One of the untold stories of home networking has been the success of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), two software frameworks aimed at aiding consumers in creating connections between disparate devices on the home network. UPnP is pervasive in nearly all home networking hardware shipped today (an estimated 130 million devices in 2007 will be UPnP-enabled), while DLNA is increasingly becoming important in allowing new devices such as TVs, mobile phones and video game consoles to connect to the home network. Together, they are expected to account for more than 2.7 billion shipments by 2012.
"Universal Plug and Play enabled the first phase of the home network market by helping consumers connect their PCs to routers and gateways for Internet sharing," says research director Michael Wolf of ABI Research. "DLNA, a software framework which uses UPnP as well as other higher level standards, is going to help the overall home network market move beyond basic connectivity to link a variety of devices to the network and enable new connected entertainment use-case scenarios."
The recent approval of UPnP by the International Standards Organization (ISO) has made it an officially approved standard, adding impetus to a framework that has been adopted not only by DLNA but also by standards such as DVB and OCAP as part of efforts to extend entertainment delivery services around the home. DLNA has gained increasing momentum in many areas, with more than 600 laptops and PC models having been publicly announced as DLNA-compliant in the last few years, as well as more than 40 TVs, numerous DVD players and other media entertainment devices. Even mobile phones will become part of the DLNA network — for example, Nokia’s future N series, it has stated, will be WLAN enabled.
A new research brief from ABI Research, "UPnP and DLNA Market Snapshot" (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/research_brief/Home_Networking_Research_Brief/111), provides a comprehensive survey of current and forecast market conditions for these important enabling frameworks.