How to use VLC as DLNA client

Viewing content of a MiniDLNA server in VLC
Viewing content of a MiniDLNA server in VLC

A UPnP/DLNA media server, like for example ReadyMedia, can be used to stream video and audio files to any UPnP/DLNA player or client on the home network. VLC can be used as a UPnP/DLNA client or player to play the video or audio content of any UPnP/DLNA server on the network.

  • In VLC, go to View -> Playlist. Click the Universal Plug n Play option in the left column.

  • VLC tries to locate all the UPnP/DLNA servers on your network and your UPnP/DLNA server should be displayed. Click on it. A dropdown arrow should appear to the left of the server (this can take a while, see note below). You can explore the hierarchy of content folders of the server from here on.

  • Whatever files you wish to play in VLC, right-click on them and choose Add to playlist. This is good for audio files. For video files, you might prefer to right-click and choose Play to view it immediately.

  • Note: VLC can take a lot of time (say 5-10 minutes) to display that dropdown arrow beside the server name. This is because it tries to pull the entire folder hierarchy of the server. This problem has been documented by the VLC developers, but will not be fixed anytime soon due to resource shortage.

Tried with: VLC 2.1.4 Rincewind, MiniDLNA 1.1.2 and Ubuntu 14.04

13 thoughts on “How to use VLC as DLNA client

  1. Doesn’t work under Windows 7 and VLC v2.2.1 for me. When I try to click on ‘Universal Plug’n’Play’ item on list program do nothing.


    1. I found that same thing. HOWEVER, if you load “Windows Media Player” and then go back to VLC, miraculously it works. In otherwords loading up Windows Media Player makes VLC work for me. Very strange indeed.


  2. same here win 10 with vlc 2.2.1 upnp is broken, ive search this issue and workaround seems to be downgrading to previous versions that had upnp working


  3. It works under OS X but as said, it is incredibly – and I mean really incredibly – slow. The unexplained thing is that under iOS (once the server has been found which can occasionally be hit and miss) it is beautifully rapid.


    1. I have been experiencing this very same issue! I can stream files over 8Gb in size on my iPhone with no hiccups, super fast start: the works. But back on my iMac, it just seems like I’m using a 10 year old PC. Have only got small MP4s to play, but the large MKVs won’t even start. It’s driving me mad.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. VLC v2.2.2 on Lubuntu v16.04 does not show the two DLNA servers or their files that are on my LAN. However my Win 10 PCs File Explorer shows them (and plays the video files)! What do I need to fix to make it work?


  5. Works great. Just wish it was an option under the ordinary open menu rather than buried in “playlist.”


  6. Is there a way how I can turn VLC into a receiver. So that I can cast from my phone to the computer? I am already casting from my phone to some speaker. I want to continue the playback on the computer. I am yet to find a way to do so without installing additional software.


    1. Same here! Want to use VLC to stream music to my Pi which is hooked to my stereo…


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