Question: DLNA vs. direct SMB/NFS access - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-07-2013, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,
I am trying to determine whether I want to continue using DLNA or opt for direct access via SMB or NFS.

I have a new real cool NAS with tons of storage; Synology DS213+. I have been using its built-in DLNA server, but the more I read about SMB/NFS access I'm starting to wonder.

At the moment I use my Oppo BluRay player with its built in DLNA player, but there are some video files that it does not recognize. I'm not sure if its due to limitations of the Synology DLNA server or its own (Oppo's) limitations.

So I'm wondering if I bought a player that could play all my files directly via network share/SMB, would that be preferable? Is there a PQ difference using a player that plays content directly vs. via DLNA?

Your thoughts?
thanks,
Steve
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-07-2013, 10:30 PM
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The Oppo players have support for a fairly broad variety of file formats and if anything, I feel that DLNA tends to be better optimized for streaming. I have never used an Oppo, but they have a very good reputation for this use.

Some DLNA servers can remux or transcode audio and or video to match the capabilities of the player, whereas CIFS/SMB requires that the player support the specific codecs/containers of the file being shared.

However, I think you'll find overall that the end results will vary by player just as much or more than by the protocol being used to share them.

The first question you need to get answered is 'What is it about my files that is preventing my Oppo from playing them back?' and/or 'Is my NAS/server doing something that is causing playback to fail?'

MediaInfo is a good tool to get codec details about the files you are having trouble with. I would suggest you start by getting some info about the problem files and working with Oppo support or posting on the owner's thread for your player to better understand why you're having this problem. If your player doesn't support the files you're trying to play, options would be to get a server that can transcode or remux them, convert your files manually, or find another device that is compatible with the specific file containers and codecs you require support for.

Serviio is a great DLNA server that is free. They have an embedded version for some Synology devices, you might want to investigate these types of options once you are able to gather more details about the problem.

DLNA vs. SMB will not impact picture quality, but other player or server variables can.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-07-2013, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saz25 View Post

Hi,
I am trying to determine whether I want to continue using DLNA or opt for direct access via SMB or NFS.

I have a new real cool NAS with tons of storage; Synology DS213+. I have been using its built-in DLNA server, but the more I read about SMB/NFS access I'm starting to wonder.

At the moment I use my Oppo BluRay player with its built in DLNA player, but there are some video files that it does not recognize. I'm not sure if its due to limitations of the Synology DLNA server or its own (Oppo's) limitations.

So I'm wondering if I bought a player that could play all my files directly via network share/SMB, would that be preferable? Is there a PQ difference using a player that plays content directly vs. via DLNA?

Your thoughts?
thanks,
Steve

As the post above already says, no difference in PQ, but what direct access buys you is speed at which you can access the content. On top of that many dedicated local streamers can also support 3rd party jukeboxes like mymovies, zappiti, along with others. Often those jukeboxes can only be used when you have set up direct access with Smb or NFS. You get best performance from NFS in most setups and is required when streaming high bit rate 3d content.

Since most local streamers support nearly all codecs natively DLNA is somewhat redundant anyway. Just my few cents.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-08-2013, 12:35 AM
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Hi Steve,
Quote:
Originally Posted by saz25 View Post

At the moment I use my Oppo BluRay player with its built in DLNA player, but there are some video files that it does not recognize. I'm not sure if its due to limitations of the Synology DLNA server or its own (Oppo's) limitations.
To add to some great information from Vampidemic, I think your problem is simply the in-built DLNA server in the Synology. I am pretty sure that it will not transcode when the file's 'profile' does not match one supported by the Oppo, so it simply doesn't play. At least that was the problem with my Synology when I tried using DLNA. As Vamp suggested, try to get Serviio for your Synology, as it should be able to transcode your files. The issue will be whether the Synology has enough CPU horsepower. With DLNA, by the way, there could be a reduction in quality if the player requires the server to transcode to a lower resolution, but that shouldn't be an issue with Oppo. It would be with Sony, who typically requires all video to be transcoded down to standard definition.

On another note, as APW pointed out, a good dedicated SMB/NFS streamer will have a better user interface than any DLNA streamer. The ability to select a movie by browsing the lobby-card art, or selecting based on the director or actors, is something beyond what DLNA can support. Also, DVD and Blu-Ray menus can never be supported through DLNA.

Another issue is music. Would you want to use it for music also? I'm not familiar with what the Oppo would accept, but many DLNA players only support MP3 for music. That means that a lossless FLAC file would be transcoded to low-bitrate MP3 for playback - something that you would not know until you heard it. It won't matter if your music library is MP3, but Apple ALAC and .M4A would also be affected.

Although I gave it a good try, I gave up on DLNA years ago. But that doesn't mean that it hasn't gotten better. If I had your Synology and an Oppo, I would certainly try to get it working before looking at SMB/NSF. Serviio didn't exist for Synology when I tried.
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