DLNA stands for the Digital Living Network Alliance and is a consortium of more than 250 manufacturers behind nearly 10,000 gadgets that can instantly transfer or play files between other devices sharing the same Wi-Fi network. A DLNA-certified gadget is assigned a unique IP address that allows consumers to connect several devices to a Wi-Fi-enabled television set. You can then stream photos, music, and video files from one device to another.
Available Gear: A small sample of current DLNA-certified notebooks include such notebooks as the Acer Aspire 5745DG ($999, www.acer.com), HP G42 series ($449; www.hp.com), Samsung SF510 ($629; www.bestbuy.com), and the Sony VAIO VGN-AR230G ($999; www.sony.com).
Other available devices with DLNA include the Sony PlayStation 3 ($299; us.playstation.com), televisions from Phillips and Samsung, and Motorola smart phones such as the HTC Thunderbolt ($249; www.verizonwireless.com). Look for the DLNA-certified logo on products, or use the product search at www.dlna.org. Additionally, Skifta, the first DLNA-certified software, lets Android smart phones (version 2.2 or higher) stream media to TVs, PCs, stereos, and other DLNA sources.
What’s next: Upcoming DLNA-certified products include smart phones such as the LG Optimus 3D and the Sony Xperia arc, as well as the Iomega TV set-top box with Boxee’s web video service. Expect to see support for device-to-device streaming of DRM-protected content such as Blu-ray movies and downloaded music and video.
Broad industry support
Streams audio and video files
DLNA-certified apps coming soon
Built into some TVs
Can be complicated to connect devices
Doesn’t yet support DRM content