How to Turn Your Computer Into a DLNA Media Server
DLNA stands for 'Digital Living Network Alliance'. The DLNA server is the device that stores and sends your movies, music and pictures. PCs running Windows have DLNA built into their operating system, and Windows Media Player can act as a media server that manages where the content is delivered and what content is accessible.
A few examples of how you can share content:
How to Enable the DLNA Media Server Built Into Windows?
There are many different pieces of software that can function as DLNA servers. But you don’t need to install anything special to get started. Windows has an integrated DLNA server you can enable.
To activate it, open the Control Panel and search for “media.” Click the “Media streaming options” link.
Next, click the “Turn on media streaming” button to enable the media-streaming server. Although this Control Panel doesn’t mention the term “DLNA” at all, the media-streaming feature in Windows is a DLNA-compliant media server.
Now you can customize the streaming settings. This window doesn’t actually tell you how to add video, music, and picture files that can be streamed over the network. But, the media-streaming feature depends on your Windows libraries.
If you want to stream video, music, or picture files, adds them to the Videos, Music, or Pictures libraries. You don’t have to move the files to the current library folders — you can add new folders to the libraries. On Windows 8.1, you’ll need to unhide the libraries to access them.
And then now you can access the DLNA media player on your other devices. For example, if you have a Roku, you can install the Roku Media Player channel and open it. DLNA servers on your local network will appear in the list, so you can select your computer and stream media files from it.
In addition to browsing your shared media library from the device, you can use the Play To feature to find media on your computer and start playing it directly on the networked device. Or use the DLNA media-streaming features to share media between your PCs.
How to Access your media remotely?
Your server is now set up and ready to share. You’ll also find it works with many smart TVs and some set-top boxes like the WD TV Live. Just check the unit’s instructions to find out how to connect to your network and then locate your server PC. Once opened, you should have access to all media currently stored in its Windows Media Player library.
The WD TV Live allows you to connect to your media server and watch video on any TV.
Access from other PCs is also simple. If you’re running Windows Vista or later you’ll find you can connect to your server PC through Windows Media Player itself via the /Other Libraries/ section. You can also connect through Windows Media Centre. Just browse a particular library type such as /Video/, then click /Shared/ to connect.
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