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