Keep cable but lose the box with VidiPath, a new wireless way to watch

dlna vidipath one box transmits cable mobile devices tvs gaming consoles wireless
So-called “TV Everywhere” apps from cable providers make it easier to check out your favorite shows on mobile devices, but services are usually very limited, and you still need a separate box for each TV. But what if everything available on your cable box could be transmitted throughout the home to every connected device on your network? That’s the idea behind VidiPath, a new wireless protocol from the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).

As reported by Twice, the DLNA’s new system is currently in the works, and it’s getting some major attention from big players in the industry, including cable giants Comcast, Time Warner, and Cox, as well as Sony, Samsung, and Broadcom, which assisted with development. The three cable providers have reportedly said they will offer Vidipath-equipped set-top boxes in the near future that will serve as the hub of your wireless cable setup.

The VidiPath protocol is designed to allow for the broadcast of a cable stream over Wi-Fi to make everything from your cable provider, including programming and even channel guide data, available to watch on VidiPath-equipped devices such as “TVs, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and more.” The system aims to eliminate the need for all those coax cables running through your walls, and make paying monthly rent for extra cable boxes a thing of the past.

It’s a pretty enticing concept: Everyone in the house watching a personal HD stream on any device, all delivered from a single transmission box.

Which products will incorporate VidiPath remains to be seen. Apple, for instance, snubs DLNA’s existing network streaming protocol in favor of its own (extremely stable) version, AirPlay. And you can bet Apple likely won’t be lining up to get certified for VidiPath, either.

We spoke with DLNA’s Donna Moore to find out more about the system, including what kind of devices will get VidiPath certification from DLNA, and when we can expect to see them. After beginning a certification program in September that includes “rigorous interoperability testing,” Moore told us the first approved VidiPath devices will begin hitting the market as early as the second quarter of this year.

As you might imagine, the transition will be a gradual one, as current DLNA devices won’t have all the features necessary to receive or transmit VidiPath. That means you’ll have to replace your current devices if you want to use a VidiPath system. But the changeover may not be as painful as you’d think. As Moore explains, that transition happens “surprisingly” faster than expected. Most users naturally replace their smartphones every two years, on average, and in the 7-8 years or so since the original DLNA protocol was introduced, there have been over 4 billion DLNA equipped devices put into the marketplace.

And although TVs have a much longer shelf life than smartphones, that’s where streaming boxes, consoles, and “other” devices come in. While Moore wouldn’t disclose which manufacturers are working on what, she did mention that making a TV VidiPath compatible could be as easy (and presumably as affordable) as purchasing a streaming stick similar to a Chromecast, Roku Stick, or Amazon Fire TV streaming stick, which DLNA has seen in development.

In addition, Moore told us “there are (game) consoles that I know of that will be VidiPath certified as well.” With Sony in the mix, it’s not a stretch to assume the PS4 could incorporate the technology. And DLNA Marketing Manager Katie Gengler also hinted that TV manufacturers are looking into firmware updates that could potentially make some existing smart TVs compatible with VidiPath. While we’re still waiting for the VidiPath veil to be lifted, it appears the protocol will hit the ground running once it premieres in the next few months.

In the midst of the streaming revolution, in which online video consumption is set to eclipse traditional pay-TV this year, and cable companies make headlines on the regular for their awful customer service, VidiPath could help to breathe some essential vitality into the aging status quo. No apps, no wires, no extra cable boxes, just a steady stream of HD programming beamed throughout the home. Whether you’re a cable stalwart, or a cord-cutter, that proposition is pretty intriguing.

Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Home Theater

What are HDMI ARC and eARC? Here’s how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next generation technology, eARC.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

How much are the initials ‘LV’ worth? $700 if you put them on your earphones

If you're looking for truly wireless earbuds that make as much of a statement about the state of your finances as they do about your high-tech street cred, Louis Vuitton's Horizon earbuds fit the $995 bill.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (February 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in January and February, from new original series to classic films.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Deals

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.