Have you ever had the experience of watching video on your smartphone or tablet and feel like you'd prefer to watch it on your big TV? If so, there is a growing range of options to help make this happen, including:
Skifta - an Android app from Qualcomm that lets you play local or cloud-based media on any DLNA-certified device.
AirPlay - a relatively new feature in Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) running iOS 4.2 or later with one-click ability send media to other connected Apple devices (e.g. Apple TV, AirPlay-ready devices, etc.).
Rovi Connected Platform - Rovi, the digital entertainment infrastructure provider, just announced yesterday a new Android solution for CE manufacturers to allow their devices to move media around the home to connected devices.
SnapStick - the intriguing start-up that lets users of any mobile device to "snap" their media over to the TV by gently flicking the device in the TV's direction.
I'm sure there are others too, and will be plenty of new entrants. Microsoft in particular seems well positioned to have a role. And PlayOn, which currently focuses on PC-to-device streaming would also seem interested in expanding to smartphone/tablet sharing. And these solutions don't just focus on video; they also work with music, photos and other media. In that respect, a company like Sonos, which has focused only on music to date and just today announced an Android app for its controller, might also be attracted to adding video to its lineup.
All of the activity underscores the anytime/anywhere/any device expectation that is taking root among tech-savvy consumers. In an all-IP world, the notion of untethering content from devices should become a reality. In fact, the TV Everywhere efforts now underway, like Comcast's new Xfinity TV iPad app, show how pay-TV companies also recognize that consumer flexibility is key.
Of the above options, I have several friends who have used AirPlay and swear by it. I gave Skifta a try, downloading it to my Droid X, with an eye toward playing some short clips of the kids through my Samsung connected Blu-ray player. However, even though my Blu-ray model is clearly shown as certified on the DLNA site and is on my network, Skifta couldn't recognize it, bringing me to a dead end, a reminder that as fun as this kind of stuff is, it's not yet fully baked. Down the road though, as the technologies mature, there's no doubt that we'll all be moving media around our homes and outside our homes like it's no big deal, making online and mobile video even more appealing.
VideoNuze is the authoritative online source for original analysis and news aggregation focused on the burgeoning online video industry. Founded in 2007 by Will Richmond, a 20-year veteran of the broadband, cable TV, content and technology industries, VideoNuze is read by executive-level decision-makers who need to get beyond the standard headlines and achieve a deep understanding of online video’s disruptive impact.