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Web and TV: Device Discovery Identified as Top Requirement for Home Networking

December 7, 2011

With HTML5, Web technology is becoming a serious contender for implementing applications that in the past required writing native code. Much of the excitement around HTML5 is focusing on its new audio and video capabilities. So it’s only natural to look at to what extent Web technology can be used to implement today’s and future home-networking applications, such as “second screen” scenarios or access to home media servers.

That’s exactly what W3C’s Web and TV Interest Group did in recent months. They just published the result of their deliberations: a requirements document. Not only that, the group identified a major gap in current Web technology: the lack of device discovery, i.e. a means for an application to discover services and applications available on the home network.

As a consequence, work on device discovery for home networking has now started in the W3C Device API (DAP) WG . Most of the discussion is currently focussing on Web Intents, which has its own mailing list. Non-Web-Intents proposals for device discovery have been proposed by Opera/Cable Labs and the EU Webinos project.

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The “future TV” discussions in Rennes

November 15, 2011

The W3C/OMWeb team will participate at the upcoming “Recontres INRIA-Industries” event, this Thursday 17 November, in Rennes, France. This joint research-industry event will focus on topics such as: “What new standards to come? What new services to deploy? What opportunities for the 3D TV, the connected TV, and the interactive TV?”. The event programme will cover these topics and more.

Through a talk by François and demos at a booth, OMWeb will report on the W3C Web&TV impressive work initiated a year ago, with 3 workshops around the globe (Tokyo (Sept. 2010), Berlin (Feb. 2011), Hollywood (Sept. 2011)), the creation of a dedicated Interest Group and two task forces: the Home Network Task Force and the Media Pipeline Task Force. OMWeb will also demonstrate the power of HTML5 that will trigger new usages and services which will pave the road of the future TV…

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Progress towards enabling audio/video conferencing on the Web

October 28, 2011

The Web Real-Time Communications Working Group published the first public Working Draft of WebRTC 1.0: Real-Time Communications Between Browsers yesterday. This publication marks the first milestone to enable audio/video conferencing on the Web.

This work is a joint effort between the W3C WebRTC working group, responsible for the API, and the IETF RTCWEB group, responsible for the protocols. The API described in this first public working draft is incomplete — description of the data channel is missing for instance — and subject to major changes based on the outcome of the (quite lively!) ongoing discussions in both groups.

The W3C WebRTC Working Group will hold its second face-to-face meeting next week during W3C TPAC in Santa Clara, USA. It expects to make progress on privacy and security issues, as well as on finding the right balance between a low-level approach (that would enable interested parties to tweak potentially complex system parameters) and a higher-level API (that Web developers could use without a priori technical knowledge about real-time communications).

The design of the API is based on WebRTC use cases and requirements. We’d like to encourage you to review this document and the first draft of the WebRTC API and to provide feedback to the group on the public-webrtc@w3.org mailing-list (with public archives).

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