Netflix and YouTube take on Airplay with DIAL

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Netflix and YouTube have officially rolled out an Airplay alternative known as DIAL.

DIAL - which is an acronym for discovery and launch - promises to deliver an intuitive second screen entertainment experience. Essentially, DIAL is designed to automatically detect compliant devices and run related apps. 

Meaning, a software app locates Netflix compatible TVs nearby and opens them automatically. The idea is to make the second screen process a one button prospect - rather than having to go back and forth between two screens or go to your computer to pair the devices.

DIAL can also prompt smart TV users to download and install apps when needed. According to Netflix, the current generation of Google TV devices already feature integrated support for DIAL. Plus, some of your devices may already support DIAL, such as  select Samsung and LG 2012  TVs. Apps that support the service include Pandora, Hul, BBC, and Flingo.

In related Netflix news, the NPD Group has published some rather interesting usage statistics. According to the report, approximately 40% of Netflix subscribers in the US stream their content on an HDTV. 

To be sure, only 14% of viewers watch video on their desktop or laptop computers. The above-mentioned 40% statistic includes smart TVs, set-top box, and software level built-in streaming. Meanwhile, only 13% of Netflix users watched videos on tablets, while 8% stream on smartphones.

Unsurprisingly, it seems as if most subscribers prefer to watch video on the big screen in their living rooms, rather than stream on a tablet, smartphone or PC.