19 Free and Open-source UPnP and DLNA Media Servers To Build Your Home Entertainment System

19 Free and Open-source UPnP and DLNA Media Servers To Build Your Home Entertainment System
Photo by Peter Geo / Unsplash

UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) and DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) are essential protocols for the modern interconnected world. These two protocols serve as the backbone of a smart home entertainment system, allowing devices to discover and communicate with each other over a network.

UPnP is designed to automatically find and set up all the devices on a network, so you don't have to go through any complicated setup process. On the other hand, DLNA allows devices to share media content like photos, videos, and music, creating a seamless entertainment experience that can be enjoyed on any compatible device on your network.

With UPnP and DLNA, you can create a comprehensive home entertainment system that caters to all your media needs. You can access and play media from any compatible device on your network, making it easy to enjoy your favorite movies, music, and TV shows without switching devices.

Moreover, these protocols are widely used in smart homes to connect different devices, such as smart TVs, home assistants, and security cameras, to a network. They allow for seamless communication between these devices and make it easy for users to control them from a single interface. By using UPnP and DLNA, you can easily create a smart home that is not only efficient but also incredibly convenient.

What are UPnP and DLNA media servers?

UPnP and DLNA media servers are software applications that allow you to share media content, such as photos, videos, and music, across devices on your network. These servers act as a centralized hub for media content and allow you to access and stream media content from any compatible device on your network. Some popular UPnP and DLNA media server software for Windows include Plex, Universal Media Server, and Windows Media Player.

UPnP and DLNA media servers are widely used in a variety of scenarios, such as:

  • Streaming media content across devices on a network, including smart TVs, gaming consoles, and mobile devices.
  • Creating a centralized media hub for a smart home entertainment system.
  • Sharing media content with friends and family over the internet.
  • Accessing media content remotely, from anywhere in the world.
  • Storing and organizing media content in a single location for easy access and management.

Overall, UPnP and DLNA are important protocols that enable easy communication and media sharing between devices on a network.

About this list

If you are looking to build your own streaming media server for business or home use, there are many open-source and free UPnP and DLNA media servers to choose from. These servers offer a variety of features, including support for different file types, remote access, and media transcoding. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which server to choose.

However, by considering your specific needs and preferences, you can find the server that best suits your needs. Whether you are looking for a simple and easy-to-use server or one with advanced features and customization options, there is sure to be a media server on this list that meets your needs.

1- Serviio

Serviio is a free media server that lets you stream music, videos, or images to devices on your home network, like TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and phones. You can also get the Pro edition for more sharing options.

Serviio works with many devices, including TVs, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, smartphones, and tablets. It supports device-specific profiles to enhance playback and transcoding for unsupported formats. Serviio is built with Java technology and works on platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux (including NAS).

Home
Serviio is a free media server for Window, Mac and Linux. It enables streaming video, audio and images to your DLNA certified device.

2- SimpleDLNA

SimpleDLNA is created because its author was unable to find a DLNA server that met their requirements, so they decided to create their own by borrowing ideas from Coherence, reading UPnP specifications, and reverse engineering protocols. They also wrote their own small HTTP server implementation for the project.

SimpleDLNA Features include:

  • Zero-config DLNA Server without persistent state (optional cache)
  • Written in C# (See FAQ)
  • Thumb nailing support for images and videos - if FFmpeg is found in the search path -, using any stream as input.
  • Metadata as provided by TagLib#
  • Serving of any and all file-system addressable files, incl. some views (transformations)
  • Should be relatively easy to code up additional media sources, like podcasts
SimpleDLNA — A simple, zero-config DLNA media server, that you can just fire up and be done with it

3- Gerbera

Gerbera is a free and open-source UPnP media server that enables you to stream your digital media across your home network and enjoy it on a range of UPnP compatible devices. With Gerbera, you can share your photos, videos, and music with your friends and family on multiple devices on your network.

Gerbera offers several features that make it a popular choice for media streaming, including support for transcoding, automatic metadata extraction, and media browsing. It also supports several media formats, including MP3, MP4, AVI, and more.

Moreover, Gerbera is easy to install and set up, making it accessible to users of all skill levels. It runs on various platforms, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Gerbera: open-source free media streaming server for home
PnP Media Server for 2022: Stream your digital media through your home network and consume it on all kinds of UPnP supporting devices

4- Universal Media Server

Universal Media Server is a reliable DLNA, UPnP, and HTTP/S media server that effortlessly supports all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. With its advanced technology, the program can smoothly stream or transcode an extensive range of media formats, without requiring extensive configuration.

The software is bolstered by a suite of powerful tools, such as tsMuxeR, AviSynth, VLC, and many others, which combine seamlessly to enable support for various media formats.

GitHub - UniversalMediaServer/UniversalMediaServer: A DLNA, UPnP and HTTP(S) Media Server.
A DLNA, UPnP and HTTP(S) Media Server. Contribute to UniversalMediaServer/UniversalMediaServer development by creating an account on GitHub.

5- Plex

Plex is a popular media server that allows you to stream your media content, including movies, music, and TV shows, across devices. It offers a comprehensive media management system that makes it easy to organize and access your media content from any compatible device on your network. Plex also supports transcoding for unsupported media formats, enabling you to play your media content on any device.

Plex is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, and is free to use with some limitations. A premium subscription is also available that unlocks additional features, such as live TV and DVR functionality, advanced music features, and more.

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Enjoy all of your entertainment, no matter where it lives, plus 50,000+ free titles from us.

6- LXiMedia

LXiMedia is an excellent open-source DLNA-compatible media server that seamlessly transcodes media, including movies, TV shows, music, and photos, for DLNA-compliant televisions and media players such as Streamium, PS3, and Xbox 360. The server supports subtitles and audio language selection, making it an ideal choice for media enthusiasts. LXiMedia runs smoothly as a daemon or service in the background on your computer and effortlessly advertises itself as a DLNA media server on your local network.

LXiMedia features include:

  • DVD and High Definition resolutions (720p and 1080p).
  • Stereo and multichannel (5.1 surround) audio.
  • High quality subtitle overlay, support for embedded subtitles and SRT subtitle files.
  • Selection of an audio stream and/or subtitle overlay from the DLNA device.
LXiMedia
Download LXiMedia for free. A DLNA compatible, fully transcoding, media server designed for serving media (movies, TV shows, music, photos) to DLNA compliant televisions and media players (Streamium, PS3, XBox 360). Also subtitles and audio language selection are supported.

7- Jellyfin

Jellyfin is an exceptional media solution built by volunteers that empowers you to take charge of your media. It enables you to easily stream your media to any device from your own server, without any constraints. With Jellyfin, you can effortlessly organize, manage, and stream your media according to your preferences.

Using Jellyfin is a breeze, simply start the Jellyfin server on your system and gain access to the foremost free-software entertainment system, complete with all the features you need. Jellyfin supports a wide range of devices, including TVs, Android, Web, Apple, Kodi, and more.

The Free Software Media System | Jellyfin
The volunteer-built media solution that puts you in control of your media. Stream to any device from your own server, with no strings attached.

8- Stremio

Stremio is a media center application that allows you to watch and organize your favorite movies, TV shows, and channels. It offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to find and stream content from a variety of sources, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.

Unfortunately, Stremio does not have UPnP or DLNA functionality built-in. However, there are third-party addons available that allow you to stream content using UPnP or DLNA. One such addon is the Stremio UPnP/DLNA Bridge, which enables you to stream content from your Stremio library to UPnP or DLNA-compatible devices on your network.

Watch videos, movies, TV series and TV channels instantly.
Watch your favorite videos, movies and TV series.

9- Macast

Macast is a powerful and versatile application that runs on multiple platforms, making it easy to stream videos, pictures, and music to your computer. By leveraging the power of MPV, one of the most popular media players in the world, Macast provides a seamless and intuitive experience that is unmatched by other DLNA Media Renderers.

With Macast, you can easily share your favorite media files with your friends and family, no matter where you are. Whether you're at home, at work, or on the go, Macast makes it easy to push videos, pictures, and music from your mobile phone to your computer.

GitHub - xfangfang/Macast: Macast is a cross-platform application which using mpv as DLNA Media Renderer.
Macast is a cross-platform application which using mpv as DLNA Media Renderer. - GitHub - xfangfang/Macast: Macast is a cross-platform application which using mpv as DLNA Media Renderer.

10- dms

dms is a UPnP DLNA Digital Media Server. It runs from the terminal, and serves content directly from the filesystem from the working directory, or the path given. The SSDP component will broadcast and respond to requests on all available network interfaces.

dms advertises and serves the raw files, in addition to alternate transcoded streams when it's able, such as mpeg2 PAL-DVD and WebM for the Chromecast. It will also provide thumbnails where possible.

dms also supports serving dynamic streams (e.g. a live rtsp stream) generated on the fly with the help of an external application (e.g. ffmpeg).

dms uses ffprobe/avprobe to get media data such as bitrate and duration, ffmpeg/avconv for video transoding, and ffmpegthumbnailer for generating thumbnails when browsing. These commands must be in the PATH given to dms or the features requiring them will be disabled.

GitHub - anacrolix/dms: A UPnP DLNA Digital Media Server that includes basic video transcoding. Tested on a Panasonic Viera television, several Android UPnP apps, and Chromecast.
A UPnP DLNA Digital Media Server that includes basic video transcoding. Tested on a Panasonic Viera television, several Android UPnP apps, and Chromecast. - GitHub - anacrolix/dms: A UPnP DLNA Digi…

11- Ampache

Ampache is a free and open-source web-based audio/video streaming application and file manager that allows you to access your music and videos from anywhere using almost any internet-enabled device. It offers a back-end for supplying the player of your choice with all of your music, with HTTP streaming support.

It also provides both a front-end and back-end for various Localplay options, allowing you to use Ampache to control MPD and supply MPD with the music it is to play.

Ampache - Music Streaming Server
A web based audio/video streaming application and file manager allowing you to access your music & videos from anywhere, using almost any internet enabled device.

12- 5k Player

5KPlayer is an excellent media player that confidently supports UPnP and DLNA streaming. It allows you to seamlessly stream media content from one device to another on your network.

The player confidently supports a wide range of media formats, including 4K and 8K videos, and offers impressive features such as AirPlay mirroring, online video download, and more. However, it is important to note that it is not a UPnP or DLNA media server, so it cannot act as a centralized hub for media content.

5KPlayer - Free DLNA Player, Controller & Renderer for PC/Mac
5KPlayer is a DLNA-compatible free DLNA player. Use 5KPlayer as a DLNA controller to stream from Windows to Android TV, as a DLNA renderer, or as a DLNA server to empower DLNA devices to interoperate with each other.

13- MediaTomb

MediaTomb is a free and open-source UPnP media server that lets you stream your digital media across your home network and enjoy it on a range of UPnP compatible devices. With MediaTomb, you can share your photos, videos, and music with your friends and family on multiple devices on your network.

MediaTomb offers several features that make it a popular choice for media streaming, including support for transcoding, automatic metadata extraction, and media browsing. It also supports several media formats, including MP3, MP4, AVI, and more.

Some features of MediaTomb include:

  • Automatic discovery of UPnP devices on the network
  • Support for transcoding of media files to formats compatible with devices on the network
  • Support for streaming media content over HTTP
  • Built-in web interface for managing media content and settings

Overall, MediaTomb is a reliable and feature-rich media server that enables easy streaming of digital media content across devices on a home network.

MediaTomb
Download MediaTomb for free. UPnP AV Media Server

14- MediaPortal

MediaPortal is a free and open-source media center software that transforms your PC into an advanced home theater system. With MediaPortal, you can listen to your favorite music and radio, watch and store your videos and DVDs, view, schedule and record live TV as a digital video recorder, and much more.

Some of the features offered by MediaPortal include:

  • Support for a wide range of media formats, including audio, video, and images
  • Customizable user interface with skins and plugins
  • Support for remote control and keyboard shortcuts
  • EPG (Electronic Program Guide) for scheduling and recording TV shows
  • Support for streaming media content from the internet and other devices on your network
MediaPortal
Download MediaPortal for free. Turn your PC into a very advanced MediaCenter/HTPC. MediaPortal turns your PC into a very advanced MediaCenter / HTPC. It allows you to listen to your favorite music & radio, watch and store your videos and DVDs, view, schedule and record live TV as a digital video rec…

15- MeediOS

MeediOS is an open-source home theater application based on the closed-source Meedio software. MeediOS serves as a front end for all your media, such as TV shows, music, movies, and games, and is infinitely customizable with its plugin-based architecture.

MeediOS supports both UPnP and DLNA streaming protocols, allowing you to easily stream media content from one device to another on your network. With MeediOS, you can create a comprehensive home entertainment system that caters to all your media needs.

Some features of MeediOS include:

  • Support for a wide range of media formats, including audio, video, and images
  • Customizable user interface with skins and plugins
  • Support for remote control and keyboard shortcuts
  • EPG (Electronic Program Guide) for scheduling and recording TV shows
  • Customizable parental controls to restrict access to certain content
  • Support for UPnP and DLNA streaming protocols
MeediOS
Download MeediOS for free. MeediOS, Your Media, Your Way. MeediOS is an open source Home Theater application based on the closed source Meedio. The software acts as a front end for all your media such as TVShows, Music, Movies and Games.

16- OSMC

OSMC (Open Source Media Center) is a free and open-source media player software that is designed to run on a variety of devices, including Raspberry Pi, Vero, and Apple TV. OSMC is built on top of Kodi, an open-source media player software, and provides a user-friendly interface for playing and managing media content.

OSMC supports both UPnP and DLNA streaming protocols, allowing you to easily stream media content from one device to another on your network. With OSMC, you can create a comprehensive home entertainment system that caters to all your media needs.

OSMC
OSMC is a free and open source media center built for the people, by the people.

17- Rygel

Rygel is a versatile and robust home media solution that is built on the UPnP AV MediaServer standard. It provides seamless sharing of audio, video, and pictures across a wide range of devices, thereby making it easy for you to access your media files from anywhere in your home. Furthermore, Rygel can be used as a MediaRenderer that can be remotely controlled by a UPnP or DLNA Controller. This allows you to stream your media content to other devices in your home network and enjoy your content on a bigger screen.

To ensure that Rygel is compatible with other devices in the market, it conforms to the strict requirements of DLNA and can convert media on-the-fly to formats that client devices can handle. This means that you can use almost any device and still access your media files without any compatibility issues.

Projects/Rygel - GNOME Wiki!

18- Asset UPnP

Asset UPnP (DLNA compatible) is a free audio server, designed as an audio only server, which an emphasis on quality and enhanced browsing abilities. UPnP is a method of sharing media content between devices, where audio files are stored on a computer, server or NAS, multiple audio devices around the home network can play audio from the UPnP server (devices such as Linn DS, Naim NDX, XBox 360, PS3, etc).

Asset UPnP Features included:

  • Designed from the ground up as an audio only UPnP server,
  • Internet Radio: browse popular stations from around the world,
  • Dynamic playlists: find newest, least or most played tracks & albums. Jukebox (random) selection,
  • Dynamic Browsing, include / Exclude Genres, or Years with ease.
  • Customizable browse tree with advanced search facilities (Album by Release, Style, Composer, Conductor...),
  • Configurable Wave, LPCM or mp3 decoding (no quality loss) for devices which cannot play specific audio types,
  • DSD and DFF compatibility, decode, send untouched or DSD DoP embed
  • Capture the PC sound output and stream to a UPnP player (Windows Vista or newer),
  • ReplayGain can be applied to Wave, LPCM and mp3 stream, volume matching across tracks for devices which have no support,
  • Runs efficiently in the background detecting new & changed tracks,
  • Asset Collections: create add additional asset instances, each with different audio libraries
Asset UPnP DLNA

19- Coherence

Coherence is a framework written in Python, providing several UPnP MediaServers and MediaRenderers, and enabling your application to participate in digital living networks. It offers several features, including automatic discovery of UPnP devices on the network, support for transcoding of media files to formats compatible with devices on the network, and support for streaming media content over HTTP. Coherence can serve as a starting point for creating your own UPnP media server.

Final Thought

UPnP and DLNA are essential protocols for a smart home entertainment system, allowing devices to discover and communicate with each other over a network. UPnP is designed to automatically find and set up all the devices on a network, while DLNA allows devices to share media content like photos, videos, and music.

There are many open-source and free UPnP and DLNA media servers to choose from, including Serviio, Gerbera, Universal Media Server, Plex, LXiMedia, Jellyfin, Stremio, Macast, Ampache, MediaTomb, MeediOS, OSMC, Rygel, and Coherence.

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