DLNA, or the Digital Living Network Alliance, is a group that develops guidelines for media sharing between multimedia devices. Their set of standards (also called DLNA) solves a common problem. Consumers own many devices and store their media in lots of places. Managing and viewing personal media is becoming more complicated. Enter DLNA.
Any DLNA-certified product can communicate with any other on the same wireless network. Want to watch videos from your laptop on the TV? Look at pictures from your phone on the computer screen? Play music through speakers in different rooms? DLNA is a wireless solution to meet all those needs.
DLNA works using UPnP, networking protocols in which devices act as servers for media storage or clients for control and/or viewing. Much more than screensharing, DLNA actually lets the devices interact to play media through different interfaces.
Of course there are other standards for allowing devices to communicate easily. Apple’s AirPlay is one of the most common examples; Miracast and Chromecast offer similar capabilities. But as a public standard, DLNA has the advantage of being used by many manufacturers. The guidelines also allow you to play and share across different audio and video formats, and the technology allows you to access media through different devices.
Since the Digital Living Network Alliance is a nonprofit organization, and many hundreds of companies are alliance members (including most large consumer electronics companies), thousands products are DLNA-compliant. It’s easy to create a system in which your computer, tablet, smart TV, phone, speakers, game consoles, camera and other devices can share media between brands and platforms.