Why I value the UPnP AV / DLNA Home Media Network standards

If anyone is wanting to question why my blog is geared towards UPnP-based network management standards, especially the UPnP AV / DLNA Home Media Network standards, I am writing this piece to state what I am about.

I am not a spokesman for UPnP or DLNA or any of the companies that are behind these standards, but do place a high value on networks, network hardware and network media software supporting any of the UPnP AV / DLNA Home Media Network Standards. One of the main reasons I value these standards is that they work across any IP-standard subnet and allow hardware manufacturers and software developers to integrate the home media network in to their creations without reinventing the wheel.

Due to the nature of UPnP, the user doesn’t need to “run backwards and forwards” between devices to make sure devices are pointing to the correct network shares and that usernames and passwords are correct on both the client device and the server. This can become more of a headache for devices that don’t have the full QWERTY keyboard on them and require the user to use “SMS-style” or “pick-n-choose” text entry which can increase room for user frustration and mistakes. They also make the establishment of these multimedia networks as idiot-proof as possible, which would benefit home and small-business users where there isn’t a dedicated IT team available..

I also agree that a standards-based IT environment encourages hardware and software innovation as well as encouraging a “common-sense” approach to technology. It can also lead to these concepts being implemented in the most cost-effective manner, which makes the device affordable for most people, yet there is the ability to provide premium-grade equipment. This has led to hardware that is compliant with this standard becoming increasingly ubiquitous.

I know that Windows supports the standard through Windows Media Player 10 and has full “three-box” implementation in Windows Media Player 12 which is part of Windows 7. As well, I have noted that the open-source community have developed servers and similar software that can work with a Linux system. This feature is now considered “par for the course” for nearly all consumer and small-business network-attached storage units.

As well, the Microsoft XBox360 and the Sony PS3, which are considered “must-haves” as far as games consoles are concerned, have support for this technology. Samsung and Sony are also gradually implementing UPnP AV / DLNA in to their “main lounge area” televisions, with Sony nearly implementing the technology in to all television applications. Most of the big-time electronics manufacturers who have a line-up of home-theatre receivers have this feature in at least the high-end models, with some manufacturers pushing the feature in to the mid-range models. As well, nearly all Internet radios can play audio material held on DLNA-based media servers.

So the main reason I place a lot of value in the UPnP AV / DLNA Home Media Network is because of the ease that there is in establishing a heterogeneous multimedia network with products that suit what you want to do.

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