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@ CES: DLNA bows Premium Video; Comcast, Intel demo it

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 2:36pm
Mike Robuck

Yesterday at CES, the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) unveiled its Premium Video platform, which enables networking to various DLNA-certified devices in the home, while Comcast and Intel demonstrated it over on the show floor.

By using DLNA Premium Video, service providers can enable whole-home networking to DLNA-certified products, including digital TVs, tablets, mobile phones, Blu-ray players and video game consoles. Premium Video can send the video streams to the various devices through the use of one set-top box in a home, and it allows viewers to start viewing a show in one room and resume watching it in another.

Nidhish Parikh, the president and chairman of DLNA, said there are currently 13,000 DLNA-certified devices, which translates into half a billion devices in consumers' homes. The number of devices is projected to increase to 3 billion by 2016.

DLNA worked with its member partners, including CableLabs, Comcast, Cisco, Intel and AT&T, on the design of Premium Video, and also on new DLNA interoperability guidelines that will become available later this year.

"Today's consumers want to be connected at all times, and smart devices give them this freedom," said Parikh. "As pioneers in connecting people and their devices, we've achieved a key milestone with the introduction of DLNA Premium Video, allowing consumers to easily connect and enjoy premium content throughout their homes."

Premium Video uses DTCP IP to protect the multiple formats of streams. At the sprawling Intel booth, Comcast/Intel's multi-screen demo sent MPEG-2 streams in 1080p to various devices in a proof of technology demonstration, according to Comcast engineering fellow in the office of the CTO David de Andrade. CES marked the first time that Intel and Comcast had taken the wraps off of the demo that used DLNA guidelines and Premium Video.

The demo featured the Pace box that Comcast is currently using for its Xcalibur trial in Augusta, Ga. Comcast had teamed up with Intel, which provided the Intel Architecture-based CE SoC for the new Pace set-top boxes, delivering the CPU and graphics performance required for the service's advanced user interface, fast responsive performance and new interactive applications.

The proof of concept demo added in an IP port on the Pace box to securely deliver Premium Video to DLNA devices. De Andrade said the roadmap of the future would include transcoding of the various streams in the box, as well as adaptive bit rates.

De Andrade said the technology demo configuration used Ethernet out, but in a deployed configuration, the IP connection will be MoCA out. There's no timeframe for availability of the Xfinity TV guide on the DLNA client.

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