DLNA: VidiPath Tech to Enable Subscription TV Across Devices

According to the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), wireless VidiPath technology will enable the secure delivery of subscription TV to all certified devices in the home. This could lead to eliminating the need to rent multiple set-top boxes. Wi-Fi-based VidiPath provides access to subscription TV across smartphones, tablets, Blu-ray players, game consoles and PCs. The first VidiPath-certified products are slated for availability in the first quarter. Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable are among those planning to offer VidiPath STBs. Continue reading DLNA: VidiPath Tech to Enable Subscription TV Across Devices

Xbox One Updates Include Support for Multiple File Formats

At the Gamescom conference in Germany on Tuesday, Microsoft introduced several Xbox One console updates. First, a media player app is expected to allow users to load over 30 different file formats to the Xbox One via a device connected by USB. The company is also working with certain countries to provide facilitated and cheaper mainstream broadcast television content access. In addition, Microsoft plans to launch the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in October. Continue reading Xbox One Updates Include Support for Multiple File Formats

LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Rather than copying Chromecast to webOS, LG released an open source Connect SDK late last week that integrates media casting, making it easier for developers to bring their apps to connected devices such as Roku streaming boxes, Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and LG’s own TV sets. By combining existing multiscreen and home sharing protocols such as Google’s Cast SDK, DLNA and DIAL, developers’ mobile apps only need one set of code to work on a variety of big screen devices. Continue reading LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Cord-Cutting: New Tablo HDTV DVR is Driven by Tablet App

Nuvyyo is developing an affordable alternative to Simple.TV’s streaming DVR with its own Tablo DVR, a set-top box that streams both live and locally recorded broadcasts to Android and iOS-powered devices, as well as Roku players and Web browsers. Unlike other DVRs that often rely on cloud services or are linked to television, Tablo is an attractive option for consumers looking to cut cords altogether, and reduce long-term costs. Continue reading Cord-Cutting: New Tablo HDTV DVR is Driven by Tablet App

Simple.tv Offers DVR for Cord Cutters, TiVo Streams to iPads

Consumers who have opted out of cable will soon have a new option for watching their favorite shows. In December, Simple.tv will release a new DVR device that will allow users to stream up to five channels at the same time. The pre-order price will be just $200, but the device won’t come with its own hard drive, meaning consumers will need external drives for storing content. Meanwhile, TiVo has announced out-of-home streaming for cable subscribers via its Roamio set-top-box, that allows users to access content on mobile devices. Continue reading Simple.tv Offers DVR for Cord Cutters, TiVo Streams to iPads

Microsoft Releases Operating System For Home Automation

Microsoft researchers have recently released software that will make home automation easier. The company’s Lab of Things will serve as a platform for researchers and developers. Researchers will have a base to study home automation technology, and developers will have an operating system for apps that will control and monitor this technology. Some believe that the Lab of Things may be a starting project for larger and more complex buildings. Continue reading Microsoft Releases Operating System For Home Automation

Silicon Image UltraGig 6400: WirelessHD for Next-Gen Mobile

  • Silicon Image’s UltraGig 6400 is a new WirelessHD transmitter that may be small enough and strong enough to break the WirelessHD smartphone barrier, writes Engadget.
  • According to the press release, the UltraGig 6400 is “a complete WirelessHD transmitter for mobile devices that integrates a 60GHz RF transceiver, baseband processor, and embedded antenna array into a single IC package.”
  • The device has full gaming and 1080p video capabilities, but is also small enough for both tablets and smartphones.
  • Previously, people who wanted video output from small, battery powered devices like tablets and smartphones would either “be looking at a WiFi-based option like AirPlay, DLNA or Miracast, which can sacrifice bandwidth and latency, or at a wired connection like MHL, which effectively means tethering ourselves to the TV,” notes the post.
  • The transmitter is one-fifth the size of the older WirelessHD Gen3. It also consumes less power than smartphone’s local displays and “has a mere 5ms latency to allow for interactivity, and shouldn’t add more than $10 to the cost of manufacture,” reports Engadget.

Sony Vision: Will Tablets be Key to the Future of TV?

  • Rob Wiesenthal, chief financial officer of Sony America and chief strategy officer of Sony Entertainment, says TVs will get access to video content through tablets which would enable, for example, Sony’s Video Unlimited subscribers to go to a friend’s house and “throw” a film to the TV set.
  • “If you think back five years, it was all about the boxes; Tivo, Slingbox, Roku,” he said. “I think consumers really had box exhaustion.” Apple’s AirPlay, for example, allows iPads and iPhones to wirelessly connect to TVs.
  • Sony is using the Digital Living Network Alliance standard to interoperate with different manufacturer’ devices without the need for a box.
  • “Other benefits include the lure of offering more targeted advertising through an IP-enabled tablet than has proved possible through set-top boxes, and the advantages of finding content on a tablet rather than by aiming a remote control at a TV 10 feet away,” reports Financial Times.
  • In order for this approach to work, however, home Wi-Fi networks will require the capacity to transfer large video files without interruptions and cable providers will need to be willing to make content available this way.

Will Sony Streaming Player Have the Juice to Take on Roku and Apple TV?

  • Sony will offer its SMP-N200 set-top box next month in the U.S. for $99. The player, introduced at IFA in Berlin, is the successor to the company’s Netbox.
  • The device has been upgraded to support 3D and live content streaming. It can be controlled with an iOS or Android smartphone.
  • “The original featured then-impressive support for local media playback and streaming, but does the Blu-ray-less wonder does it have what it takes in 2011?” asks Engadget. “If it has a UI refresh and access to comparable sources thanks to Sony’s now streamlined Video Unlimited/Music Unlimited media approach then this could play well as a one-two punch with a connected PC, phone or tablet.”
  • The SMP-N200 features DLNA capability and an array of connection options including composite, component, HDMI and Wi-Fi.
  • “The Streaming Player is ideal for consumers who want to upgrade to a connected television, but are happy with the TV they currently have,” said Charles Speidel, vice president of Sony’s Home Audio and Video Group. “Whether using it in the family room or on a secondary television in the house this new set-top-box offers access to the full complement of streaming content available from Sony, without committing to the cost of a new Bravia.”

Liberty Global Looks Beyond the Horizon with Multi-Screen Video Platform

  • Liberty Global unveiled a new video delivery platform at IBC in Amsterdam that the company claims will reinvent television by combining the interactivity of the Web with cable and personalized content.
  • The multimedia gateway will create a wireless network that connects the TV to personal devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones, reports Communications Technology.
  • The technology, dubbed Horizon, centers on a PC as “the heart of the digital home,” includes a 3D user interface, and is presently undergoing field trials in the Netherlands. Liberty Global suggests it will be commercially available next year.
  • Sixty content providers — including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter — have already signed up to develop applications for the platform.
  • The platform has a number of tech partners including Samsung, which built the multimedia home gateway, powered by the Intel Atom CE Media Processor.
  • NAGRA Media Access will provide the conditional access solution that will support MoCA and Wi-Fi, and participate in the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) ecosystem.

Onkyo Launches THX-Certified 3D Blu-ray Player

  • Onkyo has announced a $599 Blu-ray player with THX certification and 3D capability (available in August).
  • The DLNA 1.5 certified player also handles WMA, MP3 and DivX HD files.
  • The BD-SP809 offers streaming service access through Netflix, VUDU, Blockbuster On Demand and Film Fresh.
  • Network connection is via the Ethernet port since there is no indication of Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • The player offers 1080p upscaling and features two outputs for simultaneously connecting a 3D TV and a 1080p projector.
  • Onkyo may face stiff competition from other 3D Blu-ray players that have Wi-Fi connectivity and expanded access to streaming services such as Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Crackle and Pandora.