Verizon joins RVU for true whole-home DVR

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) announced today it is joining the RVU Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at developing a specification for a new ‘pixel accurate’ remote user interface (RUI), as its fifth Founding Promoter and first telco member. The alliance also includes Broadcom, Cisco, DirecTV and Samsung among its members.

With DLNA at its foundation, the RUI will form the core of the new RVU home networking technology, making it easy for consumers to connect multiple electronic devices to their home entertainment system. Verizon said the goal is to let consumers access their FiOS TV service on any device once consumer electronics manufacturers embrace the standard.

All operators are looking at ways to reduce clutter in the home and simplify the set-top and TV experience for customers, said Tushar Saxena, director of corporate technology for Verizon. From a consumer electronic perspective, DLNA has had a reasonable amount of momentum for media-sharing technology in the home. We think it works great for non-commercial video, but for commercial video, most operators would agree there are some enhancements that need to be made. Some are being made, others are still being discussed. The RVU Alliance is a catalyst that will make that process go faster and make DLNA much more attractive for commercial video delivery in the home.

The RVU technology uses a single server in the home that communicates via IP links with networked devices. The end goal is for operators to havethis server in the home, but without the need for a set-top box at every device on which consumers want to watch TV, Saxena said. By leveraging the IP network in the home, TVs or other devices can connect directly from an Ethernet port and watch TV sans STB.

The RVU Alliance was formed early last month, and Saxena said while the alliance has just begun its technical meetings, it hopes to have a timeline establishedwithin the next few weeks.

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