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Apple may have been first to the ability to wirelessly throw audio and video onto the Apple TV via AirPlay, but its competitors are joining forces to quietly displace the technology with their own.
GigaOM is reporting that Netflix and YouTube are "collaborating quietly" on a new second-screen technology called DIAL, which stands for "discovery and launch." DIAL is essentially another version of AirPlay, but with one critical difference: Support from consumer electronics companies.
Where CE manufacturers have been slow to adopt AirPlay, DIAL is already claiming support from Samsung, Sony, Hulu and the BBC as well as YouTube and Netflix, who have been working on the technology behind the scenes for several months now.
Of course, the real challenge for DIAL is not simply beaming content to an HDTV or other device. The one thing Apple truly nailed with AirPlay is the technology's ability to discover compatible device automatically -- something DIAL is also interested in achieving.
"AirPlay can also send URLs from your iPad to your Apple TV to initiate playback of remote content, and of course it can mirror your iPad’s display on your TV screen," the report noted, which DIAL deliberately excludes by design.
“Once apps from the same provider are running on both screens, there are several feasible methods for implementing control protocols either through the cloud or on the local network," explains Netflix Director of Product Management Scott Mirer.
"And not every service or application is focused on the same kinds of use cases. Rather than try to get universal agreement on these protocols and use cases, it seemed best to leave room for innovation.”
It remains to be seen if DIAL will be able to knock AirPlay down a notch (or two), particularly when compatible devices won't appear in stores for several more months.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter