The Custom Integrator Show Installment 014 is live.  We continue our discussions of the UPnP platform by looking how it applies to the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) ( suite of device classes (types), especially with regard to support of the DLNA Version 1.5 specifications built into Windows 7.  We hit upon Digital Media Printers and how easy it will be for our clients to use USB-based printers connected to Windows 7 PCs (or Windows Home Server with Power Pack 2) using the HomeGroup sharing features – without having to set them up or load drivers manually.  We also cover some of the DLNA classes and services for mobile devices and how they potentially could be a lifestyle changer for the way our clients consume content on the wide array of portable devices hitting the market (hopefully including the Zune HD).  However, the real heart of our discussion focuses on the set of underlying UPnP A/V services making things like Play To in Windows 7 possible.


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There are several A/V-based device classes and scenarios defined in the DLNA specifications that leverage the underlying suite of UPnP A/V services.  We discuss them at a high level and will drill down on the services available in each one in the next Podcast.  For non-mobile devices, these are the Devices Classes as defined by the DLNA.  Additionally, we have included how they are enabled from the perspective of Windows Media Player in Windows 7.

  • DIGITAL MEDIA SERVER (DMS) – Stores content and makes it available to networked Digital Media Renderers (DMRs) and Digital Media Players (DMPs).  Keep in mind that these services are available only on the local subnet.  These services are enabled when Streaming/Automatically allow devices to play my media… is checked from within Windows Media Player.
  • DIGITAL MEDIA RENDERER (DMR) – Plays content from a Digital Media Server (or multiple DMRs) using a Digital Media Controller (DMC) for invoking the UPnP AVTransport and RenderingControl services.
  • DIGITAL MEDIA CONTROLLER (DMC) – These devices find content on Digital Media Servers using the UPnP ContentDirectory Service (CDS) and the UPnP ConnectionManager Service.  They control the playback using the UPnP AVTransport service.  The ability to allow a DMC to control Windows Media Player remotely is enabled when Streaming/Allow remote control of my Player… is checked from within Windows Media Player.  This functionality is a key component of the Play To feature built into Windows 7.  Note that it is not just for pushing music and videos to DMRs.  It also comes into play when sending images to local network-connected Digital Picture Frames using the FrameIt platform in Windows 7, which we discussed previously.
  • DIGITAL MEDIA PLAYER (DMP) – Is a combination of a DMR and a DMC inside of a single device.  It both renders the content and allows for control of the transport.
  • DIGITAL MEDIA PRINTER (DMPr) – This is a set of DLNA-based services that allow for automatically discovering printers (and scanners) that are associated with a HomeGroup and installing them locally.  This is a much-needed function in the home environment, although we do not go into the details very deeply during this Installment.

We also touch upon some of the DLNA-based services for mobile devices.  We see this as a new and upcoming area for integrators to understand as clients bring more and more portable devices into the home that need access to the centrally-stored content.  Unfortunately, there currently are very few (if any) of these that actually incorporate these mobile versions of the DLNA services.  Most use the “standard” network-attached DLNA scenarios.


Our next installment starts to take a look at the underlying UPnP services that enable all of this functionality.  We will dive into the individual services and how they handshake using the UPnP platform.

I apologize for the delay in getting this Installment out and hope to get back on track for the next one.


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