streamer Application

DeviceOnlineLite is a tiny and yet powerful app, which provide a big set of functionality for media streaming and UPNP (DLNA) playback. By DeviceOnlineLite you can share a variety of media content on your home network and wirelessly stream video to your Smart TV. It runs in the system tray and is using Browser based UI for interaction. 

Download
DeviceOnlineLite
for Windows (ZIP)

System requirements for Windows are:

  • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 2+, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10
  • Storage: 5MB of free disk space
  • Memory: 512MB of RAM
  • Price: $0.0 - FREEWARE


DeviceOnline - Stand Alone Media Streamer Application

DeviceOnline is a small stand-alone application with an easy to use User Interface. The application supports DLNA media streaming, Drag&Drop files and folders, tiny local media player,  and many more fancy features.

Download
DeviceOnline stand alone app
for Windows (ZIP)

System requirements for Windows are:

  • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 2+, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10
  • Storage: 20MB of free disk space
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 processor or later that's SSE2 capable
  • Memory: 512MB of RAM
  • Price: $0.0 - FREEWARE

 


DeviceOnline Chrome Application

Download
DeviceOnline
Chrome App

 

The DeviceOnline Chrome app is a stand alone like application, but it is using the Chrome Browser engine and is hosted inside Chrome Web Store.


DeviceOnline documentation

Manual for use of deviceonline.net

Software's manual

Find out how to use the DeviceOnlie service. Follow the link in order to find out more information about DeviceOnlie software - tips & hints, supported features and known limitations.

Check out the Software's Manual
Published in Menu

Free Joomla! template by Age Themes