Re: DLNA applications

Re: DLNA applications

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You don’t have to have a TV with DLNA if you have the Denon AVR. Just send video with sound to the Denon and the Denon will process the sound and send video to the video display.

That said, I find DLNA is either benign or annoying depending on what you are trying to do. I don’t have a lot of trouble getting DLNA devices to connect themselves to the network. But there are LOTS of problems…

– playing music, especially lossless music (either FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, or WAV), there are momentary dropouts, even if there’s nothing on the network besides the server and the destination component

– managing large libraries is damn near impossible as DLNA is being implemented today; I have about 1.2 TB of music on a library drive, probably more than 3500 albums and 900+ artists. Most navigation choices will let you pick by artist name but with 900 choices, if you want to listen to ZZ Top you have to scroll from the top of the list to the end of the list… through all 900 artists. And the scrolling is NOT particularly fast. I’ve never seen a simple thing like being able to scroll backwards from A so that you can jump right from As to Zs. What is needed is simply replicating the hard disk folder structure which has about 30 directories (alphabetic with some letters having to be split into 2 folders to keep the list from being inconveniently long) and another 30-60 artists inside each alphabetic folder, then albums sorted by year in the sub-folders. You can navigate to any album in the entire hard disk in less than 10 seconds that way… but not with the navigation choices available so far in DLNA devices.

– I thought “pushing” content from the server to the DLNA device might be the solution for the momentary drop-out problem (these are very short… maybe half-a-second, but they cause an interruption that takes you out of the listening experience), but I can’t figure out how to push content reliably from my server… I like J. River Media Center 16 quite a lot, very sophisticated and flexible for a $50 program, in fact, there is 1 user interface option that looks so much like Kaliedescapes user interface ($10,000+ server systems, usually WAY WAY more than $10,000 systems) you’d think that J. River might be getting complaints from Kaliedescape. And Media Center 16 and previous versions seem to have the ability to push content, but I can’t get DLNA devices to reliably “get” the pushed content… or if the music does start playing, there’s no cover art or track names or artist name, etc. It has been frustrating.

My video library is much smaller… maybe 150 hour or half-hour TV series episodes primarily (ripping Blu-rays takes too much time and space at this point – it’s awfully easy to put a disc in a disc player vs. all the work to put Blu-ray discs on a server (and that’s probably not technically legal anyway). But even if you were playing discs on the HTPC, you’d still have the same issue with trying to get the content to play “smoothly” without stutters – and that means gigabit LAN and pretty much rules out WiFi unless there’s a Super-N of some kind that’s fast enough. Anyway, the larger the library, the more useless DLNA gets. I’m sure it will EVENTUALLY get better, but I don’t think it’s ready for SERIOUS entertainment with high-quality music and video as it stands today.