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DLNA Expands Certification Program

Portland, Ore. — The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) launched a certification program for version 1.5 of its home-network interoperability guidelines and expects the first certified v1.5 devices to be available in the first quarter of 2008.

Version 1.5 was adopted in March 2006 to extend minimum compatibility standards for networked devices beyond such home-network products as PCs and A/V components to networked printers, handheld remotes, and mobile devices such as cellphones and portable media players (PMPs).

The v1.5 guidelines:

  • enable transfer of audio, video and digital images back and forth between compliant home devices and mobile devices, which can include cellphones, PMPs and car A/V systems;
  • enable DLNA-certified networked printers to print out images displayed on such compliant devices as TVs and cellphones; and
  • add “push” devices to provide more convenient control of networked devices in the home. Networked remote controls and cellphones, for example, would be able to discover devices on the network, discover the content on the devices and push content from one device to another for viewing or listening. Previously the guidelines allowed only for devices that pulled content from other devices for local viewing or listening.

After a product is tested and certified as meeting minimum DLNA compatibility guidelines, the device’s manufacturer can stamp the DLNA Certified logo on the device and promote the device’s certification. DLNA started its certification program in September 2005, and more than 1,300 products have been certified, the organization said. More than 730 products listed on the DLNA Web site are available to end users in such categories as TVs, PCs, HDD and video disc recorders and players, home and personal audio systems, digital media adapters, home theaters, network-attached storage devices, digital cameras and gaming devices. More than two dozen member companies have certified products to date, and more than 240 companies are DLNA members, the organization added.

The launch of the extended certification program is about five months later than the organization originally intended when it approved the expanded guidelines in March 2006, said DLNA president and chairman Scott Smyers. As with “any technical development effort of this complexity,” he said, it is not uncommon for there to be some difficulty in accurately predicting a “go live” date, and DLNA is no different, he noted.