My father recently bought a new TV from sony which, beside other cool features, has support for DLNA.
DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is a standard for networking entertainment devices such as TVs. One simple use-case is to have a server containing media files such as pictures, videos or movies. On the other hand you have your TV, Playstation or simply DLNA-able PC client as a viewer. The Client enables you to browse your files and demand the server to stream selected files.
Being a tech-interested person I tried to turn my linux server to a DLNA server. I discovered a very powerful daemon called minidlna. This was probably the easiest server I ever set up. Just copied the configuration file template to /etc, adjusted the directories my mediafiles are located and listed the network devices for communication.
Everything worked out of the box. After starting the server it scanned my configured directories for media files and announced itself via UPnP. I instantly was able to browse my media files from the TV, watch pictures and videos and listen to music.
A very nice toy.
I have seen few software working such smooth, easy to set up and use.
You don’t need to pull out your notebook, boot it up, connect to the TV, log in, operate the PC, … – Just sit back into your couch take the remote control and browse through your files.
If you regularly show pictures of your last holyday to friends and relatives or watch movies located on your harddisc I recommend having a look at the DLNA concept.