YouTube and Netflix Partner to Turn Your Mobile Device Into a Remote Control

Kiss your old A/V cables goodbye. Thanks to a partnership between YouTube and Netflix, owners of smart TVs and set-top boxes will soon be able to wirelessly browse for content using their mobile devices with a new tool called DIAL (short for "Discovery and Launch"). Using a DIAL-enabled app, phones and tablets will be able to connect to compatible devices on the network. These devices then launch the app as well, syncing your mobile device and your TV.

Unlike traditional mobile-to-TV streaming services like AirPlay, however, DIAL doesn't stream content from your phone or tablet to the television. Instead, it relies upon the smart TV or set-top box to fetch the content itself. In other words, you won't need to plug your laptop into your TV anymore to watch Netflix. With DIAL, you'll be able to launch the app on your phone or tablet, connect to your TV, and start watching movies immediately.

Although neither Google nor Netflix has announced a firm date when DIAL will become available, the tool is already supported on Google TVs, and Samsung, Sony, Hulu and BBC have already expressed their support for the system. According to Netflix, users should expect to see the first DIAL-compatible tools appear within a few months.