Relevant Products: Azur 851N, CXN v1 & v2, Stream Magic 6 v2
UPnP stands for Universal Plug and Play. UPnP consists of several protocols or rules that enable networked devices to communicate and connect with each other. One of the major advantages of UPnP is that it requires very little end-user configuration. UPnP devices will automatically advertise their services or capabilities enabling auto-discovery of devices on a network, all without the need to download additional drivers.
How is UPnP incorporated in Cambridge Audio products?
UPnP is incorporated in a range of our network-based products including both the CXN and 851N. UPnP enables audio to stream via a Media Server installed on a Mac, PC or NAS (Network Attached Storage) drive to our network players. This all takes place without direct intervention from the control point such as our CA Connect App or third party apps such as BubbleUPnP.
What is a Media Server?
A Media Server is a device that stores content, advertises the availability of this content for streaming across the network and enables browsing/searching this content from control points. Media Servers can stream content to multiple devices and be controlled by multiple control points simultaneously.
A very common Media Server is a NAS drive. A NAS normally come with a Media Server application installed. When enabled this application advertises the NAS as a Media Server and allows control points to browse music and stream it from the NAS directly to a UPnP playback device (CXN/851N etc). The NAS simply broadcasts on the network that it's available.
What is a Control Point?
A Control point such as the CA Connect App or other third party apps and web pages allow end users to browse Media Servers and select music for playback. The Control Point then instructs the Server and UPnP playback device. Once playback instructions are given to the UPnP playback device the Control Point isn't part of the device to device communication. In other words, music streamed from a Media Server doesn't flow through a Control Point on its way to the UPnP playback device.
Where do Cambridge Audio products fit in this chain?
Our network-based products, such as the 851N, CXN, CXR and StreamMagic 6, are the final device in the UPnP chain; outputting music from streamed content into either an analogue or digital signal. On the majority of our network-based devices, you can dispense with the use of a Control Point. This is because they allow end users to directly browse the content of Media Servers as well as some limited controls such as Play, Pause, Stop and Volume.