Unexpected Benefits of a Network Media Player

I have a Kdlinks HD700 Network Media Player, but the model doesn’t matter much in this context as long as it is DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified (with digital media renderer).  DLNA devices on your home network can use each other for media sources or as media players.

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The primary function of my HD700 is to play media files from my network storage drive to my home theater, so I have full-time access to music and movie files without leaving any computer turned on.  So I can get my movies and music onto my home theater system, laptop or Kindle Fire HD over a wired and wireless network connection.  That’s why I bought it and it does the job well.  But over months of use, I have discovered some unexpected benefits related to using it as a DLNA device.

From Networked Computers

In Windows Media Player 12, networked DLNA devices can be used as an output destination.  Just right-click a media file name in WMP12 and choose the “Play To..” option to start playing on your network player (In this case my home theater system).

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Or create a playlist in WMP 12 and choose the little “Play to device” icon to start playing to your device.  This is a great feature for my use, since the HD700 isn’t very agile at making playlists on-the-fly.

PlayTo2

See how it referred to my device as a “Media Renderer”?  That’s the key.  If your network player has a compatible media renderer you’ll be able to set this up.

Apps From the Kindle Fire HD (or other Android device)

Two come to mind here, Skifta and Twonky Beam.  Both are free at the Amazon App Store.

SkiftaoneSkifta lets you connect a network media source to a network media renderer from the Kindle Fire screen.  The sources (in my case) include the files on the Kindle Fire HD, files from network computers (that are turned on), online files (like at DropBox) and files from my network storage.  Then I can choose my HD700 (Realtek Media Renderer) as the player.  This set up allows me to control the media through the Kindle screen, which is convenient.  You can also install a desktop version to allow you to use your computer as a player destination.

twonkyTwonky Beam lets you send streaming media from selected internet sources to your media player device.  It only works through a few select web sites, but does include YouTube.  When viewing an internet video on the Kindle Fire HD using Twonky, a “Beam” button appears.  Click “Beam” and the video starts playing on your selected destination device.  This makes it easy to watch some internet streams on the TV screen.