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DLNA’s VidiPath Enables Subscription-TV Sharing At Home

Lake Oswego, Ore. – Consumers might soon be able to view all of their subscription-TV content on multiple TVs in the home without renting additional set-top boxes, thanks to smart TVs and set-top boxes equipped with wireless VidiPath technology, the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) said.

The standards organization expects the first VidiPath-certified CE products to become available to consumers late in the first quarter.

The Wi-Fi-based technology also delivers a home’s subscription-TV content to VidiPath-equipped tablets, smartphones, game consoles, PCs and Blu-ray players.

The group didn’t say which types of products would appear first or whether set-top boxes would be among the first, but cable-TV providers Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications have said they plan to offer VidiPath set-top boxes or gateways.

Development was led by DLNA, the three service providers, and Sony, Samsung and Broadcom, the organization said.

“With the addition of VidiPath, DLNA has expanded its ecosystem to include the secure delivery of subscription-TV content,” DLNA executive director Donna Moore said. Service providers and CE manufacturers “are working together to enable the full subscription-TV viewing experience and user interface across all VidiPath-certified devices.” Small-screen devices will access a service-provider UI designed for a smaller display that retains a similar look and feel as the provider’s TV-screen UI, the group said.

A DLNA whitepaper noted that “only a portion of traditional subscription-TV content is available from Internet sources,” and on mobile devices, users have to download multiple apps to a device to access much of the available subscription-TV content.

A certification program launched last September.

A single Vidipath-equipped set-top box from a cable, satellite or telco TV-service provider will stream all service-provider content, including HD content, over Wi-Fi to VidiPath-equipped devices within Wi-Fi range. The provider’s channel guides would also appear in a consistent way across all VidiPath devices.

With VidiPath, consumers will free up furniture space by eliminating the need for a set-top box with every TV, and subscribers will be able to use their TV remote to access content instead of using a service provider’s remote. VidiPath will also simplify multiroom installations by eliminating coaxial-cable runs. Consumers also won’t have to download proprietary service-provider applications on different mobile devices or download one of many over-the-top (OTT) applications, DLNA said.

For more details, see the March 2 issue of TWICE.