When Netflix introduced the DIAL (DIscovery And Launch) protocol in 2012 to allow for discovery and launch of the Netflix app that was embedded on certain Smart TVs, consumers appreciated how the protocol allowed second-screen devices to discover and launch apps on first-screen devices. Soon, these simple APIs were adopted and utilized to launch additional embedded apps on Smart TVs, including for YouTube, Hulu, Spotify, BBC and many others. After the app is launched, all further communication between the Smart TV app and the mobile controller is proprietary.
Lynx Technology is pleased to add DIAL APIs to its SDK platform as part of the upcoming release of Twonky version 8.2 scheduled later this month. This will allow applications based on the SDK to discover DIAL-enabled devices, to verify if a certain app is installed on the device, and to get the app status (and if not running, to launch the app with parameters such as a URL).
Twonky 8.2 will also add beaming support for FireTV through a DIAL/DLNA based application. The Twonky app running on the Fire TV will be treated as a DLNA digital media renderer (DMR) by the Twonky stack. This means it will appear in the list of available renderers that might include Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and other DLNA renderers. The app on the FireTV will be launched automatically as soon as content is beamed to the device.
Our Twonky app for Fire TV will be available in the Amazon app store upon release of Twonky 8.2.
By adding DIAL APIs to Twonky, we extend our renderer ecosystem and also enable our customers to build and control their own Smart TV apps. These applications can be implemented for any use case, not just DLNA. The DIAL APIs in the Twonky SDK can be utilized totally independent of the DLNA APIs.
Premium content providers that build and control their own Smart TV applications that can be launched through DIAL will appreciate the enhanced ability to bring more value and a better end-to-end user experience to their customers. This will create greater differentiation for their service, which should help them to attract and retain more consumers.
Stay tuned this month for more details about other enhancements coming with Twonky 8.2, including IPv6 support.