DLNA To Get Windows 7 Boost, ABI Says - Twice

DLNA To Get Windows 7 Boost, ABI Says

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Scottsdale, Ariz. - The inclusion of Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) support in Microsoft's planned Windows 7 operating system will give DNLA "a further push into the living room and beyond," ABI Research director Jason Blackwell contended.

The research company forecasts manufacturer shipments of more than 300 million DLNA-certified consumer electronics devices in 2012, up from almost 200 million such products shipped in 2008. Shipments will grow at a faster rate after 2012, ABI said. More than 5,500 devices available worldwide, including flat-screen TVs, have received DLNA certification.

The number of DLNA-certified TVs soared by more than 400 in the past three months to 669, the alliance said. Most models are available in the U.S., and some are due here in the fall. Certified TVs are capable of streaming video, audio and digital images from networked PCs and network-attached storage devices that are also DLNA-certified, regardless of brand name.

Consumers increasingly want to distribute digital media content around their homes, Blackwell said, but without standardization, "that is a nightmare." Specs developed by DLNA, however, are based on the UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) standard to "enable easy, seamless connections in a wide and growing range of consumer electronics devices."

DLNA support in the Windows 7 operating system, due in October, will give DNLA an additional boost. With Windows 7, for example, consumers would be able to "push a sequence of stored photos out to a digital picture frame," he said. "Much of this new Windows functionality will be implemented through the new version of Windows Media Player, which will have a ‘Play to' command, allowing the user to choose among several DLNA-networked playback devices to display a particular video or other media file."

DLNA's next task is to increase participation by broadband service providers that offer set-top boxes and gateways, he said.

ABI's conclusions are available in the Home Network Software Technologies and Markets report, which evaluates the main home networking software standards and forecasts sales of UPnP- and DLNA-certified devices.

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