DNLA software push for home networks

440m certified devices in homes

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) has been busy certifying hardware, with more than 9,000 consumer electronics products receiving its stamp of approval. Now its software certification is the spur to new growth in home media networks.

According to ABI Research data, more than 440 million DLNA-certified devices - from digital cameras to game consoles to TVs and video players - had been installed in users' homes by the end of 2010.

The certification of software that enables the streaming of content between DLNA devices over the home network - including applications such as Media Server and Media Player - should be a very valuable addition to this program, states ABI.

According to practice director Jason Blackwell, "ABI Research believes the DLNA's software certification program is a significant step that will provide a powerful stimulus to the adoption and connection of devices in consumers' home networks.

"By vouching for the interoperability of devices using certified software, the DLNA will foster confidence among consumers that if they purchase certified hardware and software, their systems will work as advertised."

The DLNA specification is platform-agnostic, though Windows 7, by embedding it in the operating system, has created more opportunity for Microsoft users. However, says ABI, the inclusion of third-party vendors will open up the market and create wider choice for consumers.

Blackwell concludes, "Until now, manufacturers and developers tended to ignore the home network and focused on creating dedicated devices and their own ecosystems.

"At CES, it seemed that vendors in all of these spaces (software, hardware, and content) now realize the importance of home networks and are searching for ways to make them work."

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