I have a home network consisting of the following devices:
- Windows 2000 Server - for file sharing
- Asus RT-N56U Router - supports USB external HDD
- Synology DiskStation DS212j - NAS - ordered but hasn't arrived yet
- XBox 360
- 40" Sony Bravia TV - network capable, but not currently connected
- Windows 7 - desktop, joined to a domain
- Windows Vista - laptop, not joined to the domain
In the future, I may get an iPad and a PS3.
As you can see, it's a mix of devices with lots of different protocols supported between them. To date, I've usually used the Windows 7 machine as my primary device for playback of video and music using Windows Media Player. Sometimes I use the iPhone for listening to a subset of the music put on to the device using iTunes and for podcasts downloaded via iTunes.
In the future I'd like to be able to play downloaded movies and TV shows on the Sony TV, either directly or via the XBox. I'd also like full access to my music from the iPhone as sometimes I connect it to a good sound system in another room of the house. Currently it only has access to whatever I synched via iTunes.
I want to be able to have a central location to store all my media and allow it to be shared across the multiple devices. I'd like it to be simple to manage and simple to share/stream the content to the different devices.
I've heard about things like an iTunes server, media center sharing, UPnP, DLNA, etc and am at a loss as how best to go about setting up a single repository that will support the different devices on my home network.
What is the best approach for sharing media amongst multiple devices?