With the main providers as well as the government backed initiatives to make high-speed broadband available throughout the UK, many more people are benefitting from a broadband service that means they can do much more with it. Coupled with wireless broadband distribution around the home, the latest broadband packages mean that many more devices can be networked and without all of those untidy cables that used to be required.
Everything from Smartphones to smart televisions, games consoles and other media devices can work in harmony to provide that cohesive entertainment and communication system that at one time, was the domain of science fiction movies only.
What the whole area needed was a system whereby the broadband connection was passed through a central hub and distributed to a range of devices. The computer can easily act as that hub to send online TV programming to your television set, music and audio to your sound system and a range of file formats to your phone, games console and other devices situated at any location around your home.
The age of the networked, wireless and automated home is upon us. The idea of VGA cables, audio cables, speaker wires and even HDMI leads to connect the home is something that will very quickly recede into the past with the latest technology available to us.
The DLNA Standard
As with all things, when a standard has been agreed it makes things much easier and more cohesive. With the potential for all these devices to be networked and communicate with each other, a standard protocol was needed to make sure that the devices would gel together seamlessly regardless of manufacturer. At this point some of the major manufacturers including Sony, Acer, Toshiba and Cannon came together to work on a system that would make their devices interoperable. They called it DLNA which is short for Digital living Network Alliance. There are now some 250 members to the alliance with tens of thousands of devices that are DLNA certified.
Where Is It Heading?
The possibilities for the way the technology could develop are virtually without limits and encompass not just entertainment, but communication and home security as well. Everything starts with the internet delivered by your broadband connection. Already the largest public source of information it is also the largest source of entertainment media in streaming and downloadable formats. Not just the widest choice is available but also the highest quality. The HD format is a digital format that with adequate bandwidth available, can easily be transported via the internet. Very soon the need for set-top boxes, satellite dishes, separate equipment for playing games, watching TV, communicating with friends, or listening to music will all be a thing of the past
DLNA, availability of high-speed broadband and wireless connectivity are combining to take us to places that we could never have imagined even 10 years ago. We are in a remarkable period of change that is affecting not just the way we live, but the way we work as well as transforming society as a whole