One of the main reasons to own an Apple TV is the fact that it allows you to share everything on your Macís screen with the TV in your living room. If thereís a video on the Internet that you canít find on one of the many Apple TV apps, you donít have to worry about it; just share your screen and enjoy. This feature is causing Google and Netflix to feel tired with Apple having all of the fun when it comes to wireless video streaming between devices, causing them to come up with their own solution to compete with AirPlay. The new protocol is called DIAL, and like Android, itís free and already has some big companies backing the initiative.
Dial stands for "Discovery and Launch,Ē and companies such as BBC, Hulu, Samsung and Sony are all eager to support it. Overall itís a simple protocol that 2nd screen devices (such as a smartphones) can use to discover and launch apps on 1st screen devices (such as your TV, set-top box, or Blu-ray player). It functions very similarly to AirPlay in the way that it can also detect compatible devices in the area and open up a connection between the two to start streaming video. The folks over at GigaOm have a great synopsis of how DIAL will be used in the real world:
With DIAL, the Netflix app on your phone will automatically discover that there is a device with a Netflix app connected to your TV. It will fire up that app, and then the two apps are free to do whatever they want ó which presumably involves some healthy binge-viewing.
Although both AirPlay and Dial compete in the same area, both have separate skills that make for valuable tools. Apple and Google could add the missing skills to Dial and AirPlay to make the feature sets more even, a move that wouldnít be a surprise in the future. Then again, Apple might unveil their own HDTV soon, a move that would completely 1-Up DIAL. Weíll have to just be patient to see.
Source: GigaOm via Cult of Mac