Multiroom Audio System using DLNA and Standard Components


I am pretty new to the topic of mutli room systems. To me, it seems that there are no decent systems on the market. Whilst I believe that this can certainly due to technology limitations, my current research has not really indicated this. My end goal is to have a system that supports the following topics:

- Multi room (an audio stream can streamed to multiple devices and the sound is synchronous).
- Using only standard components and technology
- Works via LAN and WLAN
- DLNA as input source
- DLNA devices as output
- http, rtsp as input sources
- integration with emby media server (optional/nice to have for me)

If you can think of other features that are not standard/common on the market, e-mail me to add them to this list (multiroom-project at bluhm-de dot com).

My initial approach will be to realise the multiroom feature on the raspberry pi, test servers and other available test devices and start from what I have. I guess this can be seen as a revival/modernisation of my now more than 13 yr old home information system project (but hopefully better documented).

This is what has already worked 13 years ago with audio and video:
videolan as a server streaming via rtsp from pretty much any source that videolan supports.
Videolan as an embedded client that picks up the stream from the server.
There you go, you have a multiroom system that plays sound and video synchronously.

Now let's see where we can go from here.

DLNA and Multiroom (DLNA devices as output source)

I would like to use DLNA devices (renderer) as output. Mainly because a lot of devices have the dlna renderer built in. So this would make any DLNA compliant device mutli room capable.

The topic of DLNA and synchonous playback is a bit if a riddle to me. This article is supposed to clear it up for everyone "watching" and doing the same research. This is my understanding so far:

- DLNA officially supports synchronous playback (source: I read it somewhere)
- I have not found a solution yet on how to do this or if this is true. Please let me know if you already have the solution to this (multiroom-project at bluhm-de dot com).

So step 1, let's create a test setup to see what happens:
Server1: let's put videlan on it and see what it supports.
DLNA Client 1 ( I will see what I can find. Worst case, my TV)
DLNA Client 2 (I will see what I can find. Worst case, my TV)

This is where I will stop for today to actually test this. In the meantime, I will also try to find more documentation and DLNA protocol information.


Possible solutions: