Thread: Vista MC & DLNA
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Old 11-03-2007   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 3
Default Vista MC & DLNA

Several vendors (Buffalo, QNAP) are touting their DLNA capabilities and compatibility with the Xbox 360. I haven't seen DLNA in action so I may not have a full grasp of what it will do for me. My general understanding is that the DLNA protocol allows direct streaming of media content from the DLNA-enabled storage device to the DLNA-enabled playback device without having to pass through a PC. My questions:

1) The hard drives from Buffalo and QNAP are NAS appliances and as such cannot be defined as media storage locations in Vista Media Center (ok, at least not without hacking and headaches). With that in mind, are the DLNA capabilities of these NAS drives of any use to Media Center? Even if I record tv shows to a local drive and batch them to the NAS, wouldn't playback still have to occur through the Media Center front end? If that's the case, then DLNA is not being used at all, right?

2) Since the Xbox 360 is DLNA enabled, I assume it would "find" media files stored on DLNA NAS appliances and could play them back without passing through the Vista PC. In that scenario, wouldn't I lose the pause, rewind, ff, etc. capabilties of the Media Center interface/remote control? Or does the Xbox game controller provide those functions also?

3) Many forum posters advise against using NAS appliances as High Def media storage locations, claiming that playback performance will be degraded for various reasons (congestion, unreliability, overall speed, etc.) but I haven't seen anyone say "except in DLNA configurations". That leads me to wonder if DLNA is a lot of hype that doesn't really work? On the flip side, I wonder if the naysayers are assuming that people are attempting to play media across workplace networks with hundreds of PCs competing for bandwidth. It's hard for me to imagine network congestion being an issue on a typical home network with 3 or 4 PCs browsing the internet and one them streaming media from a NAS device (my home network is wired gigabit).

The bottom line is that I have Vista Ultimate, I'm just not sure how I can use the Media Center features yet and want to make sure I understand its capabilities and limitations before I invest in a NAS applicance and extender. I don't want to pay for DLNA capabilities if they are of no use to Media Center.
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