With Windows 10 Microsoft have made changes to media streaming DLNA/UPnP features of Windows and not all of them for the better. The main change is the removal of DLNA features from the Groove Music app (which was called Xbox Music on Windows 8.1). With Windows 8.1 you could use the device charm to play your personal music collection on a DLNA devices like Sonos, Smart TVs and other PCs (it wouldn’t stream music from the store or a music pass).
The new Movies & TV app does have media streaming features built in. There is a Cast To Device button in the now playing screen that you can use to stream videos from Windows 10 to a DLNA video player like an Xbox One, Smart TV or another PC. It only seems to work with personal videos and not videos from purchased from the store. This is the same functionality as the Windows 8.1 Xbox Video using the Devices charm. You could also use Screen Sharing (Miracast) but that is something for another post.
When it comes to be receiving content from other PCs and DLNA devices neither Groove Music (Xbox Music on Windows 8.1) nor Movies & TV (Xbox Video on Windows 8.1) can work as a DLNA player but you do have the old faithful Windows Media Player which you can use if you have “Allow remote control of my Player” switched on. In fact Windows Media Player can be used as a streamer and receiver plus you can also browse DLNA media libraries on your home network, something you can’t do from the other apps.
Windows Media Player is also the app that File Explorer users when you right click on a media file and select Cast To (Play To on Windows 8.1). With Cast To you can stream music or videos to other DLNA devices on your network via File Explorer. So in 2015 with the latest version of Windows you are still using Windows Media Player to handle media streaming!
So upgrading to Windows 10 doesn’t mean you lose any functionality but you do have to fall back to using Windows Media Player, and there is no way of streaming Groove Music pass content from any of the apps.
Some of the features have been renamed, Play To becomes Cast To and Charms have been replaced with buttons in the apps. Please let me know if you find any other changes and I will update the table.
Coming soon Garry Whittaker and I have a new book on Windows 10 Entertainment app where we look in-depth at Windows 10 media apps, streaming and more.
Our book is available now! Find out how to use Windows 10 with iTunes, Google Music, Groove, Netflix, DLNA and media servers.
Here is a table of features:
|Feature||Windows 8.1||Windows 10|
|Stream Music to a DLNA Player with Groove Music / Xbox Music||Yes for your own music collection (using Device Charm)||No|
|Stream Music from Windows Media Player||Yes||Yes|
|Stream from File Explorer (uses Windows Media Player)||Yes (called Play To)||Yes (called Cast To)|
|Act as DLNA receiver (receive music and video)||Yes (with Windows Media Player)||Yes (with Windows Media Player)|
|Stream Video to a with Movies & TV / Xbox Video||Yes (with Devices Charm)||Yes (with “Cast To Device” from the app)|
|Connect to a remote media library (via DLNA)||Yes (with Windows Media Player)||Yes (with Windows Media Player)|
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.