Tag: cable TV

FCC intends to place over-the-top Internet TV on a par with cable TV


FCC Moves to Give Internet Video Same Rights as Cable Co’s | Broadband News and DSL Reports

From the horse’s mouth

US Federal Communications Commission

Tech Transitions – Video And Future (Blog Post)

My Comments

The recent US Supreme Court decision against Aereo has shown up how facilities-based multichannel TV providers i.e. cable and satellite TV providers have the upper hand with negotiating access to content offered by the Hollywood studios and sports leagues.

But the FCC are considering allowing “over-the-top” Internet TV providers access to this same content on a par with the likes of Comcast and DirecTV. This is also in response to the fact that many American TV viewers are ending up with cable or satellite TV packages full of content they don’t want i.e. “57 channels and nothing on”.

The issue with the current situation is that Internet-based “over-the-top” TV providers aren’t placed on an equal footing to the big cable-TV providers. This is similar to how the US Congress passed laws requiring satellite TV providers like DirecTV and DISH to have access to the channels on an equal footing to cable-TV providers and this opened the doors to competition.

The opportunities provided by the Internet-based “over-the-top” services are many including the ability to provide TV content packages that are pitched at niche markets in a cost-effective manner. This includes providers that could focus on foreign-language content, wholesome family-friendly programming, and content pitched at expatriates. As well, it opens up the concept of increased carriage-service competition which can increase viewer choice and, hopefully, access to what the viewer really wants.

There is also the concept of taking a “technology-neutral” approach which also allows pay-TV companies and content providers to use a choice of technology to distribute the TV content to the end-user. This means that the likes of HBO, CBS, Comcast and co to implement Internet-based approaches thus increasing reach to a wider market. There is also the hope that this approach will heat up the demand for next-generation broadband through the US and increase the average bandwidth that Americans can enjoy.

For this to work, the FCC need to pass these rules without being sabotaged by Big Money. which is a problem that still dogs American politics.

CableLabs have given their blessing for DLNA CVP-2 standards for premium-content delivery in the home

Article – From the horse’s mouth


DLNA CVP-2: Premium Content to Any Device in Any Room

My Comments

Sony PS3 games console

Consoles like these could be able to pick up pay TV from a DLNA CVP-2 gateway device

CableLabs have cemented their approval for the current iteration for DLNA Commercial Video Profile 2 to provide for improved in-home pay-TV setups using the home network. This leads effectively to an FCC goal that requires device-independence for cable-TV setups in the home rather than users being required to lease a set-top box for each TV in the home or install a “TV Everywhere” app provided by the cable company on each mobile device if they want cable TV on the extra screens.

What is DLNA CVP-2?

This is a super-standard defined by DLNA which uses a group of standards to assure pay-TV networks that their content is being delivered securely and surely to the display device via the home network. Here, the display device can be a Smart TV or video peripheral with “Connected TV” capabilities or software in a regular desktop / laptop computer or mobile device (tablet / smartphone) to show the TV content on the screen.

Sony BDP-S390 Blu-Ray Disc Player

.. as could these Blu-Ray players

It will typically require a so-called “gateway device” connected to the cable system, satellite dish and/or Internet service, such as a broadcast-LAN tuner, router with broadcast-LAN capabilities or a PVR in the customer’s home while display devices and software would have to authenticate over the home network with the standards that are part of the package. The PVR solution may typically be connected to the main TV set in the lounge or family room where most TV viewing is done while TVs installed in other rooms like the bedroom can use the home network to “pull down” live or recorded TV content using “smart-TV” abilities integrated in the set or a games console / Blu-ray player.

DLNA media directory provided by server PC

.. as could these Smart TVs

There is the use of DTCP-IP secure-content-delivery specifications for IP-based home networks to authenticate the access of content to cable-TV / content-studio / sports-league requirements. As well setups that implement DLNA CVP-2 implement RVU which provides the same kind of user interface expected when you use pay-TV services, which could facilitate things like access to video-on-demand and pay-per-view content, access to the service provider’s TV-hosted storefront and magazine, or ability to schedule PVR recordings.

Another benefit provided by DLNA CVP-2 is to support endpoints that implement a very-low-power standby mode and allow them to use wakeup and network-reservation mechanisms to allow the efficient-power modes to operate but provide for proper useability and serviceablility. This avoids service issues that are likely to happen if a device goes to an ultra-low-power quiescent mode when not needed and finds that it has to create a brand new connection to the network and its peers when it is needed.

Do I see this as a change for delivery of the multichannel pay-TV service?

One reality is that DLNA CVP-2, like other technologies affecting TV, won’t change the calibre of the content offered on pay-TV services. You will still end up with the same standard of content i.e. a lot of channels with nothing worth viewing.

But it will affect how a pay-TV company delivers services pitched towards a multiple-TV household. They could offer, either as part of the standard service, as part of an upsaleable premium service or as an optional item, a “multiple-TV” service. This would allow a person to have the pay-TV service appear on all suitably-equipped screens instead of paying for each TV to be equipped with a set-top box.

Similarly, the main device could change from an ordinary set-top box with PVR abilities to either one with the “gateway” abilities integrated in to it or a “headless” gateway device with broadcast-LAN and PVR abilities. In this case, the main TV would either be a suitably-equipped Smart TV or be connected to a video peripheral that has this kind of “connected TV” functionality built in. It could also change the focus of the value of the customer’s bill towards the content services rather than the customer-premises equipment.

For consumers, it could be a path for those of us who move between pay-TV or triple-play services whether due to moving location or moving to a better offer. This is because there isn’t the need to mess around with set-top boxes or create infrastructure for a pay-TV service that implements different methodologies.

The Aereo Supreme Court Test–A repeat of the Betamax case


Aereo to Broadcasters: ‘We’ll See You in (Supreme) Court’ | Mashable

My Comments

In the late 1970s, Sony had brought to the US market the Betamax video-cassette recorder which was the first device that could, for an affordable price, record TV shows. But Walt Disney and Universal City Studios filed suit against Sony citing copyright violation because they feared that consumers would create their own TV content libraries from shows recorded off-air rather than going to the movies.

This case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court who litigated that a technology company wasn’t liable for creating a technology that infringed on copyrights. It underscored the domestic video recorder not just a device for recording TV shows but a tool to “take the content further” such as hiring out videocassettes of the latest movies through the video stores which ended up as the device’s killer application.

Aereo is a cloud-driven TV-streaming / “network DVR” service which has been disrupting the established business models that the US TV networks along with the major sports leagues, especially the NFL, rely on. The TV networks and sports leagues have taken legal action against Aereo but have lost this action to Aereo through every rung of the US legal-appeal ladder. But now it is to face the final test at the US Supreme Court and I see this as being like the Betamax case in some ways especially in relation to innovation.

Australian readers have faced a similar litigation concerning a TV-streaming service offered here due to the main football leagues having an exclusive online partnership with Telstra and both parties fearing that the partnership’s value is diluted due to a TV-streaming service offering the football sportscasts online.

For example, the ability to stream a local broadcast form a known area to wherever you are, a practice undertaken with Internet radio, is being tested. Similarly, the concept of cloud-based DVR services where you can pick shows to record and view wherever you like is also to be tested.  It will also be tested in the context of bringing material in to an area that is not meant to be shown in that area, such as a sports broadcast subjected to a “delay to the gate” rule where the sportscast is not shown live in the city it is played in unless a significant percentage of tickets are sold for that game.

Similarly, the concept of pay-TV companies offering IP-based services whether as a subscription option or add-on to a traditional subscription will be tested. This includes a cloud-based DVR service like what Cablevision is currently offering as a value-added service or simply offering the TV Everywhere service to view TV on your smartphone or tablet as what most cable-TV services are offering the US market.

Let’s hope that this case can shape on-line TV services for the good of the consumer rather than studios and sports leagues setting up environments to exploit the viewing public.

Heads up: The HDHomeRun Prime DLNA-capable broadcast-LAN adaptor is running for US$100


Get an HDHomeRun Prime CableCard tuner for $99.99 | CNet

From the horse’s mouth


Offer Page

Previous Coverage

HDHomeRun Prime is the first CableCARD tuner to deliver live TV to DLNA Devices

My Comments

Those of you who follow HomeNetworking01.info from the USA may have seen me make mention about the HDHomeRun Prime broadcast-LAN adaptor which streams cable-TV content from its tuners over a small network.

The reason I have drawn attention to this unit on HomeNetworking01.info and am highlighting this deal is that it works as a DLNA-capable network media server. Here, it could stream the cable-TV (or antenna-supplied) content to your XBox 360, PS3, smart TV or other DLNA / UPnP-AV compliant video device so you can use this device to watch the cable-TV shows on.

It has support for the cableCARD authorisation module which you rent from your cable-TV provider i.e. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, etc for less than the cost of the set-top box that they provide, but you have access to HBO, Showtime and the other premium channels as your subscription allows through the DLNA-capable devices as well as your smartphones, tablets and laptop computers.

The variant of this device being offered at the US$100 price is the 3-tuner variant which would serve content to up to three devices and could either work as a “get-you-going” device or augment an existing broadcast-LAN device.

Time Warner Cable to be the first US cable company to move away from the traditional cable box to an IP-based setup


Time Warner Cable will let you junk your set-top box next year | Internet & Media – CNET News

My Comments

Since the late 1980s, the American cable-TV industry had relied on the provision of a set-top box that they lease to customers as a way to control the business relationship. This was even though since the start of that decade, most “brown-goods” companies sold TVs and video-recorders with “cable-ready” tuners that can be directly connected to a cable-TV service.

The consumer-electronics industry and related press had been crying foul that the cable companies were effectively controlling their customers and these customers couldn’t gain access to desireable functions that the devices offered like picture-in-picture or improved remote controls. As well, the cable companies have required that customers use these set-top boxes for advanced services like pay-per-view TV and have supplied set-top boxes which are PVRs. Even the CableCARD technology which was to put more power in the customers’ hands has been met with frustration such as requiring a truck-roll for the installation of this equipment even though it could be supplied as a self-install kit.

A trend that is breaking through and affecting pay-TV is to use the home network to distribute the content to the display device. The need to bring this about was driven by the popularity of the Apple iPad and other tablet computers being used to personally view video content and these devices had effectively become an alternative to the old portable TV with the 12”-14” screen. The cable industry was also facing the reality of American households “cutting the cord” i.e. abandoning cable TV service and watching their video content either from free-to-air TV or online video services like Netflix and Hulu.

This has been aggravated through the availability of devices like multimedia-capable games consoles, Blu-Ray players and network video players that work as front-ends for the online video services.

In Australia, Foxtel woke up by providing IP-hosted pay-TV under the Foxtel Play / Foxtel Go banners where people just used particular games consoles, smart TVs, regular computers or mobile devices to watch Foxtel pay TV via the Internet.

Now Time Warner Cable have allowed a person who signs up to a “double-play” package of Internet and cable-TV with them to dispense with their set-top box if they use a Roku or XBox 360 to watch the TV content. This is starting to appear also as a trend amongst other US pay-TV firms and is overcoming various hurdles and requirements like closed-captioning, emergency alerts and “delay-to-the-gate” blackouts for sports broadcasts.

Here, these services may be offered as the “value option” for households who don’t need the PVR-capable set-top box whereas the PVR is offered for the packages with “all the fruit”. These packages would also integrate the IP-based functionality with, perhaps, support for network viewing of PVR-hosted content.

Personally, I would also see this evolve to other common platforms like the PlayStation 3 and the smart-TV / Blu-Ray-player platforms that the likes of Samsung, Sony and Panasonic are building up. It could end up as a chance for the cable industry to construct packages tariff charts and service options that exploit the capabilities of these IP-based setups.

Broadcast-LAN devices–how relevant are they to the home network

I have observed a steady increase in the number of “broadcast-LAN” tuner devices appearing in various markets around the world.

What are these devices?

How the broadcast-LAN devices fit in to a home network

How the broadcast-LAN devices fit in to a home network

These are devices that integrate a broadcast tuner which is connected to an antenna (aerial), cable-TV system or satellite dish and hardware for streaming the broadcast signals down a computer network to computers or similar devices. The computers or similar devices effectively select the stations to be received through the use of front-end software that runs on these devices.

I refer to these devices as “broadcast-LAN” or “broadcast-network” devices because they bridge traditional radio or television broadcast services delivered over a traditional broadcast medium with a computer local-area network to be enjoyed on the devices connected to that network.

Cheaper and, usually, first-generation implementations use one tuner circuit so are able to stream one broadcast signal down the network. But the better systems implement two or more tuner circuits and/or “split” broadcast signals that are part of a multiple-broadcast single-frequency multiplex like what is implemented with DVB-based digital TV to concurrently stream multiple broadcasts to multiple devices.

Why do these devices appear on the market?

Initially these devices appeared on the market to allow people to watch TV broadcasts on regular-platform computers without the need to have a tuner module in the computer and / or to have the tuner connected to an aerial, cable-TV or similar infrastructure. This exploits the concept offered by HomePlug AV and Wi-Fi technologies that the connection to the home network is more pervasive than the connection to the aerial or similar infrastructure.

The classic situation that is often come across is for a TV-aerial or cable-TV socket to be installed in the main lounge area and, perhaps, the master bedroom or another lounge area but you may want to watch TV in another area using a laptop. This situation can be complicated with rented premises, buildings that use difficult construction materials and techniques or, simply, “splittered” TV-aerial infrastructure that is only optimised for TV sets that are relocated on a whim.

This situation is taken further with the ubiquity of the tablet computers that are based on mobile platforms. There is a strong desire to use these computers and, in some cases, large-screen smartphones or laptop / notebook computers as a personal TV device in lieu of the traditional small-screen portable TV set. Similarly, a regular computer or NAS with the appropriate software could work as a network DVR to capture TV shows for later viewing by tuning in to signals presented by these devices.

This latter situation is exploited further with mobile broadcast-LAN devices that link to mobile digital-TV services like Dyle TV in the USA. Here, the situation allows the user to tune in to a TV show on one of these services using their tablet or smartphone, but they work more as a Wi-Fi access point rather than a Wi-Fi client.

If the idea is to replace the TV-antenna or cable-TV connection to a, typically secondary, TV set with the home network, you may have to use an IPTV set-top box, a smart TV or similar video peripheral to pick up the content from the broadcast-LAN box.

This situation is being made easier by HDHomeRun who have released their HDHomeRun Prime box for the US market. Here, this unit presents itself as a DLNA Media Server device and lists the channels it can provide as its content pool. Here, you can use a PS3 or XBox 360 games console, a DLNA-capable smart TV or a DLNA-capable Blu-Ray home theatre system to tune in the broadcasts.

Issues that can occur with broadcast-LAN setups

The user experience with a broadcast-LAN setup may not be the same for what has been expected with traditional broadcast receiption. This is more so with DLNA-based setups that are focused around file-based on-demand media or client software that doesn’t offer a proper broadcast-reception experience.

For example, it may take a long time to switch between channels which may make channel-surfing a bit more painful. This also can make it hard to switch between two channels which is something we may do to check on content like news or sports events that are hosted on one or both of the channels.

The future for the broadcast-LAN devices

The broadcast-LAN setups will be seen as being relevant as we continue to receive TV and radio via traditional broadcast paths and we primarily make heavy use of smartphones, tablets and ultraportable computers for our work and lifestyle computing needs.

As well, there will be a likelihood of these devices working as network-wide personal video recorder devices where that capture favourite TV shows and make them available to play on demand at any device attached to the home network. They could be in the form of a high-capacity hard disk built in to or connected to the broadcast-LAN device and/or a separate network-attached-storage device holding the recordings.

Similarly, the broadcast-LAN devices are being pitched in America by the consumer-electronics industry as a highly-competitive “consumers-first” alternative to the traditional cable-TV set-top box. Here, a DLNA-capable broadcast-LAN cable TV gateway can be used to distribute the pay-TV content to all the TVs in a pay-TV customer’s house without the customer paying extra to the cable-TV company to install set-top boxes on each TV. The use of RVU remote-user-interface technology which is being considered as part of the DLNA standards would allow customers to gain access to the advanced services that a pay-TV firm would offer like pay-per-view content and movies-on-demand.


I see the “broadcast-LAN” devices as becoming a key device class for the home network especially where portable computing devices like tablets are being used to enjoy content that is delivered by traditional radio and TV broadcasters.

HDHomeRun Prime is the first CableCARD tuner to deliver live TV to DLNA Devices


HDHomeRun Prime is the first CableCARD tuner to deliver live TV to DLNA Devices

From the horse’s mouth

Silicon Dust

Press Release

Product Page

My Comments

Most of the “broadcast-LAN” server devices which stream broadcast content, whether from a regular antenna (aerial), cable TV or a satellite dish, to a computer network typically require the use of manufacturer-supplied software or drivers on regular computers or mobile devices on that network to gain access to the broadcast content on those devices.

But Silicon Dust, makers of the HDHomeRun “broadcast-LAN” devices have updated their HDHomeRun Prime CableCard-capable cable-TV device to work as a DLNA-compliant device. This means that if you use a DLNA-compliant media client device or run DLNA-compliant media-client software on your computer or smartphone, you can have access to the TV channels through this device.

This function is provided through a software upgrade to the HDHomeRun Prime broadcast-LAN devices, both the new units that are being sold as well as the existing models that are in service. The device will present itself to the DLNA Home Media Network as a Media Server with Premium Video support courtesy of DTCP-IP content security.

I see this more as a valid example of using DLNA as part of a “broadcast-LAN” solution thus providing for software-independent setups for these applications. This would also further the FCC’s desire for customer-friendly cable TV which is independent of particular cable-company-controlled hardware.

What could be seen of this kind of setup being available for the home network? One application may be the use of DLNA-compliant media client software in regular and mobile computing devices to turn these devices in to secondary TVs. This could extend to devices like smart TVs and video peripherals using their network connection effectively as an aerial connection.

As well, home and business users could benefit from being able to push live broadcast content to DLNA-enabled displays using the control point software. Example applications could range from using a tablet or smartphone to push TV programs to a smart TV in the home to bars and cafes pushing out sportscasts or key news broadcasts to the big screens using a POS computer.

One point of evolution I would like to see for these devices is DLNA-driven PVR applications for recording the broadcasts. This may be facilitated with the recording functionality and the broadcast tuner in the same box such as a “TV content server” application. On the other hand, a computer, network-attached storage or similar device picking up content from a device like this HDHomeRun and recording it to its own storage. Then this same device could serve out the content that it records to the DLNA Home Media Network.

It also encompasses the concept of applying “trick-play” to live broadcasts, including the ability to start watching from the beginning of a show even as the show is being recording, like one can do with most PVR setups. As well, there would be the ability for multi-room features like “start on one TV, continue on the other” that can be part of the expected feature set.

At least this device with the new firmware has shown itself as an example of implementing DLNA to a broadcast-network (broadcast-LAN) application.

Two-screen TV viewing a strong trend


The Future Of TV Is Two Screens, One Held Firmly In Your Hands | Fast Company

My Comments

There is something that is becoming a reality with TV. It is where our TV-viewing sessions are involving two screens – one large screen carrying the main video and one smaller screen that we are holding in our hands.

This has been brought about by the popularity of the tablet, laptop and smartphone which are serving the second-screen role.

Some of us may think it is just for checking email or the activities of our Facebook Friends or Twitter followers. But a fair bit of this activity is to do with the content itself.

For example, one could be using GetGlue, Fango or other TV-related social networks to find out who is watching this show and what others have to say about it. Similarly, one could be checking the show’s Website and looking at other information and commentary that exists there. These are activities that may not work well on the big screen.

Similarly, most big-screen applications cannot support multiple concurrent logins for social-network or similar uses; and they are typically require “pick’n’choose” or “SMS-style” text entry.

In the case of news, a good quote for this is that “the revolution doesn’t have to be televised”. Here, one could be checking other news resources to verify the veracity of a news story, which can be very difficult during election time. This is augmented through comment feeds and Tweet feeds that are set up during news events like the one I participated in during the UK parliamentary inquire in to the News Corporation phone hacking scandal where I was dropping Tweets in to the feed from a Fujitsu laptop that I was reviewing. Similarly the scoreboard apps that I have mentioned about previously could simply work as an always-live scoreboard display during a sporting event and some sports like cricket or racing may benefit from these apps further by displaying supplementary scores like track position or bowling scores.

Of course, the commercials as we know them will be hamstrung by the two-screen viewing experience. This is more so as the traditional goal of eyeballs at the screen during ad breaks is reduced more. Here one could be following up information on the second screen while the ads play on; as well as visiting the kitchen or bathroom or stoking up the log fire. But the information that one could be following up on can relate to what was in the TV program; or it could be to follow up on something that was advertised during that ad break or a previous ad break.

As I have noticed and observed, this concept of two-screen TV is hard to adjust to for some people, especially the older generation who are more interested in focusing directly on the screen. It may be us simply glancing down at that smartphone or tablet so we can know further what is going on with some events.

I see this as becoming an interesting chain of events as we integrate in to an online and highly-interactive media-consumption life.

Cable TV now on the Skype video-conferencing bandwagon


Skype to bring video chat to Comcast subscribers | Signal Strength – CNET News

Comcast brings Skype calls to TV | Total Telecom

My Comments

Previously, Samsung, LG and Panasonic have implemented a Skype videoconferencing endpoint in their Internet-enabled TVs for use with an optional Webcam. This was to allow users to have the ability to make videocalls with the ability to hear their correspondent from the TV’s speakers and see them on the TV screen.

Now Comcast, a major US cable-TV provider, has got in on the act by installing Skype on their new set-top boxes. But, typically, what will happen is that customers will have to purchase a special USB webcam through Comcast to enable the service. The backhaul for this service will be the Comcast cable-Internet infrastructure and the service will appeal to people who have Comcast also as their Internet service provider.

Could this open up the door for pay TV companies to enable their set-top boxes as Skype endpoints especially as they see themselves losing relevance in the Internet age? This is mainly due to the “cord-cutting” trend where people are downscaling or cancelling current pay-TV subscriptions or refusing to subscribe to pay-TV and use “over-the-top” Internet-delivered video-on-demand services.

On the other hand, this step, taken by set-top-box makers and cable-TV companies, could allow people who have existing TV equipment to make or take Skype calls on their favourite big-screen TVs. For satellite-based or terrestrial-based setups, it will require the use of a backhaul via the customer’s Internet service, which wouldn’t be difficult if the operator implements other Internet-based services like catch-up TV or view-on-demand. It will be interesting to see who else will roll this service in to their set-top box platforms even as TV manufacturers enable their sets for Internet TV.

It has therefore become the first time that Skype has become available in a popular set-top-box platform, especially delivered by a pay-TV provider rather than requiring the customer to buy a new set-top box for this function.

DLNA now meets Pay-TV setups


New DLNA Interoperability Guidelines Will Turn Your TV Set-top Box into a Home Server | eHomeUpgrade

From the horse’s mouth

DLNA Press Release

My Comments

DLNA have released a set of interoperability guidelines for networked equipment that can play premium pay-TV content, whether live or recorded across the home network while keeping it secure. This is based on the DTCP-IP link protection protocols so as to protect the content from being re-streamed in an unauthorised manner.

AllVid and similar initiatives

These guidelines will lead to the acceleration of the “AllVid” initiative that has been put forward to the FCC by the likes of Sony and TiVo. This is a way of providing an open scenario so that people can use equipment they have bought with their pay-TV services in the US rather than having the TV just become a display for their set-top box leased from the cable company.

The idea behind tis concept is that there is a “gateway” device that connects to pay-TV broadcast services like cable, satellite or IPTV. This device connects to TVs, set-top boxes and PVRs via the home network using DLNA-specified technologies and is responsible for bridging the broadcast content to the home network as well as managing the access-control to the premium content on the pay-TV service.

If it receives broadcast content from terrestrial, cable or satellite services, it would use one or more RF tuners and circuitry to present the broadcast channels as network streams as well as authenticating and authorising the pay-TV content. On the other hand, an IPTV setup which connects to the home network would simply authenticate the content and present it across that home network.

It also will provide for situations where the user may change to a different pay-TV service that uses different technology or move to a different area that uses a different pay-TV service without losing their investment in their equipment.

OCAP-compliant “Tru2Way” cable-TV setups

The first main implementation would be cable-TV systems that are based on the OCAP-compliant “Tru2Way” platform. These will have a regular set-top box with separate security measures that can work across the different cable-TV setups. As well, they would be a DLNA server that works to these guidelines, providing the channel lineup that the customer has subscribed to as well as programmes recorded on this set-top box to the compliant TV equipment.

Of course, the main application with this could be to serve the content out to secondary TVs that are compliant to this standard or are connected to video peripherals that again are compliant. It could also lead to the main TV being connected to a “video server” set-top box

The main difference between these setups that one should know is the kind of “skin” that is expected on the user interface. The “AllVid” user interface is expected to have the viewing device’s branding like Sony’s XrossBar rather than the media-provider’s. Conversely the Tru2Way platform is meant to have support for the content provider’s or service provider’s “skin”. This also includes the creation of DVD-style menus and user interfaces along with the enablement of full interactive television apps like voting up that favourite dancer or singer on that talent-quest reality show.


Pay-Per-View services

A good question that hasn’t been answered so far is how this will enable the initial purchase of “pay-per-view” content. Most pay-TV operators run one or more pay-per-view content services, either in the form of one or more broadcasted events that is sold in this arrangement or a “movie-on-demand” or “virtual cinema” service with a few of the latest blockbuster movies shown across multiple channels.

The current problem is how can a user instantiate a pay-per-view content purchase in one of these setups using the TV’s remote control; and seeing it through so that the content is available and duly authorised. This includes allowing the account owner to place controls on what pay-per-view content can be purchased in their home.

What do customers look for in the new equipment they intend to purchase

Also, customers need to have something to look for when they purchase TV equipment so that they are sure that the equipment is compatible with DLNA’s premium-content requirements. This could include a “super-logo” that is exhibited on compliant equipment, with the equipment having to support the DTCP-IP functionality as part of this functionality set.

Retroactive upgrading of current equipment

The other factor that needs to be looked at is whether this DLNA premium-content-handling functionality can be brought to existing DLNA-compliant hardware such as the current crop of Sony and Samsung TVs through a firmware upgrade; or whether they would need to replace the existing hardware to gain this functionality.

This will be more important with TV sets as people who upgrade TVs will end up deploying their existing sets to other rooms of the house or to other locations.


At least the use of DLNA technology and the extension of broadcast-content-protection methods to the network could make it easier to allow flexible equipment setups in most mainstream viewing applications.