All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 20-08-2008, 12:51 PM
Alterego Alterego is offline
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Phone Handset Nokia N95 DLNA Reality or a Wish List

Well,

I would not go again in the detail of N-95 getting a DLNA certification and able to interoperate as advertised everywhere on the websites. I guess probably everyone of us has read it out.

It is not very clearly mentioned as far as I have read that what DLNA role the N95 can take on. UPnP and DLNA are essentially the same standard (or rather DLNA is a spin-off from the original UPnP standard). It has three basic roles

1. Server (Sharing the digital media audio/video/images)
2. Renderer (Able to play these media types on itself or any attached device)
3. Control point (a controller to browse thru media library and tell renderer what to play from which server).

I just want to know and confirm that "has anyone really checked this functionality in detail".

My setup is as follows ;

1. One TeraByte digital media library on Wester Digital My Book World Edition. The firmware for my book is updated with the ARM Processor version of Twonky Vision by Twonky Media. It searches and shares all the media present in respective folders.

2. Additionally I also have Tversity installed on a connected PC to catalog the same media. So i have two DLNA media server emulating softwares running. This is just to check various devices in case one or the other runs in toruble.

3. PS3 connected via wired ethernet to the network. It can effectively act as a DLNA (Control Point for itself) and DLNA (Renderer) means it can browse and display all the media types (Audio/Video/Images) to the connected LCD TV.

4. Enter N95 in the network. I have enabled the Connectivity -> Home Media -> Share Content option. When i refresh this way I can now see N95 also listed as a DLNA Media Server on my network. I can browse thru its files on the PS3. I can also play the AUDIO / IMAGES stored in the N95 memory. However when I play any video file from N95 the playback is jerky. Which it should not be (cause I also play video files from my One Terabyte storage connected via Wireless LAN).

5. When I try to browse my home network via N95, i can see my shared content directories on both Tversity and Twonky Vision.

It presents two options ( Via the Home Network or On the Device). Both the options dont work in my case. I selected a Mp3 file to be played via Home Network (it means that the PS3 should start playing the file). But it did not happen. It means it cannot effectively act as a DLNA Control Point.

I tried playing the Mp3 file on the device ( means the N95 itself), and it merely copies the file to itself and then is able to play. This also is somewhat predated. As the PS3 or other media renderers stream the content upon access, not copy them first to internal memory and then play. Same is the case with images.

Also the fact that when I tried to run any of the video file (AVI/XVID/WMV/RM) stored on the DLNA server, the N95 simply refuses to play it and shows no message.

So effectively it is not a DLNA renderer either. It only has to ability to share its own contents by being a DLNA Server.

Well its dissappointing to me , because I thought it would be a full fledged device on which I would be to play all my shared media files (audio/video/images) without any glitches since a WLAN connection of 54Mbps is supposed to be sufficient for all such media streaming.

Anyone who wants to share his/her ideas and maybe correct me if I am doing something wrong and guide me, then I would really appreciate the efforts.

Seems like all DLNA flashy ad statements are marketing gimmicks for people who barely know or use all such technlogies in detail.

Thanks for reading.

Regards,
AlterEgo

  #2  
Old 20-08-2008, 02:00 PM
DevonHammer DevonHammer is offline
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Try Home Media Server from SimpleCenter. I can control my PC music from my N95 and it doesn't seem to copy the files over if I stream them onto the device. This is a free PC app, but I believe you can get more functionality if you pay.

As this doesn't install anything on the phone it would suggest that the N95 is compliant, but maybe not the PC.

  #3  
Old 21-08-2008, 08:33 AM
Alterego Alterego is offline
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Well I guess Tversity or Twonky is just the same DLNA player as SimpleCenter is. These are I guess much better version of media sharing via DLNA servers softwares out there in the market, instead of the basic DLNA sharing offered by WMP 11.

I know that native support in N95 would be for 3GP or MP4 files, and I have already installed SmartMovie and CorepLayer for AVI/MKV/DIVx files. It can be called from with the file browser or the home media browser for shared media.


I guess if it cannot be supported then nokia should add a fine print in all the ads " not intended for power users" :-). Because when like an informed customer we buy a device, we expect it to be compatible and tested all possibilities and scenarios as advertised, otherwise there is no use of a hugely overwhelmed N95 8GB as the way it is advertised. Anyways that's nokia'a ball game.

What I wanted to know is that has anyone fully tested the DLNA/UPNP capabilities of N95 in all the roles of server/renderer/control point. So maybe I should be aware of any mistake I would be making.

Regards,
AlterEgo

  #4  
Old 21-08-2008, 08:51 AM
DevonHammer DevonHammer is offline
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My point was that I also had problems initially, but found that the problems were with my PC, not N95.

The N95 is DLNA certified here and the 8GB here, so Nokia can certainly claim this, but if your PC software/other device isn't it causes problems, or maybe DLNA certification isn't up to scratch? [Edit] N95's are only certified as servers, so I guess anything else is a bonus, but I haven't seen them claim it is a renderer or control point. Also a PS3 is not certified as a renderer which is why you can't control it from the N95. So it's not ideal, but Twonky and N95 are servers and PS3 is a player so everything is doing what DLNA say they should.

All I know is I can control my PC media player from my phone over WiFi, which is a very neat trick when a friend doesn't like the current song, I can stream music from my PC to my phone and I can stream music from my phone to my PC.

Last edited by DevonHammer; 21-08-2008 at 09:11 AM.

  #5  
Old 21-08-2008, 03:15 PM
argh argh is offline
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I just installed Home Media Server. It's quite cool (I like the ability to give slideshows on the computer from the N95 gallery without needing the short TV-out cable!).

I seem to have trouble detecting the server though. The N95 always picks up the built-in server of Vista (which isn't a renderer, unfortunately), but often not the Home Media Server one, unless I disable and enable the HMS server from settings while the N95 is searching. Any ideas?

TwonkyVision 4.4 claims to have added support the N95 - what version are you using? I haven't tried it out yet.

On2Share also looked interesting, partly because it seems to let "standard" media players such as Media Center and WMP become renderers, from the sound of it.

Does anyone know if either of these will do real-time transcoding for streaming to the N95 with its limited set of supported codecs? From the forums of Home Media Center, it looks like the premium version does transcoding, but not in real-time (only to send the whole file to the device, or to make a copy on the server).

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Old 21-08-2008, 03:52 PM
DevonHammer DevonHammer is offline
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To be honest I've only used Home Media Server. All I want to do is be able to control music from anywhere in the house and I've had no problems with this, but (and there's always a but) I'd like to be able to shuffle a playlist and that doesn't seem possible.

Might have a look at some of the other apps.

  #7  
Old 21-08-2008, 04:54 PM
argh argh is offline
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I've just tried TVersity, which seems to stream (not render) pictures and audio, but not video (I was hoping it would work with video, as it does real-time transcoding!).

It also seems to transcode the WMA files in to MP3, which seems a bit odd. Don't DLNA devices notify servers what formats they support? It could have streamed the WMA with no transcoding.

As Alterego mentioned in his first post, I've also noticed that the N95 doesn't seem to stream audio from either Home Media Server or TVersity (when acting as a renderer), but instead copies it to the device first. As TVersity shows how far through the file it is when streaming it, it can be seen cleanly that the N95 doesn't start it until it's finished.

Unfortunately, this means that streaming sources from TVersity (such as an internet radio station) won't work either. It opens the N95 media player up and TVersity sends the stream (after transcoding WMA to MP3.. again), but as it never ends, it's never played.

TVersity always appears when browsing for media devices, by the way, after I disabled the built-in UPNP support of Vista. Home Media Server still doesn't without stopping and starting the server again.

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Old 22-08-2008, 08:19 AM
christofff christofff is offline
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I've read (though can't remember where) that the N95 is a control point & server but not a renderer.

I have also read (!) that Orb is a useful streaming software, particularly for N95 as it will transcode on the fly, though I've not tried it. Check http://www.orb.com
It's free too & compatible with the major games consoles.

I've used Home Media Server (free version - the months free "paid" trial doesn't let ya have transcoding) and found it quite useful as far as using the N95 as a 'remote control' for music & vids playing on the laptop. My only problem was the amount of time it takes to start up & affects the general start up time of the laptop (albeit an old Dell Inspiron 8500, Win XP-SP3).

I have used VLC Media player but only had streaming success from PC to PC, not N95. However this software is so gentle/light on your CPU & it'll play anything you throw at it (pretty much) that it's a good one to have around - though it won't solve your problem!

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Old 22-08-2008, 10:01 AM
argh argh is offline
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It desn't seem to be a certified renderer, but recent firmwares do enable renderer functionality (you have to click Options > Show > On device).
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Old 22-08-2008, 12:09 PM
shug shug is offline
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For streaming from PC to N95 Orb is the best bet.

  #11  
Old 22-08-2008, 05:43 PM
Alterego Alterego is offline
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DLNA renderer only for Audio/Images not for Video

Well,

Seems like people are correct. The N95 is a DLNA renderer as far as AUDIO and IMAGES are concerned. It first copies the media files to itself and can then play via standard music player.

However it is a not a DLNA renderer for VIDEO files. Whether in whatever format they maybe. By default it does not recognizes AVI/DIVx/MKV files (which I mostly have in my digital video library shared on the wireless LAN). But just like the windows XP, various programs installed in N95 registers themselves as default players for certian file MIME types which would be "application/divxplayer-plugin" for example in the case of AVI/DIVx files. This player can be called by default when any AVI file is executed "on device" in the Home Media option. Anyways its a wishful thinking at the moment since the ability to play video files from the DLNA server is not present in this brick at the moment.

As far as ORB is concerned , i guess I will give it a shot too. But afterall it would be a just a DLNA server emulation software like Tversity or TwonkyMedia or Ushare or GeeXbox. Nothing new is expected from it. Since the server capability is just to publish the mentioned directories with specific media types Audio/Video/Images on the network. Whenever a device queries the network via DLNA protocol set , the server acknowledges and the devices are able to find the shared media.

This was the first and foremost reason I went on to buy the N95 8GB and looks like its gone down the drain. I wonder if any other symbian phones or maybe iPhone is able to do so. Havent got my hands on one to test though.

Regards,
AlterEgo.

  #12  
Old 22-08-2008, 11:01 PM
argh argh is offline
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Not exactly true. It can render 3GP and MP4 videos (again, not streaming though). Perhaps other videos that play in the embedded RealPlayer too?

The DLNA minimum required formats for mobile device certification are listed
here but remember that the N95 is only certified as a server, anyway.

There's only one other non-Nokia phone listed with any DLNA support on the certification website and it's a Samsung WM device (also only certified as a server - not sure if it has any renderer or control support at all).

You can search for devices here. Just set the product category to "mobile devices".

I tried Nero MediaHome as a server (which also advertises transcoding), but although it can transcode to MP4, it must be a different profile as it wouldn't work.

  #13  
Old 16-09-2008, 11:15 AM
argh argh is offline
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Pearce, you might want to edit that last comment to avoid bannination, if the mods are in a bad mood!
 

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