Category Archives: Multimedia

Operating devices in network

In a previous post Streaming Spotify to DNLA device over network, I managed to play Spotify on the laptop but stream the sound to my television or receiver over the network. This is only one example of the power of controlling devices that are connected to a network.

My setup is: Telenet modem is connected to:

  • a switch, which is connected to two laptops
  • a switch, which is connected to the Telenet digicorder; the Panasonic Vierra television and the Yamaha receiver
  • an iPad (wireless)

Now, because my iPad is also connected to the network (wireless connection), this opens even more possibilities. In fact, I’m experimenting with ways to make my iPad the central remote device that controls every other device hooked on the network.

Using the iPad as remote control for the receiver

As a first example, it is possible to control the receiver using the iPad. First download the AV Controller for iPad application from the app store. If you start it, it will try to find a device connected to your network. In my case it finds the Yamaha RX-V771 receiver:

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Select the device you want to control, and from this moment you are able to manipulate the device on your iPad from anywhere, as long as it’s connected to the network. For example, selecting the tuner will start playing the radio station:

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Select DSP to decide the sound setting, in my case I have selected 7ch Stereo so that all 7 speakers are used:

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You can even send music that’s on your iPad to the receiver!

Using the iPad as remote control for the television

To use the iPad as a remote control for the television, download the Viera Remote for iPad application from the app store. If you start it, it will try to find a connected Panasonic Viera television. In my case, it finds:

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Select it, and now you can control your television on the iPad, for example changing volume or channel:

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Or even show images from your iPad on the television:

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Watching television on the iPad

Another example is Yelo, which is an offering of my internet provider Telenet. It allows you to watch television on any ‘smart’ device, like a laptop, iPhone, iPad etc, and also remotely program the digicorder:

yelo

These are the first of my experiments, and at this moment it’s still a bit limited; but as these remote applications will become more and more powerful, the possibilities will be fantastic! 

Streaming spotify to DLNA device over network

From the moment Spotify came out I quickly became a premium user, and I use it daily to listen to my favorite bands. In the office I use Spotify for Windows and a headphone plugged in into my laptop, and in my car I use Spotify for iPad, which streams the music via a Bluetooth connection to the radio.

However, at home, I stream Spotify on my Windows 7 laptop to my Yamaha receiver or Panasonic television via the network. Because as a Telenet customer (a Belgian internet provider) it took me a while to figure out how to configure this, I will show you how I did it.

My setup is: Telenet modem is connected to:

  • a switch, which is connected to two laptops
  • a switch, which is connected to the Telenet digicorder; the Panasonic Vierra television and the Yamaha receiver

First install Jamcast, which is basically a media server for music:

Imagine having your entire digital music collection in your pocket wherever you go — no syncing, no ongoing subscription fees, and no storage limits. Take control of your music, and then take it with you everywhere!

It’s not free (but not very expensive if you decide to buy it), but you can download and install a trial to test it. You need it because if you play music with Spotify, it can capture the audio of the sound card and stream it to a DLNA device.

So after installation, start Jamcast and in network / options, enter the port number you want it to use:

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Before you continue, be sure to click the ‘Apply’ button, so that the server restarts itself!

Then, in network / remote access, click the Test button to see if communication works:

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Note: normally, all devices and laptops are in the same internal network in range 192.168.0.*. If this isn’t the case, ports might be blocked and you probably have to configure port forwarding on the Telenet modem/router. To do that, go to ‘my telenet’, click on ‘wireless settings’, then on ‘advanced’ and go to ‘port forwarding’ tab. There, add the port 55000 (or whatever port you are using for Jamcast) as follows:

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If the port test succeeds, continue configuring Jamcast. In Content / Virtual Soundcard, select the correct sound card:

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So now your server is running, and the Jamcast server should be visible on your DLNA device, for example the television:

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On your laptop, play your favorite songs in Spotify; and after a few seconds (time needed to buffer the audio) the music will also start to play on your DLNA device. You can mute the sound on your laptop, the music will keep playing on your DLNA device.

Nice to know: Jamcast also has a .NET API that enables developers to build content provider plugins. More info here – they also have sample projects listed there, also related to Spotify integration!