Within its closed iOS device universe, Apple has delivered an "interoperable" experience, "or at least the belief in such" among its users, says an analyst. Does that mean Apple stole DLNA's thunder?
Bringing in service providers
Meanwhile, DLNA’s biggest progress thus far might be its work with service providers. DLNA’s chairman and president Parikh is hanging his hat on the DLNA-developed Commercial Video Profile (CVP-2). He called it “one of the biggest developments [DLNA has pulled off] for a while.”
Calling DLNA’s efforts on CVP-2 “very important,” Doherty said it would “enrich DLNA discovery and delivery.”
In essence, with the new CVP-2 guidelines, DLNA has solved service providers’ concerns over secure distribution of Pay-TV content within a home network.
The CVP-2 profile-based clients are scheduled for release later this year.
Companies such as Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable, and others can now “securely distribute Pay-TV content -- which includes live content, video on demand, DVR content -- to their subscribers’ retail home network devices,” according to DLNA. Those retail home network devices include televisions, game consoles, Blu-Ray players, tablets, phones, and PCs. CVP-2 enables “a consistent service provider user navigating and viewing experience regardless of device,” the consortium added.
Mandatory features of the CVP-2 profile client, added to the basic DLNA guidelines are: HTML5 remote user interface; capability to diagnose the status of the device allowing remote operations such as ping, trace route; capability to wake up the CVP-2 client if in idle power mode; capability to receive Adaptive Bit Rate content using MPEG -DASH standard (MPEG-DASH stands for MPEG-Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP. It allows for high-quality media to be streamed over the Internet, and adapt to changing bandwidth of the home network); protection of content using DTCP-IP Link Protection; priority-based quality of service; all trick modes; and others.
Vertical worlds of interoperability
At a time when CE giants are competing fiercely among themselves, it’s not easy to keep DLNA members in line and ask them to put the “DLNA-certified” logo before their own interoperability brand.
Take the example of “Samsung All Share Play.”
Samsung tells customers how easy it is for a Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet to connect wirelessly to a Samsung TV on the same network. The Korean giant’s concept follows Apple’s model, just as Apple pitched AirPlay as something that requires little effort to play content from an iPad to another up-to-date Apple product.
Sony and Panasonic have similarly promoted their own world of interoperability, even though much of their work leverages DLNA guidelines.
Doherty, however, isn’t worried. He observed that those “vertical worlds of interoperability have slowly yielded to take advantage of DLNA operable equipment and services sharing.” The fact is, as Doherty pointed out, “Very few people own a variety of products from a single manufacturer.”
Some vendors are already taking a much more realistic approach by incorporating both AirPlay and DLNA functionality into their products.
Rather than pitting Apple’s iOS products against a host of non-Apple devices, there is a growing recognition that both need to coexist.
By incorporating both technologies, DLNA is practically enabling people who have Apple content to connect with and play that content on other devices, by using players and services other than iTunes.
DLNA is positioning itself to bridge the gap between the closed Apple ecosystem and the significantly broader and more open DLNA ecosystem.
Maybe, dividing the world in two – Apple’s iOS universe vs. DLNA – is becoming an outdated concept. In is quiet style, DLNA might have already moved on.
— Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent, EE Times