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View Full Version : LMS/DLNA (I think) confusion



alextab
2013-10-26, 16:26
What I want: A "music server" that connects to my audio system and plays both local media and streamed audio. And by this I mean:

1) Local media - stored on the music server and connect via file sharing.

2) Streamed audio - the audio from media played on computers that are NOT the music server. So for example if I wanted to watch Netflix, a DVD or play a game on a separate computer the audio would be wirelessly streamed to the music server.

I set up Debian, LMS and Squeezelite and had the first part.

It seems like DLNA answers the second part but I can't seem to wrap my head around it. I think what I want is, if I understand DLNA correctly:

DLNA Server on PC
DLNA Controller on PC
DLNA Renderer on "Music Server"

I'd love any guidance on how to get this setup or if I am on the right track. Thanks.

JJZolx
2013-10-26, 23:10
With LMS you don't need DLNA for playing music files on another computer on your network. You can do that through network shares. Once LMS has scanned the files on the other computer, they appear and function exactly as if they were local files.

As for games, Netflix, etc, I have no idea.

erland
2013-10-27, 00:48
What I want: A "music server" that connects to my audio system and plays both local media and streamed audio. And by this I mean:

1) Local media - stored on the music server and connect via file sharing.

2) Streamed audio - the audio from media played on computers that are NOT the music server. So for example if I wanted to watch Netflix, a DVD or play a game on a separate computer the audio would be wirelessly streamed to the music server.

I set up Debian, LMS and Squeezelite and had the first part.

"movies", "games" and "music" have very different characteristics and due to this requires different solutions.
If you want a solution that works for all, you likely want to look at some kind of networked sound card or wireless speaker solution rather than a Squeezebox/LMS/DLNA setup.

For audio, Squeezebox/LMS works great.

For games you really need an audio cable between the computer and the audio equipment or some kind of networked sound card/wireless speaker. Using LMS/Squeezebox won't work because the audio will be delayed due to buffering and using DLNA won't work because you are unlikely going to find a good way to make all games output their audio to a DLNA renderer.

For movies you are likely also going to get sync issues if you try to use LMS/Squeezebox for output of audio and output the video directly from the computer, the reason for this is also buffering which will result in that the audio and video isn't synced. DLNA will work for movies stored on your local network but it's unlikely to work for online movie streaming services like Netflix.



It seems like DLNA answers the second part but I can't seem to wrap my head around it. I think what I want is, if I understand DLNA correctly:

DLNA Server on PC
DLNA Controller on PC
DLNA Renderer on "Music Server"

I'd love any guidance on how to get this setup or if I am on the right track. Thanks.

My first advice is that pretty much the only scenario where DLNA works is for viewing movies stored somewhere on your network where:
- DLNA Server runs on a PC/NAS which have direct access to the movie files on a local or network mounted harddisk.
- DLNA Controller/Renderer runs on your TV, DVD/blueray player or similar device which handles both audio and video playback.
- Depending on which products you use, it might also be possible to run the DLNA controller on a separate computer, tablet, smartphone.

Having said this, you can use DLNA also for music listening, but it's often hard to get it reliable since people tend to mix hardware from different manufacturers when they use DLNA. But if you want to go this route, the best DLNA controller I've seen for music is Kinsky by Linn (http://oss.linn.co.uk/trac/wiki/Kinsky) and using this you will be able to access music stored on one computer and output the audio signal through a renderer running on another computer (for example the DLNA renderer built into LMS).

Forget about DLNA for streaming movies from online services (like Netflix) or games, it's going to be too hard to make them output the audio and video through a DLNA renderer. Some services/games might have support for it, but most doesn't.

Finding a solution for Netflix is pretty easy since TV's, DVD/blueray players, AppleTV, Chromecast and similar devices often have native support for Netflix these days, just select a device and connect that directly to your amplifier and display/TV.

For games and other online video streaming services my recommendation would be to investigate some kind of networked sound card or wireless speakers where you can output the audio directly from the computer running the game to the amplifier/speaker without going through an extra computer/server. For games you really don't want to have any delays, so even if you would succeed to get the audio/video in sync you would need the audio/video to play immediately and not five seconds after you have moved your character in the game. I don't have any personal experience with networked sound cards and wireless speakers, it's possible that they will introduce too much latency/delays for them to be useful in a gaming setup.

alextab
2013-10-28, 09:51
Thanks for explaining that erland. I didn't realize the latency/sync would be an issue but in general I can see I was thinking a little backwards now :)