Exploring DLNA: Xperia DLNA media server Part 6

Continued from Exploring DLNA: Smart Player app on Windows Phone 8.1 Part 5

Xperia DLNA server and client

Although Sony no longer actively advertises the DLNA features included with the Xperia brand of devices, Xperia devices are actually excellent mobile DLNA clients and servers.

Xperia's Android 4.4 implementation includes three branded apps that are designed to take advantage of DLNA/UPnP streaming: the Walkman, Album and Movies apps.

To access DLNA content streamed over a network using an Xperia device:

1. Make sure your Xperia is connected to the same network.

2. Launch the Walkman, Album or Movies app.

3. Swipe from the left and tap Devices. If it's the first time you're connecting to a network, allow the device to scan for DLNA-compliant hardware.


4. Tap a server from the list and navigate to the file you want to play or display.

Using the three apps, last year's Xperia Ultra Z was able to access the following DLNA servers on my network:

1. Rygel on Ubuntu 14.04 MATE - Toshiba NB520
2. Windows 8.1 media streaming - Lenovo Ideapad Z360
3. MediaConnect app on iOS8 - iPad 2

Unsurprisingly, the Xperia was not able to receive content sent using the Play To app on a Lumia 925.

As one of the supporters of DLNA, Sony built in server capabilities on their devices. Their approach is also more strict in allowing clients from accessing an Xperia's media content.

To set up an Xperia device as a DLNA server and add clients:

1. Make sure you are on the same network as your DLNA renderers or clients.

2. You can access the media server settings from Xperia Connectivity in Settings or launch the Walkman, Album or Movies app then tap the Options button > Media server.


3. If needed, change the Xperia's device name on the network.

4. Enable Share media.

Note: If you want to specify which folders will be accessible on your Xperia, tap the Options button on the Media server settings screen and then tap Shared media.

5. On the client device, attempt to connect to the Xperia. Ignore the error message indicating the device is inaccessible.

Note:  Windows Media Player on Windows 8.1 took a long time before it was able to detect the Xperia as a media server. The WD TV Live media player, MediaMonkey on Windows 8.1 and Smart Player on Windows Phone 8.1 almost immediately listed the Xperia as a media server.

Media Monkey on Windows 8.1 can detect an Xperia media server.

6. When a client device attempts to connect to the Xperia, its MAC address will be listed as a Pending device in the Xperia's Media server settings.

7. Tap the Pending device listed and change the access level and name if needed.


8. You should now be able to connect to the Xperia media server.   

The following devices/software were able to access the Xperia DLNA server:

1. VLC on Ubuntu 14.04 MATE - Toshiba NB520
2. MediaMonkey on Windows 8.1 - Lenovo Ideapad Z360
3. Smart Player on Windows Phone 8.1 - Lumia 925
4. Western Digital TV Live Media Player

Note: MediaConnect app for iOS8 was able to detect the Xperia but couldn't access any of the content the smartphone streamed.


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