How to achieve DLNA certification

-July 22, 2013

Editor’s note: According to the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), there are nearly 1 billion DLNA Certified® products available on the market, including TVs, DVD and Blu-Ray players, game consoles, NAS devices, PCs, laptops, and smartphones.

In my last post Simplify printing using DLNA,  I mentioned the rigorous interoperability and conformance testing that all Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) independent certification vendors (ICVs) must perform on all devices hoping to become DLNA certified. However, before any of those tests can be performed, pre-testing needs to be completed.

The purpose of pre-testing is to figure out what device classes, features, and options the device-under-test (DUT) supports. Each DLNA class, feature, and option have their own distinct type of pre-testing so that the independent certification vendor can determine whether or not the DUT supports that class, feature, or option. Once pretesting has been finished, the ICV can proceed with conformance and interoperability testing. Here at the UNH-IOL, we follow the procedure outlined below.

The first half of conformance testing is performed using the Media Capabilities Verification Tool, which was created by the DLNA. The purpose for this tool is to allow the ICV can find out what trick modes, like fast forward and seek, the DUT supports for each media profile, and to make sure that it does it correctly in a DLNA context. The other half of conformance testing uses the Conformance Test Tool, another tool created by the DLNA. This tool tests all of the more technical, back-end requirements of DLNA, and is the only time during testing that those requirements are tested. These tools are always run over Ethernet in order to ensure the fastest speeds possible. Once the conformance testing is completed, interoperability testing can start.

DLNA interoperability testing is broken up into two smaller pieces. The first is the main interoperability testing which is the core of the DLNA certification. This section of testing simulates the network that a user will have set up at home. The ICV plays a wide variety of media files in many different formats to make sure that the DUT is able to support each format.

The second piece of interoperability testing is small network testing. This part of testing is used to make sure that the DUT is able to handle multiple peer devices on the same network. While the main interoperability testing is run over the slowest network interface, small network testing is run over every interface supported by the DUT (e.g. 802.11, 802.3, MoCA).

All devices must go through each of these steps, from pre-testing to conformance and interoperability. Additional testing for certification needs to happen if the DUT supports link protection, also known as DTCP-IP. The DUT would undergo additional conformance testing using the Link Protection Test Tool, and another round of interoperability testing in which the ICV would test the DUT against the link-protected test bed devices to make sure that the link protection works properly.

The DLNA certification process has continued to get more rigorous due to the DLNA "Raise the Bar" initiative, which was put forth two years ago and aims to decrease customer complaints about DLNA products by improving the DLNA certification process. UNH-IOL Digital Living Consortium technician, Caemen Weiland will discuss this in an upcoming post.

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