Question What's a simple, hassle-free DLNA server for Windows?


Distinguished Member
I'd like some suggestions for DLNA server applications. I'm not looking for anything fancy, just something that delivers the video in the same format that it exists on the hard drive, without changing anything, adding anything, or removing anything.

Server is a Windows 10 PC. (64-bit, obviously). All files are on its local hard drives.

I only need access from the local network, not remotely.

It has to be compatible with subtitles, if the file contains them, but not try to burn them in.

It must not transcode the video, or in any way alter the video stream.

It needs to update its library automatically and swiftly when you add new files, and when you remove them.

It shouldn't require the client to browse through too many levels to get to the videos.

It shouldn't keep files open all the time and thus prevent them from being deleted. (I'm looking at you, Serviio).

In an ideal world it would be nice to have a single browsable library that contains files from 2 or more different local folders, but I can easily live without that.

Needs to be freeware, or very cheap; also stable, generally reliable, and not consume unnecessary CPU time.

As few extraneous, pointless features as possible. (I'm looking at you, Plex).



Distinguished Member
There are a lot of bad DLNA servers, only a few good ones.

If you've used Serviio it should do all of what you ask
* subs support is dependent on the client and whether it will work with them over DLNA
* you can disable transcoding in serviio but you will lose subs support if client cannot handle them.
* it should auto update so long as you have the "keep library automatically updated" box checked.
* for removing extra levels, quick folder access, the presentation menu in serviio can do this, I can explain if interested.
* as to keeping files open that is unusual, it should not have a lock on files to the point you cannot delete them.

Another option is Emby which is a competitor to Plex so does similar things, but you can tag a folder as mixed content in Emby and that's all that will show up under DLNA.

In Emby server go to library->add library
* set content type = mixed content
* add names/paths to folders, enable real time monitoring.
* once done with folders added, look at top libraries to the left is display, under this enable the "display folder view".

DLNA server should be auto enabled, transcoding can be disabled as well (I would advise against it).

The others left in the PC space your looking at are TVMobili, Mezzmo, both commercial products.

Universal Media Server is still going.


Distinguished Member
as to keeping files open that is unusual, it should not have a lock on files to the point you cannot delete them.
This is my main objection to Serviio - sometimes when I want to delete a file or move it to a different folder, I have to stop the Serviio service to do it. :mad: (It can be a bit sluggish at picking up new files too).

I've been playing with Windows' built-in DLNA, and it's actually not too bad, except that it insists on passing a video's title (from metadata) instead of its filename, which I don't always remember to set correctly when I'm ripping, and there doesn't seem to be any way round that.

Plex annoys the hell out of me - it's simultaneously stupidly over-engineered in some ways and bizarrely limited in others. (For example, I find I can't access the local web UI using the Edge browser - have to revert to Internet Explorer instead).

I've had a quick play with Universal Media Server. It seems very complicated to stop it from transcoding everything, but otherwise may be okay.

I had a quick go with PlayOn too but... ugh. o_O

I'll have a look at Emby, Mezzmo and TVMobili at some point - thanks. :)

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