DLNA Empowers the Connected Consumer


Connected home technology is fun, yet frustrating at times. Take, for example, not being able to find a compatible device to go along with your home automation system. Retailers don’t have all the answers, nor does the Internet (contrary to popular belief). But what if you, the consumer, had the answers?

With more than 9,000 DLNA certified TVs, PCs, mobile phones, printers, and other devices on the market, it only makes sense that the DLNA Digital Living Network Alliance, www.dlna.org, would start certifying the software that makes them talk to each other.

The alliance announced it has begun two new certification programs aimed to make it easier for consumers to share their digital videos, photos, and music across a broader range of products. The programs include Software Certification and Protected Streaming Certification, both of which will be sold directly to consumers through retailers, Websites, and mobile application stores.

The fact that a certification program is now reaching out to consumers directly may be a sign that the market for connected devices will only continue to grow.

"DLNA represents the industry's best opportunity to create a viable open market for interoperable, connected consumer electronics," says Peter King, a director of Connected Home Devices at consulting firm Strategy Analytics. "We recently forecasted that the number of DLNA Certified device models will rise to nearly one billion products sold in 2014. With the addition of the Software Certification and Protected Streaming Certification programs, we expect to see a continued acceleration in the awareness and adoption of DLNA in 2011."

According to the certification group, the goal of its new Software Certification program is to offer consumers a fluid “connected consumer experience” -- one where content flows easily across a wide range of products, regardless of manufacturer.

The Protected Streaming Certification program brings commercial video directly to DLNA Certified products and aims to preserve the rights and interests of copyright owners and content providers. The program, which has been recognized as an international standard by the IEC, leverages DTCP-IP (Digital Transmission Content Protection over Internet Protocol) to securely share commercial movies between products in a consumer's home network.

Is this a sign that we are finally moving toward a connected world? The DLNA seems to think so.

“As we continue to grow the categories of DLNA certifications, we are truly furthering the fully connected, digital lifestyle," said Nidhish Parikh, chairman and president of DLNA.

Certainly, the success of these two new consumer programs will give an indication of where the industry as headed, as will the number of companies joining groups like DLNA. With more than 200 multi-industry companies already on the DLNA roster, it seems we are at least moving in the right direction.

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Connected World Issue
June/July 2014
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