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Connected Digital Living

by on ‎02-26-2009 11:26 AM (11,630 Views)

Ever come across a new gadget and wondered what that “DLNA Certified” logo on the box means?  I’ve seen it on a wide variety of products myself – everything from TVs to computers to video game consoles – but I’ve never really known what it meant.  Initially, I thought that it was similar to the whole “ISO 9000” craze from a few years ago – a credential that’s meaningless to the average consumer.  After recently seeing the logo on Sony’s PlayStation support website, however, I figured it was about time that I search for the term online.

People generally like to share their music, movies and pictures.  Home networking and the internet allow us to do that, but complications often arise when two devices are not 100% compatible.  Wouldn’t it be nice though if there was a standard that essentially guaranteed that any two devices would work with one another?  Well, that’s essentially what the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) is all about.

The DLNA’s vision is fairly straight-forward: to develop a series of standards that allow certified devices to communicate and share information with relative ease.  This isn’t just limited to what you would find in your home theater system or home office; it includes digital cameras, camcorders, PDAs, and pretty much every other consumer electronic device that’s capable of distributing digital content.

More tech-savvy consumers will probably recognize the DLNA’s goal as one similar to that of the UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) Forum, as well as the Internet Home Alliance.  The DLNA differs from these two organizations, however, in that it is more focused on the implementation of a specific framework rather than its development.

Sounds like a wonderful idea, right?  A good number of software publishers, consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers seem to think so – the consortium currently has over 250 contributing members, including Sony, Microsoft and Best Buy.

For more information on these organizations, please check out the following links:

Digital Living Network Alliance

UPnP Forum

Internet Home Alliance (CABA Connected Home Research Council)

As a side note, I still have no idea what “ISO 9000 Certified” means.  I pass by assembly plants and warehouses that proudly display this credential on my morning commute, but the only hint provided is that the number gets updated every few years.  ISO 9008, anyone?

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