10 of the Best DLNA Streaming Apps for Android

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DLNA is a convenient moniker for something altogether more scary sounding – Digital Living Network Alliance. What it does, however, is anything but scary, allowing you to connect DLNA-compatible devices to each other and seamlessly stream data between them over the air – photos, videos, your Android homescreen, you name it.

It’s a pretty old format, but it’s still going strong, proven by the fact that both Microsoft and Sony tried omitting it from their Xbox One and PS4 respectively, but both ended up adding it back in due to popular demand. Long live DLNA!

We’ve sifted through the good and the bad of DLNA streaming apps, and whittled it down to the best. So scroll on down and take your pick.

1. VLC

The ubiquitous media player has a tendency of showing up in areas we wouldn’t naturally associate with it.

Best Dlna Streaming Apps Android Vlc

For example, VLC is not only an excellent video player but a great DLNA receiver too, letting you easily snoop around the files held on your local media server, and play them. From there, you can use VLC’s streaming functionality to beam your content straight to Chromecast or other streaming gizmos.

The app has a simple, easy-on-the-eyes interface, and has evolved immeasurably since it came out of beta a few years ago. Even though VLC isn’t as renowned on Android as it is on PC, it remains a top option.

2. Plex

Plex is one of the best media-streaming apps around today. Its interfaces are elegant, it downloads all kinds of metadata for your media to make it look sleek and professional, it rocks all-round. On top of that, Plex can also be activated to work as a DLNA server (Settings -> Server -> DLNA), so you can wirelessly connect it with all your DLNA-certified home devices and give them the frontend they deserve – whether it’s on your Android tablet or Android TV.

best-dlna-streaming-apps-plex

Plex comes with all the best media streaming features such as shared playlists between devices, resuming videos on different Plex devices, using your Android device as a Plex TV remote, and plenty more. We can’t recommend it enough.

3. LocalCast

One of the more established in-home streaming apps in our list, LocalCast communicates with DLNA, UPnP and even Samba devices to stream content from your phone throughout your home. If you have a Chromecast, LocalCast lets you rotate and zoom pictures on the fly, and it’s also integrated with Opensubtitles.org, letting you quickly download subtitles for movies and so on as you’re watching them.

best-dlna-streaming-apps-android-localcast

LocalCast works with popular devices like the Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, games consoles and all the big Smart TV brands. It tends to have a higher-quality video streaming output than even Google’s own apps like Google Photos, has its own web browser that you can cast, and can stream from network storage in your home, making it an excellent and easy-to-use package.

4. Kodi

No article about streaming apps can ever really avoid mentioning the most famous (or infamous?) one of them all. Kodi is a media center app that isn’t designed exclusively with DLNA streaming in mind (it’s more for DLNA’s parent tech, UPnP), but you can set it up that way if you so wish.

best-android-dlna-app-player-kodi

Kodi’s biggest perk for Android users is that it’s heaving with add-ons, from official ones like YouTube and the major sports channels, to repositories that give you access to channels all around the world. Naturally, it’s fantastic for streaming locally-stored media, too.

Kodi’s specialty is video, and its UI is tailored towards that, but you can also use it to view pictures and listen to the radio. If you’re looking to stream music, then there are better options available.

5. Hi-Fi Cast + DLNA

Hi-Fi Cast + DLNA is dedicated to music and supports playing most common music file formats – MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV – to Google Home devices, as well as other devices that support DLNA streaming.

best-dlna-app-android-hifi-cast

You can set up all kinds of shuffling for your music, whether it’s individual tracks, artists, or albums, and you can play music from either your Android device or other DLNA devices containing the music. If it’s just music you want to stream, then this is your best choice.

6. MediaMonkey

MediaMonkey does a whole lot more than DLNA, allowing you to sync and stream media across multiple devices via WiFi, UPnP, Bluetooth and of course DLNA. What makes it stand out is the neat interface and plethora of media management tools to keep your library organized – playlist management, multiple file editing, and bookmarks, just to name a few.

best-dlna-streaming-apps-android-mediamonkey

You’ll need to pay for extra features like unlimited DLNA usage, but coughing up a few bucks for one of the most complete streaming apps is worth it in our eyes.

7. BubbleUPnP

BubbleUPnP UPnP/DLNA lets you broadcast your content right from your device to your compatible DLNA device. It supports Chromecast, any DLNA-enabled TV, and the latest generation of gaming consoles. Other than basic streaming, it also comes with features like playback queue, editable playlists, scrobbling, sleep timer and various shuffle modes. It has a full-screen image viewer and a remote-control function.

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Best of all, it costs nothing!

8. MediaHouse UPnP/DLNA Browser

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If you like to have apps with plenty of features, check out MediaHouse UPnP/DLNA Browser. It has a number of DLNA streaming features that help you stream your videos and music the way you want. For example, it auto scans your WiFi network to see if there are any DLNA-enabled devices so you can then connect to them. It divides the scanned devices into two categories: the first being the devices you can stream your content to and the second being the devices you can stream content from. It supports creating playlists for your music files, has an image viewer, and works in landscape mode.

9. iMediaShare Personal

imediashare-personal-dlna-android

If you want a DLNA app with an awesome interface, give iMediaShare Personal a try. The app lets you stream your digital media right from your Android device to your large TV without needing any cables. While your media is being played on your TV, the app acts as a remote for you to control the media. It allows you to control the play such as pause, next, and so on using your hand gestures.

10. AllCast

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While all the apps listed up to this point stream content to any device, AllCast offers the most compatibility. It can stream media to Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, PS4 and other DLNA-enabled devices. It also lets you stream from your Dropbox, letting you directly stream content without having to download it first.

Conclusion

Why use shoddy old hard drives when you can do so many wonderful things wirelessly? Setting yourself up for DLNA streaming may sound kind of complicated because it involves an acronym for a long and complicated tech term, but it’s really quite easy. All the apps above are great, so it’s just a matter of finding which one works best for you, then following the simple on-screen instructions to move a step closer to having a wireless media centre.

This article was first published in November 2014 and was updated in September 2019.

27 comments

  1. Any Android DLNA apps that I have looked at seem to stream only content that is stored. What I have been looking for is an app that will act as a forwarder, sending a video on an Android tablet that is from a web source over my home network to a DLNA TV. Perhaps this is not possible, because of technical constraints. If it were it would probably be very popular.

    Like your stuff – keep it coming.

    Thanks

    1. Dude, isn’t that what Chromecast do ?

    2. well a good app on android and ios for streaming from internet are these. flipps and imediashare used to be the same app that you could stream everything but they split them up for some reason.

      zappotv
      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zappotv&hl=en

      imediashare flipps tv
      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bianor.amspremium&hl=en

    3. Tubio
      Web Video Caster

  2. Speaking of streaming, I was successfully using PLEX to stream content from my PC to my TV but didn’t realize it was only a 30 day free trial. Is there any recommended freebie that could replace it?

    Thanks!

  3. Hey guys..
    I recommend ShareON.
    https://shareon.tv

  4. Why does the DLNA Player stop playing music when the the screen turns off (sleeping?)? How can I enable it to continue running (like the Google Music Player)? Why are there no settings for managing the application? It connected to my DLNA Server easily, but is basically useless if I cannot prevent it from sleeping on my Samsung Galaxy S4 (not rooted).
    Thanks,
    John

  5. Here’s a free app that will crawl all your DLNA media servers, pull down poster artwork from the web, and give you a flat view of all your media: qwik play. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.abk.qp

    Unlike the apps reviewed here it only does one thing: present your network media in simple way so you can just play the files without a lot of effort.

  6. MediaCase is a new comer to the scene, very nice interface, i’ve been using it for 5 days and counting.
    It builds a library from your video files, can stream from google drive and DLNA and can play on DLNA renderers and on chromecast.. Its definitely a keeper.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.agilia.mediacase

  7. Hi guys .
    Is there a way to stream my games to tv screen ?
    Over dLNA. Or is there a specific game wich can do this?
    Thanx

    1. Hi Skylar,

      You might want to search the Google Play store to see if such an app exists. It may or may not be available.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving us a comment!

  8. MediaHouse is just the app I was looking for. :)
    Thanks. Great article.

  9. Hey guys you can also try the new AuPiVi Stream Player. You can Stream your Music in the group.

  10. The best one I have found is Kodi, it works great.

  11. Handy article – BUT – I am looking for something that will work WITHOUT INTERNET – just want to stream local content from my phone to DNLA TV. Reviews never seem to identify this limitation (which seems to be a problem with chromecast, amazon firestick etc). Does anyone know of a simple app that does this (also a HDMI stick for non smart TVs that doesn’t require internet?)

    Ta – Pete

    1. Use Chromecast without Internet/mobile data by setting up a internet-less hotspot

      https://www.reddit.com/r/LifeProTips/comments/38sb3v/lpt_use_chromecast_without_internetmobile_data_by/crxfse8/

      Step by Step (no pictures):
      •Gather two devices
      •One must be an Android cell phone with mobile hotspot capability

      •The second can be any device that is capable of casting local media

      •open “settings” on cell phone

      •open “more networks”

      •select “mobile hotspot”

      •turn on “mobile hotspot”

      •go into “mobile hotspot” settings by selecting the 3 vertical dots in the upper-right corner

      •select configure hotspot

      •type in a name you would like to call your mobile hotspot network or leave the default name

      •scroll down to choose a password for this network

      Now we must switch the Wi-Fi network that the Chromecast is paired to.
      •ensure that the second device (the one you wish to cast from) is connected to the same network that the Chromecast is paired to (the pairing was done when you first setup your Chromecast)
      •open the Chromecast app (if using iOS or Android) or open Chrome if using Linux, Windows, or MacOS
      •From the app choose the name of the Chromscast or from Chrome select the Chromecast icon in the upper-right of the screen and then choose the name of the Chromecast
      •Select “Wi-Fi”
      •Select the name of the network you are on (this will drop-down a menu with other networks)
      •Select the name of the mobile hotspot network you created and enter password
      •This will successfully switch the network that the Chromecast looks to connect to

      Now we will open LocalCast app and cast the video we desire. And lastly we will go back to the cell phone and turn off “mobile data” and leave on “mobile hotspot”

  12. Thanks for the information! I use ArkMC for Mac. It helps me easily stream my pics, music and videos from my mac to tv or any other devices.Works fine, fast and it’s very user-friendly.

  13. Hi-cast works very good my top pic

  14. Try also Bubble UPnP or ArkMC, they both have almost the same features the wireless streaming of media from the servers (UPnP/DLNA compatible) or locally from the devices.

  15. Does anybody know about application whitch is capable to share movies with subtitles over upnp chanel, like iMeadiashare.iMediashare works almost perfectly. Only one thing I miss is subtitle support. Is there any app replacement of iMediashare.

  16. Why even have this list without Localcast? It plays everything. Also, Serviio > Plex.

  17. I’m happy with BubbleUPnP, especially since I can stream Qobuz to any DLNA renderer.
    One problem is, I cannot control the volume of my network player Marantz NA8005 while I can control that of my 10 years old SqueezeBox !
    Does anyone know if the volume of following players can be controlled from BubbleUPnP:
    Marantz ND8006, Cambride Audio CXN and Azur 851N ?
    Where could we maintain a list of players which volume can be controlled from BubleUPnP ?

  18. Bubble has Tidal integrated what is major pro. I can cast Tidal music to my dlna renderer, not only files I have on my device or file server.

  19. Stupid Hi-fi Cast + DLNA does not recognize over 20GB of free space on the SD card of my old Motorola 2nd gen phone. WTF?! Are we in the f. 18th century? Every Cracker Jack these days calls himself a “programmer”

  20. Can someone recommend a honest (i.e. not stupid) app that will catch the stream from Audiravana Plus application and cast it to Roku 3 so I can have a descent hi-fi setup?

  21. I have had Local Cast for less than 24. Already fed up with the number of ads…honestly every few seconds s new one which interrupts . Will uninstall and try another today.
    But great article. Thanks

  22. Nothing is working on Anroid TV.
    Bad!

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