Tip : Playing your media available on Windows 8 TO any connected Entertainment DevicePosted: November 14, 2012
Now a days its hard to find any entertainment device which doesn’t offer any network connectivity options. Your Wide Screen TV, Blu-ray player, AV Receivers, Media Players and your gaming devices like PS3 and XBox comes with either Ethernet or Wireless Connection.
If you have your devices connected together using a Router / Switch / Hub then its easy to share media across devices. There are quite a number of implementations from different manufacturers. Few are proprietary, others are universal. Airplay from Apple is restricted to devices from Apple. To have Airplay supported by an entertainment device, there involves licensing. So you find features like this available only on high-end products. But there is one universal standard which is quite popular and supported by majority of devices out there today. You will find even on your Smart Phones – DLNA.
Refer this post for more details on DLNA. To simplify, it provides a set of protocols to share, control and consume media – Music, Pictures, Videos.
9 out 10 Entertainment devices which has a connectivity option will have DLNA implementations. Some manufactures try to give their own name to this, like AllShare by Samsung. So if your TV , Blu-ray or media players support DLNA then you can stream media from your Windows 8 Desktop / Tablet to these devices. This Windows 8 or Windows 7 feature is called “Play To”.
Please note for this to work your Entertainment Device should support DLNA renderer profile. Other wise, you can only play media from the device which are made available by a DLNA Server. But don’t worry your Windows 8 supports DLNA Server profile also. In such a scenario follow this post on steps involved. The difference is, if your Device support DLNA Renderer Profile, then while browsing media on your desktop you can initiate a playback on the device from your Windows 8. In the other case, you need to go to the menu system on your Device to connect to a DLNA server and pick the media published by the Server.
How do I know whether my Entertainment devices support “Play To” or DLNA Renderer profile?
Multiple ways are available
- Go To your Charms Bar. Select “Settings” then “Change PC Settings”. From “PC Settings” page select “Devices”. See your Entertainment Device is listed or not.
- Go To “Control Panel”, Select “Devices and Printers”. You will see your “Play To” supported devices under “Multimedia Devices”
So if you are happy to see your Device listed, then lets find out how to stream media to your Device.
While browsing your media on your media library or File Explorer on your Windows 8, right-click on the music file , image or video and Select “Play To” from the context menu. On selection of “Play To” you will see your Devices listed on the sub-menu. Select the Device to which you want to play the media. You media will start playing on the device, provided its switch-on !!!
Note : Even though your devices are supported and still this is not working, then please ensure that “UPnP” is enabled on your Router. Consult the Router manual for enabling the same.
- List of UPnP AV media servers and clients (en.wikipedia.org)
- DLNA doubles its certification of audio-video hardware in two years (engadget.com)
- DLNA demystified (techcurrents.wordpress.com)