Dynamic Media Routing in Multi-User Home Entertainment Systems

Today, there is a growing interest in home entertainment systems consisting of various networked devices, such as set-top boxes, hi-fi systems, TV sets, or multimedia PCs. However, available solutions only provide a very restricted set of features. Dynamic routing of media streams between distributed devices and multi-user scenarios are typically not supported.

In this paper, we present an architecture for a distributed home entertainment system that overcomes these limitations. We especially examine the most important tasks, namely watching and recording TV. The overall system consists of various devices and allows for multiple users to perform different tasks in parallel. Our architecture supports multi-room applications with a single media stream being presented synchronously on different distributed devices. In addition, applications can be handed over to nearby systems. Finally, we present an algorithm that dynamically determines the optimal media routing for such multi-user scenarios.