Will DLNA certification revolutionize home theater projectors?

Picture it: at your next movie night, you wirelessly stream a movie from your Blu-ray player to your projector. Afterward, you punch up a funny YouTube clip on your smart phone and, with the press of a button, the video appears on your projector. When it’s over, you whip out your new digital camera and share photos from your recent vacation on your projector.

All this was done without leaving the couch. Without changing cables and inputs. Without the need for extra equipment.

Welcome to what the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) sees as the future of home theater.

DLNA

The DLNA was founded in 2003 with the goal of using standards-based technology to make it easier for consumers to share their digital content between networked consumer electronics, PCs and mobile devices.

Currently, there are more than 9,000 DLNA-certified devices on the market today including TVs, storage devices, mobile phones, cameras, printers, game consoles, PCs, photo frames, media adapters, set-top boxes, AV receivers and Blu-ray disc players. DLNA insiders forecast that the number of certified gadgets will rise to nearly one billion by 2014.

How DLNA devices work

DLNA.org used this example to illustrate how DLNA-certified devices can simplify sharing home video:

“You recently downloaded your daughter’s birthday party video from your digital camcorder to your PC, and stored it on your DLNA Certified network attached storage (NAS) drive. Now you want to share it with your parents who are visiting. Step one: Use the TV’s remote to call up the video on your DLNA Certified TV. That’s it. No step two.

Before DLNA: You probably had to burn a DVD of that video, taking hours, or you had to hook up the camcorder to the TV to watch it, fiddling with messy cables that are never where you thought you put them.”

DLNA and projectors

LG is the first projector manufacturer to incorporate the DLNA standard with its soon-to-be-released LG HX350Y and LG HW300T. No word when these DLNA-certified projectors will hit the market, or whether other projector manufacturers will also adopt this certification.

However, many top brands, including Samsung, Sharp and Sony, are DLNA members. In theory, it should only be a matter of time for these brands to extend the certification to their projector lines.

Share your thoughts

What do you think of a future in which you can stream content across a wireless or wired network to your projector? Are you already using DLNA-certified devices? Share your thoughts and stories below.

Why you want the pocket projectors that debuted at CES 2011

We have three words to describe the pocket projectors that debuted last week at CES 2011:

O. M. G.

Gone are the low-lumen, low-resolution pocket projectors of yesteryear. The next crop of picos displays in HD (and 3D!) and are bright enough to use in low ambient light.

They connect to your iPad, handle HDMI input and include built-in speakers. Pretty soon, they’ll even output in 1080p HD.

Without further ado….

Cool pocket projectors introduced at CES 2011

  1. Vivitek Qumi

    Why you want it: Vivitek’s first pico projector, the 300-lumen Qumi, could potentially set the standard for the next wave of portable projectors. With a native WXGA (1280×800) resolution and mini-HDMI input, the Qumi can output in HD. It’s also 3D-ready and includes a built-in 1W speaker.

    The 1.6-pound Qumi is versatile and portable enough for work and play. It easily connects with the latest digital cameras, laptops, smart phones and tablets. We saw this projector in action and were very impressed.

    In the video below, watch Rick Nguyen of Vivitek demonstrate the compatibility functions of the Qumi while he talks about the future of the pico chipset.

    The Qumi has a 2500:1 contrast ratio and measures 6.3″(w) x 1.2″(h) x 3.9″(d). It is expected to hit the streets in May for $499.

  2. LG HW300T

    Why you want it: LG Electronics’ HW300T LED projector is the first portable projector to incorporate the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) technology, allowing you to wirelessly transfer stored digital content from devices such as PCs and Blu-ray players.

    This little projector also has a built-in ATSC Tuner, which enables you to watch HD Broadcast signals without the need for a separate external content source. It also provides access to online content such as Accuweather, Twitter and Facebook.

    The 250-lumen HW300T has 1200 x 800 WXGA resolution, contrast ratio of 2,000:1 and a life expectancy of 30,000 hours. Pricing and availability were not released.

HD chip sets in picos? Built-in tuners? DLNA access? Are you guys as excited as we are?