Jed Johnson, a Fellow of our Technical Staff, was conferred the DLNA 2012 Outstanding Contribution Award for his work as chair of DLNA's TC Authentication Task Force and as editor for the DLNA Diagnostics Guidelines.
We caught up with Jed to find out more…
Q: Jed, congratulations on the award! So that we have some context: what's DLNA?
JJ: DLNA stands for Digital Living Network Alliance. It's a trade association that creates guidelines that companies use to make their multimedia products interoperable.
Q: Why is interoperability important?
JJ: Multi-vendor interoperability is very important to our customers. When you have a multi-vendor environment, say your living room, it's important to specify the interface that goes on a set-top, for example, so that service providers can deploy different hardware from multiple vendors and be confident that it'll all work. It's the same advantage for consumers: you plug in a new piece of hardware that you bought at a store, and it works with your other hardware, regardless of the brand.
Q: We heard you got the Outstanding Contribution Award for your work on authentication and diagnostics. What'd you do?
JJ: I worked on a project
called CVP-2 , chairing a working group on authentication and editing diagnostics guidelines. We wrote a set of specifications that go into DLNA's certification process. So when new hardware is submitted to DLNA for CVP-2 certification, it has to meet these guidelines.
Q: What are these guidelines, and why are they important?
JJ: The guidelines are for authentication and diagnostics--essentially security and management. Motorola has a notable history in security standards.
Authentication is important because it gives service providers a way to control access to premium content. When a device is running on DLNA's authentication protocol, the service provider can tell, for example, that it's an iPad; that it's an iPad owned by a particular customer; and that that customer has a subscription to HBO, thus it can enable HBO on the iPad.
Diagnostics are important because they allow service providers to diagnose problems on the home network. This standardization lets them use a single tool for figuring out what's going on between products from different vendors.
Q: What's next for DLNA and
JJ: The industry is seeing a bump in media consumption and a proliferation of connected devices that consumers aren't purchasing from service providers.
CVP-2 sets the stage for those devices to serve as end-points for media. A key hurdle for service providers is authenticating an end device when it isn't purchased from them. And authentication is important because it enables them to deliver protected media directly to the device, rather than through an intermediate device like a set-top. DLNA is going to enable this kind of direct distribution and let consumers choose the devices they use to stream and consume their media.
Thanks Jed, and congratulations!
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