Does a DLNA video-streaming A/V receiver exist? Also, some options for adding a soundbar to a home theater system for everyday TV viewing.
I plan to upgrade my very old Sony 5.1-channel A/V receiver sometime soon. The main feature I’m looking for in a new model is the ability to stream video from a DLNA server for output over HDMI. I know that many A/V receivers can stream music from a DLNA server, but I haven’t come across a receiver that also specifies video. I currently use a Sony Blu-ray player to access video from my PC and could continue with that method, but I’d like to know what, if any, video-streaming receivers are out there. Mark Thompson King George, VA
It’s true that many network-capable A/V receivers can stream audio via DLNA server software running on a PC or Mac, but ones that also claim to handle video are considerably more difficult to find. Sony’s specs for its top-of-the-line ES models suggest that they will retrieve and render video along with photos and audio via DLNA, but I have yet to come across any other receivers that promise to perform the same task.
In this particular case, though, you should be careful what you wish for. Sound &Vision’s A/V receiver reviews usually confirm that, when it comes to media streaming, the units test poorly compared with the inexpensive dedicated media receivers available from Western Digital (WD TV Play and Live), Apple, and others. The GUIs of A/V receivers can be barren and difficult: to navigate, the streaming performance sluggish or spotty. For those reasons alone, it might be better to buy a basic А/V receiver with no networking at all and pair it with an HDMI-connected media receiver that offers spiffy, reliable streaming and a graphically rich interface to navigate content. As you already know from experience, some Blu-ray players also work as DLNA audio/video streamers (that’s how I do it myself), so there’s no shame in sticking with that method. Continue Reading →