Taking couch potatoing to the next level

by kengilmer

I recently bought a TV.  It has some “smart tv” features including the ability to play videos from a network drive.  That seemed fancy at the time and I was pumped to try that out.  However once I got the thing unboxed and setup, I realized it needed to use the DLNA protocol.  So, I had a Buffalo NAS that happened to support that and I found that I could in fact watch videos from share.  Yay!

I then found myself in the situation of wanting to watch videos from my Android tablet.  There are a lot of DLNA/uPNP media players in the Google Play store.  I tried several of them.  Most of them were overkill and were full of wonky features I didn’t want or need.  I got to thinking and decided to write my own app that:

1. crawls all DLNA/uPNP media shares on the LAN (uPNP supports discovery, so this is pretty easy.)
2. Makes guesses about what the title is based on the filename, and then downloads images from the internet.

The reason for feature #2 is that I got too lazy to sort through lots of directories, and reading poorly formatted names.  I just wanted to use as little brain power as possible and just see the thing on the screen, touch it, and watch it.  In fact, the UI that comes on my “smart tv” makes me navigate through some folders, all of the empty save the last one, just to get me to my media.  Such a pain…I wonder if the UI designers of these TVs actually use the features.

In any case, if your just too lazy to sort through a bunch of directories and just want to play the movies, try out my app!