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Home multimedia sharing comes of age

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At IBC this year ACCESS was demonstrating how multimedia home networking is coming of age thanks to DLNA Premium Video, which uses DTCP-IP alongside other content security to ensure what the company calls ‘studio confident’ media sharing. DLNA Premium Video enables the media serving device to understand the characteristics of the receiving device and cross reference this against rights rules defined by a content owner or service provider to determine whether content can be shared with those kinds of devices. The aim is not to prevent redistribution or copying but to encourage it and it looks like the technology could open the way for in-home redistribution of Pay TV content including the most valuable assets like early release HD movies.

ACCESS used the show to announce the integration of its NetFront Living Connect DLNA-based media sharing solution with the Verimatrix VCAS ViewRight content security client. The result is a solution that keeps content safe and determines how it is shared, like whether it can be distributed to a Smart TV or only to an Apple iPad, for example.

In a stand demonstration the company showed how a combination of a tablet, acting as the control device configured with the ACCESS home sharing software, makes it easy for consumers to control media around their home. This displayed various media assets within the home including personal video and premium video. You could assign media to a new device with a simple drag-and-drop movement but if you are prohibited from moving an asset to that device, because of rights restrictions, the tablet interface tells you so. In the demo, media was transferred from a home server to an AirTies set-top box.

“What is new is the sharing of the premium content and this is studio-confident media sharing,” explained Joerg Eggink, Global Product Director, Connected Home at ACCESS. “Today there is no premium video sharing inside the home. This is the first time this use case has been enabled. As well as distributing content to more devices this solution gives the service provider feedback on what happened to that content, like how many times it was watched, because we know all the devices in the home network. Content owners are now requesting this information from operators.”

ACCESS is providing a proof of concept for this technology to operators and is hopeful that we will see a deployment by the end of this year. Dr. Neale Foster, VP of Global Sales IA at ACCESS reckons this solution will encourage more freedom for media consumption and new business models. “Digital TV could not have taken off without strong security and the same applies to media sharing,” he declared.

ACCESS was also demonstrating how an HTML5 based user interface (UI) can be made discoverable to multiple devices on a home network using DLNA, ensuring a branded UI can be replicated beyond the main media centre. This kind of Remote User Interface capability is another important building block for home media sharing.

Separately, in a behind-the-scenes demo the company was running industry-acknowledged benchmark tests to demonstrate the high speeds it is achieving (in terms of browser refresh, measured in frames per second) for its HTML5 solution and the quality of its CSS 3D transforms (shown with butterfly animations that had a video-like quality to them).

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