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Thread: What is RVU?

  1. #1
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    What is RVU?

    What is RVU?


    05/27/2011

    DirecTV recently began testing what they’re calling a new “media center” that will allow customers to watch live and DVR recorded programming on any TV in the house without the need for a set-top box in each room. This new media center is built on a technology called RVU. But what exactly is RVU? There’s an RVU Alliance, but what do they do? What does “RVU” even mean?

    What does RVU stand for?

    The first question we had was, what exactly does RVU stand for? Is it an acronym? The answer is no, it is not an acronym. It is pronounced R-view and is somewhat a short form for the phrase “remote view.” So bottom line, RVU isn’t an acronym. Weird.

    What does it do?

    From the RVU Alliance website:
    RVU allows the television viewer to watch live or recorded programming on various manufacturer-branded TVs or clients while experiencing a consistent user interface-no matter which client device is employed. Once connected, the TV viewer can watch the service provider content from any room of the home.


    In a nutshell, RVU is the technical specification for distribution of media content (movies, TV, music, etc.) in your home. That isn’t new, many of us have been doing that for years. But what RVU adds is what they refer to as “pixel accurate remote user interface graphics.” That means a consistent look and feel across all devices.
    The idea that you can record and watch TV on one device, but play it back on others isn’t a new concept. People have been doing this for years with Windows Media Center, SageTV, BeyondTV, Media Portal and a host of others. But RVU defines a standard so all clients can talk to your server, regardless of who makes it.

    They also make it easy on the client by putting all the smarts in the server. The client simply issues commands to the server. The server builds the UI screens and “streams” them back to the client. The client is more like a web browser than a traditional media player on the network. So instead of implementing an entire UI on the client, the RVU protocol (called RUI) clients are very thin, but they still somehow provide a robust, consistent UI experience across all devices.

    Technical details

    RVU is based on UPnP and DLNA, to us it looks like DLNA with a better UI. RVU clients are able to connect to DLNA servers and stream content, you don’t need an RVU server. But if you want the cool look and feel, all you have to do is hook that RVU client into an RVU server and enjoy. In fact, standard DLNA players can even stream content from the RVU server. Although, in this case, the user experience will be “dumbed-down” to the ever so familiar DLNA experience.

    Just like DLNA, the RVU protocol works over your existing network, either wired or wireless. The website lists support for hard-wired Ethernet, MoCA, HomePlug and WiFi – although they require 802.11n. The video content can go up to 1080p as can the graphicall elements created for the user interface. And for those who were wondering, the answer is yes, “The RVU specification is scalable to provide multiple viewing planes as used by 3D Digital TVs.”

    Who is the RVU Alliance?

    From the RVU Alliance website:
    The RVU Alliance is backed by leading content service provider, semiconductor, and consumer electronic companies. The founding members include Broadcom, Cisco, DIRECTV Samsung and Verizon.” Other notable names listed on the website include: LG, Motorola, EchoStar and Sony.

    What’s next?

    According to DirecTV, their RVU-based media center, the HR34 server, and their C30 RVU clients (because it isn’t built into any TVs yet) are expected to be certified for the RVU spec in June. DirecTV has announced plans to begin rolling out theses RVU-enabled products to customers nationwide in October of this year.
    We haven’t had a chance to test it, but it sounds pretty cool. Of course Hana sounded cool as well, but the actual implementation left something to be desired and that one fizzled. DirecTV seems to be aggressively pushing RVU, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that things turn out differently.

    If you’ve already built a similar system with one of the other options already available, we don’t know if RVU will provide any advantages. The only one we can see is that eventually the RVU client will be built directly into your TV, so no need for an extra box. Built into your Samsung TV at least.


    dugul likes this.
    Rick
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    DIRECTV announces the field trial of the HR34 and the C30 Home Media Client.



    EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- DIRECTV, the world's largest pay TV service, has recently started field trial testing for its highly anticipated DIRECTV® Home Media Center that will ultimately provide customers with a "receiver-less" solution for many TVs in their homes. The launch of field trial testing for DIRECTV's model HR34 RVU-enabled server, the heart of the DIRECTV Home Media Center, marks a major milestone both for the RVU technology and the new DIRECTV platform, which the company plans to begin rolling out nationwide to customers in October 2011.

    RVU is a client/server-based technology that allows the television viewer to experience a consistent, pixel accurate server-generated user interface on various consumer electronics devices. The RVU specification uses widely implemented UPnP and DLNA technologies to enable a gateway device such as an advanced set-top box to work with non-proprietary client devices such as connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes.

    "The DIRECTV Home Media Center is going to simplify the way our customers watch television throughout their homes and give them access not only to their favorite content in HD and DVR functionality on each television, but to a consistent, feature rich user interface, no matter what room they are in," said Romulo Pontual, executive vice president and CTO for DIRECTV. "We made a commitment to RVU technology when we joined the RVU Alliance in 2009, and we are excited to see the fruits of the Alliance's labor becoming a reality with the launch of our DIRECTV Home Media Center field trial."

    The HR34 will be compatible with RVU certified clients, including DIRECTV's C30 Home Media Clients and RVU compatible televisions. RVU certification for these products is expected to be finalized this June.

    DIRECTV is currently a member of The RVU Alliance, founded by Broadcom, Cisco, DIRECTV, Samsung and Verizon, which facilitates the adoption of an open standard technology that allows service providers to expand their unique UI and user experience onto standard consumer devices without the need for proprietary equipment. For more information on the RVU Alliance please visit www.rvualliance.org

    Harsh
    5-28-11
    Source

  3. #3
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    Does anyone know if there are plans for Google TV's to support this? If so, can it be backwards comparable with what is already on the market or is there an additional chip or something required in the Google TV? I would really like to see Google put out a patch to make a DirectTV HMC work with my Sony Google TV.

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    i dont know for what this can u tell me

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugul View Post
    i dont know for what this can u tell me
    No. It's a secret.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugul View Post
    i dont know for what this can u tell me
    "This" = RVU

  7. #7
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    I just got an email from Samsung's tech support. I was asking them about why RVU wasn't supported on their more expensive line of TV's and just the D6000 series. They said it is availible on the D6000 series via a firmware update. So this makes me think as long as your TV has WiFi it is very likely this technology can be supported on your TV or Google TV appliance box thing.

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    Apparently RVU has been incorporated into the dlna standard. Sorry if already posted. Can't post link but google rvu and dlna


 

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