UPnP Forum Releases Enhanced AV Specifications Taking Home Networks to the Next Level

upnp logoThe home network takes another step forward. The UPnP™ Forum announced the release of version 2 of the UPnP Audio Video specifications (UPnP AV v2), which enable the next progression of the AV-oriented home network. The UPnP AV specifications use the UPnP Device Architecture specifications — the core interoperability technology for all UPnP enabled devices — allowing different companies to build home network products that automatically locate and identify each other without any end-user configuration.

The new UPnP AV v2 specifications help extend the home owner’s entertainment experiences by letting them identify and record programs and other digital content for later viewing. These new specifications also simplify playback of premium digital content without interfering with the underlying DRM (digital rights management) technology used to protect the premium content. The UPnP AV v2 specifications are fully backward compatible with the UPnP AV v1 specifications.

These new entertainment experiences are created by adding capabilities to the UPnP AV MediaServer and MediaRenderer device classes that allow a higher level of interoperability between MediaServers and MediaRenderers from different manufacturers. MediaServer devices include DVD players, VCRs, PCs, personal video recorders (PVRs), CD players, MP3 players, satellite and cable set-top boxes, TVs, etc. MediaRenderer devices include televisions, PCs, digital media adapters, stereo systems, and personal music players.

“The UPnP AV specifications provide an interoperability infrastructure, which enables device manufacturers to deliver innovative AV products that allow an end user to purchase products from different manufacturers, bring them home, plug them into their home network, and they just work together — it’s that simple,” said John Ritchie, co-chair of the UPnP Forum’s AV Working Committee and staff engineer, Intel Digital Home Group.

“End users can expect an improved synergy among home entertainment products in which the incremental benefit of each device increases as more and more UPnP AV devices are added to the home network,” added Geert Knapen, the other co-chair of the committee and Digital Architect, Royal Philips Electronics.

About UPnP Technology
UPnP technology makes home networking simple and affordable so that the connected home experience becomes a mainstream experience for users and a great opportunity for the industry. UPnP device and service standards have been defined and published for Internet gateways/routers, audio-video media devices, printers, scanners, climate control, lighting and wireless LAN access points.

The UPnP architecture offers pervasive network connectivity between all types of devices including network-enabled consumer electronics equipment, intelligent appliances, portable wireless devices, PCs, etc. The UPnP architecture leverages TCP/IP and other Web technologies to enable seamless integration of these devices into existing network infrastructures. UPnP technology can be implemented on nearly any operating system and works with essentially any type of physical networking media that supports IP — wired or wireless — providing maximum user and developer choices, which result in higher economic benefits for everyone.

About UPnP Certification and the UPnP Implementers Corporation
There are now more than 220 UPnP™ certified products. UPnP certification creates the foundation for interoperability and provides an easy way for retailers and consumers to recognize products that have been developed and tested to comply with the UPnP device standards. The UPnP Implementers Corporation (UIC) is the non-profit corporation that promotes the adoption of UPnP technology by manufacturers of hardware and software products. The UIC administers the UPnP device certification process and the UPnP mark licensing.

For more information about certifying your product with the UIC, visit: http://www.upnp-ic.org.

About the UPnP Forum
The UPnP Forum is a group of companies and individuals across multiple industries that play a leading role in the authoring of specifications for UPnP devices and services. Formed in June 1999, the Forum is a non-profit association of over 770 consumer electronics, computing, home automation, home security, appliances, printing, photography, computer networking, mobile products and other leading companies working together to design schema and protocol standards for the UPnP initiative.

For more information about the UPnP Forum, visit: http://www.upnp.org.

Filed in: Home Networking Gear

  • ronenmiz

    Looks like the battle for the digital home is hitting up big time!
    This is a very interesting evolution since it now puts Microsoft and the UPnP Forum in a competition for standards. As you probably know Windows Rally (which is fully implemented in Vista) supports UPnP 1.0 (perceived by Microsoft as a legacy standard) and also DPWS (Device Profile for Web Services). The latter specification (which Microsoft is trying to standardize) is something that Microsoft was trying to promote as UPnP 2.0 already back in WinHEC of 2002, but of-course they failed. This release of UPnP 2.0, being totally different than DPWS (and unlike DPWS is backward compatible with UPnP 1.0), puts Microsoft in a different camp than CE companies. In fact it even puts Microsoft in a different camp than Intel, which is one of the the primary forces behind UPnP 1.0 and 2.0 (together with Philips and Sony).

    Looks like things are getting interesting indeed, Microsoft, maybe because they feel they need to adopt an Apple like approach, is changing the rules and without consideration for anyone else tries to set the standard on their own.