A Linux home entertainment server with UPnP and DLNA

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Thanks to protocols such as UPnP and DLNA, video, audio, and photos are distributed to TVs, gaming consoles, PCs, and smartphones without the need for configuration. Linux as a central media server is a welcome guest.

Expensive turnkey solutions such as Microsoft’s Media Center or the closed source Apple AirPlay are currently making headway into many living rooms. The most widely used open platform for streaming, which supports devices from almost any manufacturer, is DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), a standard approved by an industry consortium.

In this article, I describe how DLNA works, including the underlying protocols and device types, and how a Linux PC, an Android smartphone, and a Play-Station can link up to a television set.

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