DLNA Certification Aims to Make Streaming Video Seamless and Reliable Page 2

DLNA developed Link Protection (DTC-IP) to prevent piracy and illegal distribution when streaming content between two devices within the home network. With this assurance, cable, telco, and satellite companies began working with DLNA to create a standard that would allow us to stream live or recorded network TV, movies, and video on demand from a gateway set-top box with a tuner to a number of dumb slaves around our homes.

While the Premium Video certification hasn’t been finalized, many of its features are already seen in TV systems. Dish Network released the Hopper DVR that sends content around the house to Joey client receivers connected to other TVs. Any content available on the Hopper can be sent to the Joeys to watch in other rooms of your house.

My local cable service, Bend Broadband, has a similar setup, but the gateway receiver does not connect to a TV. Instead, slave devices are used for each TV in the house, connecting to the main gateway receiver. Other providers connect multiple standalone receivers to access each other’s DVRs so you can start watching in one room and continue in another.

Still, these are systems provided by your cable company. What if you want to use your Boxee Box, WDTV Live, or other media player to stream all of your digital entertainment from one device, or stream the content from your set-top box to your tablet or smartphone? This is what Premium Video will make possible. A TV provider’s set-top box that is DLNA certified for Premium Video will be able to stream its content to DLNA-certified media players on your home network.

AT&T U-verse has offered the option of streaming to your Xbox 360 using a Motorola HomePNA device. AT&T has temporarily stopped offering this to new customers. According to Kuriko Hasegawa, a spokesperson for AT&T Corporate Communications, the company has pulled the Xbox 360 kit “until the new enhancements and functionality are added. We hope to have more updates and news to share on these enhancements soon.”

The Motorola Home PNA converts signals that come in from a connected coaxial cable in your home (typically installed by your cable, telco, or satellite company) to an Ethernet connection. Most of the cable and satellite companies have been using the Multimedia Over Coaxial Alliance (MOCA) standard to stream from their gateway tuner DVRs to their slave units. The delivery of streaming content via a hard-wired solution like MOCA does not carry the same risks for piracy as a Wi-Fi connection. The Premium Video certification should help open up streaming to other kinds of devices via Wi-Fi.

I’m looking forward to having a one-box solution where my media player can access everything from the files on my home network, to streaming from online, to accessing my DVR and live TV programming. I’ll use a Boxee Box in my office and use a simpler-to-use player in the bedroom. I’m happy to see that DLNA is continuing to raise the bar in connectivity, compatibility, and interoperability as it continues to pave the way for new streaming scenarios in the future.