1. What is the RVU Alliance?
  2. Why is RVU important to consumers?
  3. Why is RVU important to CE manufacturers?
  4. Why is RVU important to Content Service Providers?
  5. What are the RVU Alliance's goals and objectives?
  6. Who is the RVU Alliance?
  7. What is the RVU technology?
  8. What products support RVU?
  9. How can I tell if my TV or set-top box supports RVU?
  10. What are the advantages of the RVU RUI technology?
  11. How does the RVU RUI technology work?
  12. What type of network is required for RVU?
  13. What applications are best suited to RVU technology?
  14. What are the benefits of RVU technology?
  15. Does the RVU Remote User Interface (RUI) support High Definition format resolutions?
  16. Does RVU support wireless?
  17. Does RVU support broadband content?
  18. Does RVU RUI work in 3D TVs and how?
  19. Is the name "RVU" an acronym for anything?
  20. What is the difference between RVU 1.0 and RVU 2.0?
  21. Is RVU a world-wide standard?
  22. Does RVU support streaming to second screen devices?
  23. Which content protection standard does RVU support?
 

1. What is the RVU Alliance?

The RVU AllianceTM is a trade organization responsible for the development and maintenance of the RVU specifications. The RVU specifications enable distribution of digital audio/video and a consistent User Interface from a single server to multiple compliant client devices. The technology is aimed at major Pay TV service providers to enable their unique experience throughout the home, and for CE manufacturers to provide that experience directly on their device without the need for a separate set-top box. The Alliance also serves to help ensure compatibility between RVU compliant products via a robust test and interoperability process.

 

2. Why is RVU important to consumers?

RVU provides what consumers want:
  • Receive the same experience at every TV - the same User Interface, features and content - , without the need for a set-top box at every TV
  • Access to high-definition and 4K programming from any TV in the home
  • DVR features, including record and playback, and trick play (Fast Forward, Rewind) at every RVU compliant TV, without the need for a set-top box
  • Support for wired and wireless connections
  • Access to personal media content (e.g., videos and photos) from any TV in the home
  • Interact with weather, enhanced sports, and other interactive applications from any TV in the home
 

3. Why is RVU important to CE manufacturers?

RVU provides what CE manufacturers want:
  • A simple, well defined protocol which allows a CE manufacturer to develop an RVU application quickly and easily
  • Integrates the PayTV experience on their CE device without the need for a set-top box, providing technology leadership and ergonomic benefits
  • Provides premium content from a service provider directly on a “smart” or connected TV
  • Allows a TV to accommodate new service provider applications and features with no extra effort
  • Leverages proven open standards to maximize interoperability
  • Field proven, with millions of devices deployed
  • Robust specification which includes 4K support, wireless capability, etc.
  • Increases customer satisfaction by enabling a consistent quality of service (QoS) targeted for video distribution
  • Offers validation tools to help ensure proper implementation
 

4. Why is RVU important to Content Service Providers?

RVU provides what Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) and Content Service Providers want:
  • A server-controlled, common user experience enabling the rapid introduction of new features and applications via a single box in the home
  • Field proven with millions of RVU servers and clients from different OEMs already deployed
  • Future update path, with 4K support already supported in the RVU protocol
  • Refinements to the user experience can be deployed in the home with a single update in the RVU-based media server appearing on all subscribing thin client CE devices.
  • Identical user experience on all clients
  • Enables a whole home DVR experience at multiple TVs with only the provision of a single server device
  • Content flows directly to non-service provider provisioned devices (including personal media players and PCs)
  • Eases customer service calls - service provider applications are identically rendered on all clients in the home
 

5. What are the RVU Alliance's goals and objectives?

The RVU Alliance provides an interoperability specification for RVU compliant video home networks, and ensures through its compliance program that products are fully compliant with the RVU specification. The Alliance also hosts various working groups which provide an environment whereby members meet to approve suggested revisions and enhancements to the specification. Support is available from the working groups of the RVU Alliance.
 

6. Who is the RVU Alliance?

The RVU Alliance is backed by leading content service provider, semiconductor, and consumer electronic companies. The founding members include Broadcom, Cisco, DIRECTV and Samsung, Other members include major OEMs such as LG, Toshiba, Sharp and Sony and service providers Sky Brasil, Sky Mexico and DIRECTV PanAmericana.
 

7. What is the RVU technology?

The RVU protocol is based on a client-server architecture. The server is a source device supplied by the content service provider that allows the distribution and management of video and a consistent user experience to one or many thin CE devices (clients).
 

8. What products support RVU?

RVU is the basis of DIRECTV’s highly successful “Genie” architecture. There are numerous TVs from major manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony and Toshiba with integrated RVU functionality, with more coming. Please see here for a list of compliant products.
 

9. How can I tell if my TV or set-top box supports RVU?

Please see here for details on how to tell if your TV supports RVU.
 

10. What are the advantages of the RVU RUI technology?

RVU allows the television viewer to watch live or recorded programming on various manufacturer-branded RVU compliant TVs or clients while experiencing a consistent user interface-no matter which client device is employed. Once connected, the TV viewer can watch the service provider content from any room of the home. 
RVU is the only Remote User Interface technology deployed in significant volume in the Pay TV industry. Its specification and test procedures have been proven over multiple developments, in multiple countries by different OEMs resulting in the most stable complete RUI solution in the market today.
 

11. How does the RVU RUI technology work?

The concept of a remote user interface for clients is not new.  However, the idea that clients should be able to provide a full-featured user interface by implementing minimal functionality, leaving most of the "hard work" to the server, is unique to RVU.  RVU's RUI implements the majority of user interface functionality on the server. Remote key presses are passed directly from each client to the server. The server interprets them, responds appropriately (e.g., changes channels), and renders all UI screens in a device-independent manner. It then delivers UI data plus any streaming data (e.g., video and audio) back to the client for display.  Rather than implementing an entire UI via client-side software, RVU RUI protocol clients are process-light or "thin" while providing a robust, consistent UI experience throughout the home.
 

12. What type of network is required for RVU?

The RVU technology runs on IP networks, whether wired or wireless. Popular examples of IP network technologies that support the RVU technology include Ethernet, MoCA, HomePlug and WiFi (802.11n). RVU is designed to be implemented in software on connected devices such as smart TVs or gaming platforms.
 

13. What applications are best suited to RVU technology?

While RVU was developed for service provider provisioned networks, it can be used for distribution of any content type in the home.
The RVU protocol can be incorporated into any Media Server, running any type of application software, to facilitate the distribution of that content and user experience to external RVU-compatible devices.
 

14. What are the benefits of the RVU technology?

A key benefit of the RVU solution is the ease with which it allows users to access digital content throughout the home. A single server can be connected to service provider commercial content (e.g., via cable, telco or satellite) that can be recorded or watched live.  Content can be accessed seamlessly from anywhere inside the home, allowing users in multiple rooms to view the same or different content from the server simultaneously.
 

15. Does the RVU Remote User Interface (RUI) support High Definition format resolutions?

Yes. RVU supports all resolutions of 4K, including 4K Ultra High Definition. The RVU client will provide the server with information about the video capabilities of the client, including the aspect ratio and output resolution of the client.  4K is already specified in the RVU specification.
 

16. Does RVU support wireless?

Yes. RVU can run on wireless networks.
 

17. Does RVU provide broadband content?

Yes. If the RVU server is connected to the internet, it can aggregate broadband content or Video On Demand services to all connected client devices. Only the server needs to be connected to the internet.
 

18. Does RVU RUI work in 3D Digital TVs and how?

Yes. The RVU specification is scalable to provide multiple viewing planes as used by 3D Digital TVs.
 

19. Is the name "RVU" an acronym for anything?

No, RVU is not an acronym. It is pronounced "R-View" and, when combined with the RVU logos, is intended to evoke a sense that the technology enables remote viewing of premium television content.
Service providers may use their own branding for a commercial product. For example DIRECTVs “Genie” is based on the RVU technology but is branded specifically for that service provider.
 

20. What is the difference between RVU 1.0 and RVU 2.0?

RVU 1.0 is the original specification for RVU and uses bitmap based graphics for the User Interface.
The RVU 2.0 specification was introduced in 2013 and adds support for HTML-5 “Canvas” graphics. RVU 2.0 is also backwards compatible with RVU 1.0.  All RVU clients are required to be certified to be compliant to the RVU 2.0 specification from July 2014.
 

21. Is RVU a world-wide standard?

The RVU Alliance is a world-wide organization. The profiles of RVU available today have been driven by member companies to include formats commonly used in the USA, Mexico, Brazil and other countries in Latin America. As the RVU protocol is adopted in other regions around the world, it will be adapted to support the necessary formats, on an as needed basis.
 

22. Does RVU support streaming to second screen devices?

The RVU protocol can certainly be used to stream content to second screen (phone, tablet) devices, as long as that device can support the technical requirements of the server and protocol. Such considerations will include the availability on the device of client RVU software capable of supporting DTCP-IP, the decoding of the available transport/video formats from the server and User Input mechanisms supported by the RVU protocol, which today is limited to Remote Control Key Codes. In the future, RVU will be moving to support pointer and touch input to widen the adoption in second screen devices.
 

23. Which content protection standard does RVU support?

The RVU protocol used the widely adopted DTCP-IP link protection protocol controlled by the DTLA. This standard is used globally and is constantly being updated to meet the needs of the content owners and distributors