YouTube and Netflix are working on a new set of protocols which allows developers of second-screen apps to launch on smart TV’s and other devices. The new protocol is called DIAL, which is short for “DIscovery And Launch”, and both companies have been working on this for months now. As early as now several major players in the industry are supporting this namely Sony, Samsung, Hulu and the BBC.
When completed DIAL will be the Android equivalent of Apple’s AirPlay. AirPlay allows people with iPhone or iPad devices to mirror what they see on their screen into a TV.
So how did both company’s came about with their partnership? Both companies have been working on second-screen integration before their partnership. Netflix introduced a second screen integration in October last year while YouTube had its Android remote control app which it launched way back in 2010.
According to Tim Drayson, product manager of Google, the goal of YouTube was to partner with others in advancing second screen technology.
Scott Mirer, director of product management at Netflix, said that “At about the same time, we learned that the YouTube team was interested in much the same thing – they had already started to do some work on 2nd screen use cases. And so we approached them on collaborating… We also felt that having two major video services define and promote DIAL would help get it more widely adopted as a common solution to a common problem, vs. taking a proprietary approach. It’s been a productive partnership and we’re confident that we’ll get wider adoption because of it.”
One key difference between DIAL and AirPlay is that the former will not support sending of URL’s to a TV. Apparently the team working on DIAL left this out on purpose.
Currently only Google TV sets will support DIAL. These include models from LG and Samsung. As the technology matures more vendors are expected to support it.