How do I make my PC a DLNA Media Server.
Long gone are the days when the only way to enjoy your media collection was to upload photo albums or videotapes. With streaming technology like DLNA, you can create your own media server from home, allowing you to stream digital photos and videos to TVs, smartphones, and other devices.
There are several ways you can use DLNA to stream content from your PC to other devices. For example, you can use Windows’ own built-in DLNA service, or instead use a third-party tool like Plex to stream your content. If you want to create DLNA media server in Windows 10, you need to do the following.
What Is a DLNA Media Server?
DLNA stands for Digital Living Network Alliance and refers to the group of manufacturers and developers behind the technology standard of the same name. The DLNA standard allows supported devices to transfer videos and photos from a DLNA server to other devices, regardless of their size or operating system.
DLNA Media Server uses this standard for streaming content. A server is usually a device that stores a collection of videos or photos, such as your computer or a connected network storage device. When you connect a DLNA-enabled device to your local network, it should automatically discover all DLNA servers (and shared media content).
That’s why you can stream media from your Windows 10 PC to your Linux set-top box, or from your embedded DVD player to your Android smartphone. Thanks to DLNA standard, manufacturers have built in these devices the necessary support for streaming media from A to B.
The technology isn’t perfect, but that means you can easily set up a streaming service for your movies and photos without resorting to expensive hardware. It is likely that if you have enough modern technology at home, your TV, computer and smartphone can stream content from a supported DLNA server.
How to Set Up a DLNA Media Server on Windows 10
Many devices support playback from a DLNA server, but in order to stream content, you first need to set up the server. If you don’t already have a DLNA media server, you can quickly use the built-in DLNA media server in Windows 10 to start streaming.
This service requires a little setup, so you will need to follow these steps first to set it up. You may need to update Windows 10 and configure your network so that other devices can connect to your computer by setting your network as private in Windows.
- First you need to enter the Windows settings menu. Right-click the Start menu and select Settings.
- In the Find Option search box at the top of the Settings menu, enter Streaming Media. Select the recommendation for media streaming options that appears from the drop-down menu.
The old control panel window will open. In the Media Streaming Options window, click the Enable Media Streaming button. This will activate the built-in DLNA media server on your PC and will also change the firewall rules and network settings to allow media streaming.
Wait a few seconds for Windows to enable the service. Once this is
complete, you can change your server settings. To change the name of your DLNA media server, replace the text in the Name your media library text box.
- If you want to share your media with other DLNA-enabled devices on your local network, make sure the Allowed checkbox is checked. You will see it next to the Media players on this computer option.
- Media is available from the library folders in Windows Explorer. This is hidden by default in Windows 10. To view these folders, open Windows Explorer and right-click an empty space in the tree menu on the left, then select the Show Libraries option.
After enabling libraries, click the arrow next to Libraries in the left tree menu, then select one of the available options (for example, Documents, Music, Pictures, or Videos “). … A list of folders in these libraries opens (for example, the Videos folder in a custom Windows folder).
Any content stored in your library folders (such as photos or videos) will be available to DLNA-enabled players on your local network when your computer is turned on. Make sure to move all the files you want to stream to the selected library folders so you can stream them to supported DLNA players.
Using Plex to Create a DLNA Streaming Server
Windows built-in DLNA server is a great way to quickly enable DLNA streaming on your local network. However, this is a poorly supported feature because both the settings to enable it and the Libraries folder for managing your content are hidden.
If you’re looking for a better-supported streaming solution for your Windows PC (or if you have a Mac and want to add DLNA support), you can try Plex. Plex is a versatile media server platform that allows you to manage and create a library of content for your photos, home videos, TV shows, movies, and more.
While you can create a standalone Plex server to host your content, you can also set up Plex on your PC or Mac. This will allow DLNA style streaming from your PC to other compatible devices. You can also extend Plex’s features with a range of third-party Plex plugins that provide integrations with Netflix, YouTube, and more.
If you have downloaded and installed the Plex server on your computer, you can enable the built-in DLNA features of the Plex in the settings area of the web application, accessible from your web browser.
- First, open your web browser and use the address bar to access the web application control panel for your server (for example, http://127.0.0.1:32400/web/). Select your account icon in the upper right corner, then select Account from the drop-down menu.
Select a DLNA category from the left menu.
- To enable DLNA streaming for supported players on your network, select the Enable DLNA Server checkbox, then select Save Changes to apply them to your server.
- If DLNA streaming is enabled, your Plex server will stream content from its media libraries to DLNA-enabled devices. To view or add new libraries containing photos or videos you want to stream, select the Libraries category from the left menu and select Add Library to add new folders.
Streaming Home Media Content on a Local Network
Building a DLNA media server using a PC or Mac is a great way to quickly stream movies and photo albums to other devices. You can also consider streaming Windows photos and videos to Xbox. Or, if you want to use your computer elsewhere, you can cast your entire desktop using Chromecast.
If your media collection is too large, you might also consider setting up a network attached storage (NAS) on your network. They often have DLNA and other media streaming capabilities built in, including Plex support. You can also build your own Plex server with enough memory to store and stream from a single device.
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