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RVU Alliance Formed For A/V Network Devices

8/04/2009 12:07:53 PM Eastern

El Segundo, Calif. - DirecTV, Broadcom, Cisco and Samsung said Monday they have formed an alliance to develop a specification for a "pixel-accurate" remote user interface (RUI) for RVU A/V networking technology.

The RVU Alliance members said their efforts will "complement and benefit existing industry interoperability initiatives" and that its founders maintain a "commitment to the sharing of digital content in the connected home."

According to alliance representatives, RVU (pronounced "are-view") is not an acronym.

The RVU protocol is based on a client-server architecture. The server is a source device supplied by the content service provider that allows the distribution and management of video and a consistent user experience to one or many thin CE devices (clients), the alliance said.

RVU allows the television viewer to watch live or recorded programming on various branded TVs or clients.

The RVU Alliance's pixel-accurate RUI technology will provide an identical user experience on all RVU-based thin client CE devices throughout the connected home, including digital TVs, digital media adapters and set-top boxes.

The RVU technology will ensure commercial/copyrighted content is secured with Digital Transmission Content Protection over Internet Protocol (DTCP-IP), originally developed for the IEEE-1394 (a.k.a. "Fire Wire" or "i.Link") digital interface.

RVU technology is expected to accelerate the availability of service providers' content throughout the connected home, the alliance said. A server-controlled, common user experience will enable the introduction of new features and applications that typically accompany commercial content.

One important industry interoperability initiative is the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), of which RVU Alliance founders are promoting members.

The alliance has been set up as an Oregon-based non-profit mutual benefit corporation with membership participation at founding promoter, promoter and contributor levels.

The RVU Alliance will make available technical specifications for the distribution of digital A/V home-networked entertainment content augmented with pixel-accurate RUI graphics. The Alliance will also serve to help ensure compatibility between RVU-compliant products.

Rômulo Pontual, DirecTV's chief technology officer, said the satellite-TV provider is planning to deploy RVU technology in media servers and clients beginning early in 2010.

Rich Nelson, Broadcom Communications Group marketing VP, said "that by supporting RVU technology on set-top box, digital TV and Blu-ray system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions, we are enabling a consistent look and feel on connected devices in the home."

Thomas Rhee, Samsung's digital set-top box senior VP, said, "With the addition of RVU technology, the device software integration process is simplified for consumer electronics manufacturers such as Samsung. We're excited about the RVU RUI and how this technology has DLNA as its foundation."

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