When I think of a home media network, I think primarily of sharing professional media (usually TV) around different rooms in my house. But of course the concept also applies to personal media. Verizon’s Home Media Manager service has, for some time, allowed users to share photos and music from a PC to a TV. Today Verizon announced that is has also launched personal video sharing. I saw this feature demoed a while back, and it’s good to see it now hit consumer homes.
The idea of networking personal media, however, beyond being fun, brings up an interesting technical issue. Where should the processing occur to encode personal content for TV viewing? In the Verizon set-up, the processing takes place in a PC, and then content is transferred via MoCA. But it’s also possible to have the processing take place in a set-top. Just the other day I witnessed a demo (pic above) using one of Motorola’s DCX set-tops and DLNA (a home networking standard) to network personal content to the TV. In that case the content was transferred over IP (from a home media gateway) and then processed for display in the set-top itself. Not to say that one or the other approach is necessarily better, just that there are multiple networking options now. That’s a good thing, whether you’re looking to watch the latest episode of The Mentalist, or scenes of mental behavior from your child’s latest birthday party.