This is part of a new weekly series featuring content written by the Lenovo Companion App Content Team

Goodbye clunky cords. Hello wireless streaming. We live in a wireless world where the digital devices we use every day, from TVs and game consoles to mobile devices and cameras, are capable of sharing, tweeting, recording, emailing, browsing the Internet and, of course, streaming.

And now, with DLNA and Microsoft Play, it’s easy to stream to every room of your home. You can send pictures from your smartphone to your printer, stream videos from your tablet to your TV and play songs stored on your home office PC on a speaker system in the living room. There are thousands of products today that are built to “talk” to each other over a home network, including:

  • Digital cameras and photo frames
  • Video recorders and projectors
  • Home theater systems
  • Speakers
  • Televisions
  • Blu-ray players
  • Game consoles
  • Printers

Even some refrigerators are designed to stream music! The trick is getting used to sending files from your Lenovo system to other devices throughout your home. Here’s how to do it on a Windows 8.1 system:

How to stream using DLNA-certified products

Products that have been certified by DLNA—which stands for Digital Living Network Alliance—can be connected easily to your home network for instant file sharing. DLNA describes it as a two-step process:

  1. You’ll need a wired or wireless home network…today’s DLNA Certified® devices connect, discover and communicate with each other over a home network.
  2. Purchase new DLNA Certified® products available on the market…Once these devices are connected to your home network, there’s virtually no limit to what you can do.

The organization offers a detailed list you can use to see if your device is certified and search for new products.

How to stream using Play

With Windows 8.1, you can easily stream pictures, video and music as long as you’re connected to the Internet and have a home network set up. Before getting started, we recommend checking to see if the devices you own are Windows 8.1 compatible at the Windows Compatibility Center. You can also browse the full list of Windows certified products.

Tip: Although many DLNA devices work with Play, a DLNA certification doesn’t guarantee you can stream to it. Instead, be sure the device has a Digital Media Renderer (DMR) certification.

Once your home network is set up and you’ve confirmed compatibility of the devices you own, you can start streaming:

  1. Open the content you want to stream
  2. Select Devices by swiping in from the right edge of your screen or pointing your mouse to the lower-right corner of the screen and moving it up
  3. Tap or click Play to see a list of compatible devices
  4. Choose the device you’d like to stream to

If you’re streaming from the web, be sure to use Internet Explorer 11 for a seamless experience.Tip: If you have an Xbox 360, one of the easiest ways to start streaming is to select this game console. You’ll then be able to stream from your Lenovo system to your Xbox and all the devices connected to it.

As your music or videos are streaming, you can use the controls on your PC to change the volume, pause, fast forward and rewind. If you’re streaming more than one thing at a time—such as music to accompany a slideshow of pictures—just tap or click the arrow to switch between the controls for each app.

Lenovo Companion—Your New Go-To App

Read more content like this in the Lenovo Companion app. Lenovo Companion is filled with exclusive content to help you learn about your new Lenovo or Think system. You'll find quick-reference “how to” articles on everything from getting to know the preloaded apps on your system to how to use your new trackpad. And, in select countries, you'll be able to stay up-to-date on technology news with articles and blogs from trusted sources, partners and Lenovo Insider bloggers. 

Lenovo Companion is preloaded on all Windows 8 and 8.1 Lenovo and Think systems. You can find it on your system in the Lenovo Apps section on the Windows Start Screen.

Be sure to note...the new version of Lenovo Companion is only available on Windows 8.1. So, if you’re running Windows 8 or an older version of Windows, now is the time to upgrade

Continue reading more about Lenovo Companion in this blog post