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Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a set of computer network protocols created by the UPnP Forum. The goals of UPnP are to allow devices to connect seemlessly and to simplify the implementation of networks in home and corporate environments. UPnP achieves thisby defining and publishing UPnP device control protocols built upon open, Internet based communication standards.
The UPnP architecture allows peer-to-peer networking of PCs, networked appliances and wireless devices. Its a distributed open architecture based on TCP/IP, UDP and HTTP.
UPnP can also be applied to video standards and usually referred to as UPnP AV, or Universal Plug and Play Audio/Video. It is a grouping within the UPnP standards supervised by the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) which is a forum of vendors in the home entertainment industry. They offer a DLNA Certified for products which adhere to their standards in the Networking Device Interoperability Guidelines.
In July of 2006, the UPnP forum announced the release of Enhanced AV Specifications. This version was the second iteration of the UPnP Audio/Video standard with a new MediaServer v2.0 and MediaRenderer v2.0. These enhancements are created by adding capabilities to the UPnP AV MediaServer and MediaRenderer device classes that allow a higher level of interoperability between MediaServer and MediaRenderers from different manufacturers. Some of the early standards were marketed by Philips under the Streamium brand name.
UPnP AV Components:
- UPnP MediaServer DCP - which is the UPnP-server that shares media to UPnP clients on the network.
- UPnP MediaServer ControlPoint - which is the UPnP client that can auto-detect UPnP servers on the network to browse and stream media files from them.
- UPnP MediaRenderer DCP - which is a 'slave' device that can render content.
- UPnP RenderingControl DCP - control MediaRenderer settings; volume, brightness, RGB, sharpness, etc.
- UPnP Remote User Interface (RUI) client/server - which sends or receives control commands between the client and server over the network. These commands include such things as record, play, schedule, stop, pause, etc.