DIscovery And Launch

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DIAL, an acronym for DIscovery And Launch, is a protocol co-developed by Netflix and YouTube with help from Sony and Samsung.[1] It is a mechanism for discovering and launching applications on a single subnet, typically a home network. It relies on Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP), and HTTP protocols. The protocol works without requiring a pairing between devices. It was formerly used by the Chromecast media streaming adapter that was introduced in July 2013 by Google. (Chromecast now uses mDNS.)[2] DIAL enables so-called "2nd screen" devices, such as tablet computers and mobile phones to send content to "1st screen" devices, such as televisions, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes.[3]

Terminology and operation[edit]

  • 1st screen: a television, Blu-ray player, set-top-box, or similar device.
  • 2nd screen: a smartphone, tablet, or similar device.
  • DIAL Server: a device implementing the server side of the DIAL protocol, usually a 1st screen device.
  • DIAL Client: a device that can discover and launch applications on a DIAL server – usually a 2nd screen device.

The DIAL protocol has two components, DIAL Service Discovery and the DIAL REST Service.[4] The DIAL Service Discovery enables a DIAL client device to discover DIAL servers on its local network segment and obtain access to the DIAL REST Service on those devices. The DIAL REST Service enables a DIAL client to query, launch and optionally stop applications on a DIAL Server device.

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