Dianemo & Cascade's new UPnP-AV capability has been designed to be as compatible with your existing ripped content as far as possible while also addressing the issue that UPnP-AV compatibility can vary somewhat from device to device.
So below is a mini Q&A that will hopefully help clarify things for you;
Q - Will the new UPnP-AV software work with my existing ripped content?
A - Yes it will. Anything that you have previously ripped as an .dvd or .iso should play on any UPnP-AV compatible Media Render (eg such as the WD TV Live). ie you might have some media ripped in LinuxMCE as .dvd or .iso files and stored on a hard drive or NAS (the .dvd's will have CSS copy protection). Assuming these files played ok on a standard MD then they should play without problems on any compatible UPnP-AV Media Render.
Q - Will other files types be usable/playable with new UPnP-AV Software?
A - The new UPnP software and the media database are compatible with any file/container type and can be easily extended for new ones. So that covers actually storing and indexing the files. The other important issue is what media files the UPnP-AV Media Renderer device itself supports - this will vary from device to device of course. But if the Media Renderer device supports it then we will also support it and you will be able to store/play it from a Dianemo/Cascade system via UPnP.
Q - What quality & video resolutions are supported?
A - Again we are agnostic to this issue...if the Media Renderer device supports it then we will automatically support it too.
Q - Do the UPnP Media Renderer's need to be regenned?
A - No they dont. Media Renderers do not display the Orbiter UI and therefore need not be regenned when changing resolution or other settings.
Q - What about audio outputs?
A - Audio outputs will depend on the physical characteristics of the Media Renderer device. If the device supports it - and you have the right content then it will be supported.
Q - Will all UPnP-AV devices work?
A - If the device complies with the UPnP-AV standard then it should work without issue. But some devices are 'less' compliant than others so we will be making available a list of tested devices.
Q - Does the UPnP-AV Renderer chosen have to support the playback of .iso files?
A - No it does not. When streaming .iso or .dvd we only send an mpeg2 stream to the media renderer device so essentially any UPnP-AV media Renderer should be able to playback this type of file.
Q - What are the minimum requirements for supporting a UPnP Media Renderer?
A - A Media Renderer needs to be MediaRenderer V1.0 (or greater) this is sometimes described as UPnP-AV 1.0 & AVTransport compliant to be compatible.
Q - Can I use any make of NAS that supports UPnP-AV?
A - Yes as long as your NAS supports SMB shares too - which pretty much all of them do. We only use SMB to access content on external NAS's (or other types of storage device) so your NAS does not need to support UPnP directly (and in fact we recommend not enabling your NAS's internal UPnP-AV server). Once we stream the file from Dianemo's internal UPnP server we then communicate with the Media Renderer using UPnP protocols.
Q - How do i add UPnP MediaRenderer's to my system?
A - You simply power up your UPnP-AV MediaRenderer and set its networking options to get a DHCP address from the NerveCentre then connect it to the LAN. Now go to the http://192.168.80.1/dianemo-admin/upnpfind.php
page and look for the new device in the list, select a 'Room' or 'Entertainment Area' and use the 'Add' button. The system will them create a new UpnPMediaRenderer device for you and after a Quick Reload your device is ready. Now Regen your Orbiters and your done.
Q - Will I need to run the AVwizard when adding UPnP-AV MediaRenderers to my system?
A - The AVwizard is not needed when configuring MediaRenderers. Just follow the video output setup instructions supplied with your MediaRenderer and your done. In our experience these steps are very simple indeed on these devices - they will vary from device to device though of course. In general however they are much more reliable & straightforward than the AVwizard.
Q - Will I be able to intermix traditional Media Managers & UPnP Media Renderers on my system?
A - Yes you can intermix them freely. However you should be aware that traditional Media Managers do require more system resources at the NerveCentre than the new UPnP Media Renderers.
Q - Can I use my Linux/Windows PC as a UPnP-AV Media Renderer?
A - Yes you can. If you install XBMC on your Linux or Windows PC and enable its UPnP settings so that it can access UPnP services and be controlled by other UPnP devices then you can stream video or audio content to that machine by using your Touch Orbiter, iOS Orbiter, Android Touch Orbiter or even a standard Orbiter on a traditional Media Manager or Media Director.
Q - Can i use my Sonos Zone Player as part of my system?
A - Yes you can add as many Sonos Zone Players as you like to your system. They are essentially Music only UPnP-AV Media Renderer's. Any Sonos Zone Players must be connected to your wired LAN via there RJ45 port for your NerveCentre to be able to detect them. Now go to the http://192.168.80.1/dianemo-admin/upnpfind.php
page and look for your new Sonos Zone Player device in the list, select a 'Room' or 'Entertainment Area' and use the 'Add' button. The system will them create a new Sonos Zone Player device for you and after a Quick Reload your device is ready. Now Regen your Orbiters and your done.
Q - Can I use Boxee as part of my Cascade system?
A - We are testing Boxee currently (Linux/MacOS/Windows) for compatibility and based on our experiences so far it looks like Boxee will be compatible. Boxee is built on top of XBMC so both of these projects have underlying code that is very similar.
Q - What about the Boxee box hardware....will that be compatible?
A - We have not tested the Boxee hardware media player - so we cannot say how compatible it will be. However since the Boxee software itself is based on XBMC and our experiences to-date with both XBMC and Boxee software has been very encouraging we would say the likelihood of the Boxee Box being compatible is very high.
Q - What about the Popcorn Hour C200....is the C200 compatible?
A - Yes the C200 is compatible and can be used as a UPnP-AV Media Renderer in the same way that a WD Live TV or XBMC/Boxee box can.
Q - Will Cascade/Dianemo be moving to Kubuntu 10.04?...and if yes when will that be?
A - Yes we will. We have a number of 10.04 systems in testing and hardware support and config testing are well underway and we are also working actively with the LinuxMCE dev's on the common code areas/features & capabilities and on squashing any remaining bugs. Cascade/Dianemo 10.04 development & testing is moving forwards really well and we expect to make some firm announcements on a release very soon indeed.