February 2, 2013 · Windows Hardware

Tinkering with uncertified Play To devices on Windows 8

Microsoft supports a feature in Windows called Play To that allows you to stream music, video, and photos from your computer to TVs or speakers on your home network. But anyone who has tried using Play To knows it can be an extremely frustrating experience, thanks in part to brittle OEM implementations of the underlying Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) spec.

As part of its continuing DLNA compliance push, Windows 8 now requires that Play To devices be certified before use in the new Windows Store application model. (But not via desktop applications.) That is, an uncertified device will not appear in the Devices charm from a Windows Store app (e.g. Video). But for those of us geeks with flaky sort-of-working DLNA devices, we're out of luck.

Or were, anyway.

As part of a Powershell learning experience, I wrote a script that suspends the aforementioned checks in Windows 8 and offers facilities to generate the required device metadata.

Here's a quick run through:

In my case, I was testing with one device and was able to string everything together:

New-DeviceMetadata (Get-MediaRenderers | Select -First 1 -exp HardwareID) -Install

Alternatively, you could also boot Windows in test mode.