How to make your laptop a DLNA video streaming server

To be able to watch videos on big screen like TV you have in your home you need to have the following:

1. Smart TV with DLNA or TV with a multimedia player like an Android TV box or any other capable DLNA device. Here you can find a Smart TV using this advanced TV Finder.

2. A laptop or a computer witch will be used as a DLNA server or as a network share server.

3. The server and all the other DLNA devices should be connected to the same network in order for DLNA clients to be able to comunicate with the server.

If you have a Android TV (like Sony) or a Android TV box (like Xiaomi Me TV Box S) you don't need to setup a DLNA server, you can simply share your video folder over the network.

Set up DLNA server on your laptop

The best DLNA server apps that offer users a great experience and a lot of great features are Serviio and Universal Media Server.

After using the both of them, the winner is definitely Serviio but you should also try Universal Media Server as it may be a better solution for you. Serviio has a free version and a payed version, but the free version is more than enough for setting up a DLNA server over your home network.

You can download Serviio from their website by following this link.

After installing Serviio, next step is to make sure the service is running and for doing that, you need to press the Windows start button and go to Serviio app and click "Start Serviio service".

Since the Serviio service is running, now you have a DLNA server that can be found over the network.

The next step is to add media to it so you can play it on your DLNA devices connected to your home network.

To add media to your Serviio server, you must open the Serviio Console that can be accessed within the windows start menu. For better access it is recommended to create a desktop shortcut or pin it to taskbar.

Open Serviio Console and access Library > Shared folders. Click the add button and select media type, in our case "video". Hit the browse button and navigate to the folder that contains your video files. After the folders are selected and added to the Serviio library, click OK to save the configuration.

Now you can watch the videos from your Serviio library on your Smart TV or on any other DLNA compatible device.

To access Serviio DLNA server on Samsung Smart TV press the select source button on your remote, select the Serviio source, navigate to the video library you shared and select the video you want to play.

For LG Smart TV you should do the same thing as you do on Samsung TV, change the input source using the remote control to Serviio and play the video you want. On LG and Samsung Smart TV the DLNA servers appear as a new input source.

The new generation of Sony Smart TV comes with Android TV built in so the way you access the DLNA server is different. You will not find the DLNA server as a new input source on your Sony Android TV, instead you can use the built in video app or any other app from the Google PLAY Store.

How to watch DLNA shared videos using VLC player on Android TV

VLC Player is a great app for watching videos on your laptop but also for watching movies on Sony or Philips Android TV.

It supports all popular video formats and also comes with a lot of built in features like support for subtitles and many other tweaks like choosing the best screen ratio or switching from hardware decoding (HW) to software decoding (SW).

After you install VLC playerd form Google Play Store, open it, go to "Browsing" and click on "Local Network"

Once you select "Local Network" your DLNA server should appear in the list, like the example from the image below.

How to watch videos from DLNA using VLC Player on a laptop or PC

To access DLNA server on your laptop or PC using VLC Player follow the steps bellow:

Open VLC Player on your laptop, go to View and select Playlist (or simply use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+L). Also make sure you check Docked Playlist.

In the Playlist window go to Local Network and select Universal Plug'n'Play. Your DLNA server should be listed in the right lane just like presented in the image (ex. Serviio).

Another great DLNA player for Android TV is the very popular Kodi app (formally known as XBMC). You can also download this app from playstore and use it to access your DLNA server on your Android TV.

The DLNA server can also be accessed from any other laptops or computers that are connected to the same network by simply using VLC or Kodi.

How to use Kodi to play DLNA videos on Android TV, laptops or smartphones

To access a DLNA server with Kodi you must enable UPnP/DLNA service. To do so, you must hit the settings icon, go to services and select UPnP/DLNA and click "Enable UPnP support".

After UPnP/DLNA support is enabled, go to Movie section > Enter files > Add videos > Browse > UPnP devices, select your DLNA server and click OK.

How to play videos from the network on Android TV

Another method to stream videos form your laptop to your TV is by simply share the video folders over the network. This method is available only for Smart TV and TV box that runs Android TV or for any media player that can access a Windows or Linux network.

After you set up your home network and you shared a folder on your laptop or computer that contains videos, you can easily play those videos on your Android TV. Here is how you can play shared videos:

On your laptop or computer creare a new folder called video. Share that folder over the network so it can be accessed form any device.

Open VLC Player on your Android TV and go to Browsing > Local Network and select the folder you shared.

You can also use Kodi for accessing the shared folders on your local network. To do so, follow the steps below:

Open Kodi, select "Movies", go to "Enter folders" section, select "Files" and then click "Add videos". A window will open for choosing the folder you want to add to Movies section.

Click browse, choose Add Network Location and select Shared folder. Type in the video folder path that you have shared on your laptop or computer like yourpc/video(where your pc will be replaced by your laptop and computer name) and click OK. For example if your computer name is pc1, then you should type pc1/video as the network path.

Now all your video files from that folder will be available in the Movies section on Kodi.