AOL and D-Link partner on home entertainment

A partnership between internet service provider America Online and network hardware vendor D-Link Systems will bring AOL content,...

A partnership between internet service provider America Online and network hardware vendor D-Link Systems will bring AOL content, including digital radio and photographs, to home entertainment centres.

The companies are collaborating on a line of wireless media players that will allow consumers with broadband internet to listen to AOL's Radio@AOL using a TV or home stereo system, and are working on technology that will permit consumers to view photos stored on AOL's digital picture service called "You've Got Pictures" on their television sets.

The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.  D-Link will display the new D-Link Wireless Network Players using AOL content at the show.

Those new players take digital content from a broadband connection and transmit it across the home to entertainment centres, where the media is played or displayed. Customers can interact with the wireless network players and choose various AOL services through a television-based user interface and D-Link remote control. Wireless Network Players also come outfitted with optional DVD players or five-in-one flash card readers.

XML and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) will enable the AOL content to be shared with the D-Link Player and consumer devices. An authentication scheme based on specifications developed by the Liberty Alliance, an industry consortium developing open standards for federated network identity, will be used to secure the AOL content as it is transmitted.

Meanwhile, Intel said earlier this week that it would invest $200m in companies developing new types of hardware, software and networking products that will make it easier for individuals to use digital content at home.

Other major technology suppliers, including Microsoft and Dell, are also expected to display new consumer products at the CES show.

Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service

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