Getting movies to play on DLNA-compatible devices isn’t easy.  Welcome to my first blog of 2011: where middle-classes commit crime, get confused, and have to go back to playing Doom for a count-to-10-fest.

In the Beginning

After some suspicious law-breaking caused by not wanting to spend £200 on Ikea Shelves, many of the DVDs I own suddenly, and quite by surprise, found themselves stored on two PCs in my house.  Magically catalogued in a Danish “My Movies” system, I can access these movies through a fab looking graphical interface across my network.

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Many LCD / LED televisions allow us to watch movies stored on a computer across our home networks.  Radios supporting the “digital home” mean we can be in our kitchens or bathrooms listening to the music we’ve bought and put onto home PCs.  Even mobile phones now support DLNA!

imageThe pretty Danish thing is not an example of a DLNA Digital Home. It’s a computer database that tells other computers what file to get to play a movie.  Maybe you’ve got something similar already running in your home – a shared folder with all your Music in, for example.

DLNA, on the other hand, works more like this:

A digital home reads original media (it could be a video from your camcorder) and then stores it somehow in the right format.  Next, it is converted before being broadcast by your digital home servers over your network.

The device you’re using (like an iPad) then receives the media, and might convert it internally into a usable format.  The player on the device then turns that into a format that encourages the dunking of biscuits.

Read on to find out how I investigated and decided on a digital media home set-up for myself…

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