The Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) R7 Home Network Committee published a new standard, CEA-2014, Web-based Protocol and Framework for Remote User Interface on UPnP Networks and the Internet (Web4CE). The newly adopted standard lets a UPnP device offer up its user interface (display and control options) as a Web page to display on any other device on the home network.
The newly adopted standard will allow consumers to control their CE devices from virtually anywhere, by providing a browser-based communications method for CE devices on a UPnP home network using Ethernet and a special version of HTML called CE-HTML.
“The upcoming era of the digital home, in which products will be connected through a UPnP home network, will see users accessing a variety of features and applications from various products in their home,” said Mark Walker, senior platform architect, Intel Corp. “In addition, consumer products are extending their functionality by providing direct access from consumer devices and home network PCs to Internet-based news and entertainment services delivered to the home over broadband networks such as ADSL and cable. Currently, however, there is no single cross-industry standard that simultaneously ensures home network device interoperability and a good user experience with Internet Services. The new CEA-2014 standard addresses both needs.”
Web4CE is a new framework for transmitting user interfaces over both the Internet and over a home entertainment network, enabling consumers to control applications remotely on UPnP devices regardless of whether they originate in the home or from the Internet. CE-HTML is the other portion of CEA-2014 that allows consumers to interact with Internet or home network service applications that are optimized for CE devices like television sets. CE-HTML is specifically designed to allow user interaction to take place using a remote control, keypad or a touch screen. CE-HTML further makes optimal use of display area with a built-in ability to scale appropriately for the user interface.
“CEA-2014 is an important addition to CEA’s home networking standards and shows our continued support for the clear industry trend to use Internet protocols in home networks,” said Virginia Williams, CEA director of engineering standards. “CEA’s R7 committee is providing key home networking building blocks, such as the remote user interface method contained in CEA-2014, to facilitate growth and interoperability in the digital home.”