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Google Working on Open Alternative to Apple's AirPlay

By - Source: GigaOM | B 10 comments

Is Google looking to replace the DLNA protocol?

GigaOM reports that Google is currently working on an open-source version of Apple's AirPlay service that will be compatible on all platforms, not just Android.

The news arrives after YouTube revealed the first implementation of this beaming technology last week. The tech can wirelessly send video from the YouTube app installed on Android-based smartphones and tablets to Google TV devices. Apple's AirPlay, which was first introduced with the launch of iOS 4.2, is somewhat similar, allowing users to share photos, music, and video to an Apple TV device.

"We really want to move the whole industry forward," said Google product manager Timbo Drayson. He added that Google is "actively working with other companies" to implement a new open-source AirPlay-like standard to be used on other platforms and other 1st and 3rd-party apps.

While little else is known about Google's plans thus far, GigaOM suspects that the search engine giant will move beyond mere video beaming, tackling AirPlay head-on with support for music, photos and other media. This feature could actually help push Google TV sales much like AirPlay has helped Apple move Apple TV set-top boxes off store shelves.

Drayson told GigaOM that the protocol Google is working on makes it possible for data to flow in both directions. This will allow developers to build second-screen experiences that correspond to what's happening on the big screen whether it's a movie, TV episode, sports or news broadcast. Even more, he hinted that Google is looking to beam content stored on a laptop to the TV screen as well, seemingly bypassing products like Intel's WiDi tech.

Is Google looking to replace DLNA? Launched in 2003, the Digital Living Network Alliance created a protocol that allows content to be shared between compliant devices. As an example, movies, music and videos stored on a DLNA-compliant smartphone can be streamed to a compatible set-top device like the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. A total of 500 devices actually support this protocol, but many manufacturers have chosen to develop their own solutions instead.

Drayson told GigaOM that the key ingredient to Google's AirPlay competitor would be consumer education. Getting more hardware participants in the open-source project would mean a better understanding of how media can easily be shared.


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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    bustapr , November 22, 2012 11:23 PM
    apple lawsuit in 3... 2...
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    bustapr , November 22, 2012 11:23 PM
    apple lawsuit in 3... 2...
  • 3 Hide
    ttcboy , November 22, 2012 11:47 PM
    Another patent war in sight..
  • Display all 10 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    ipwn3r456 , November 23, 2012 12:05 AM
    So, how much money is either two companies have to pay this time for the lawsuit?
  • 3 Hide
    bmerigan , November 23, 2012 12:09 AM
    Love my DLNA.
  • 1 Hide
    icrf , November 23, 2012 1:07 AM
    Is this Miracast? If not, what's the difference? I'm a little fuzzy on the features of all these various protocols.
  • -2 Hide
    zybch , November 23, 2012 5:31 AM
    For gods sake, stop reinventing an already existing and working standard and just make your devices support DLNA properly already!!
  • 0 Hide
    kensingtron , November 23, 2012 5:52 AM
    Most samsung devices are DLNA compliant. AllShare lets me wirelessly transmit music, videos, pictures from/too my laptop/phone/table/TV.

    I guess a native android app may make it more uniform across all devices.
  • 7 Hide
    kartu , November 23, 2012 6:55 AM
    Zak Islam was renamed to Kavin Parish?
    What does this have to do with Apple???

    AirPlay is a PROTOCOL SET, you zakislam you, not a service! Streaming stuff from devices to devices was available ages ago.
  • 1 Hide
    CrArC , November 23, 2012 10:02 AM
    icrfIs this Miracast? If not, what's the difference? I'm a little fuzzy on the features of all these various protocols.
    Yes and no. Miracast is like Airplay, fairly obvious screen mirroring. This will also support two-way comms for more advanced dual-screen uses (one possibility would be, fire up a movie on your TV, and your tablet displays a catalogue of chapters and play/pause controls, info about the movie, etc).

    DLNA is not a 'push' technology. You have to 'pull' the content from the DLNA source via the device you want to watch the media on. It's not very widely supported, not well implemented and sometimes does not work very well.

    zybchFor gods sake, stop reinventing an already existing and working standard and just make your devices support DLNA properly already!!
    Idiot. While proper, widespread working DLNA implementations would be nice (instead of the piecemeal mish-mash we have today), this would not be like any existing protocol. I would prefer we pushed for new things, pushed for improvement, rather than squatting around sort-of-OK solutions, wouldn't you?? Google has the clout to make this thing catch on. That it is an open design and presumably free to use, unlike some of these other solutions (Miracast, Airplay) is a big factor in this too.
  • -1 Hide
    goodegg , November 23, 2012 11:03 PM
    Good! I hope it works as well as AirPlay. Only two years late.