This page references articles in our reports from 2000 to 2002 describing companies and organizations we have visited or interviewed. Many articles mention multiple companies.
Articles are listed below ordered by date of the newsletter they appeared in—newest to oldest. To search for all mentions of a particular company, please use the Google search box on the top right of this page.
The cable industry seems to have reached a new stage of maturity: nifty technology is nice and hot applications are sexy, but MSOs are spending their money on technologies with fairly immediate impact on their financial results. ICTV, Ellacoya and Netsurfer focus on customer support, monitoring and managing traffic, and subscriber connectivity and management. All promise tangible impacts on the bottom line.
Many cable operators are planning to enter the home networking business, so it was no surprise that home networking was "hot" at this year's show. We talked with Jungo, Conexant and Broadcom about chips, software and products for networking and gateways, with many integrated products shown or promised.
We take a high-level look at the status of North American cable telephony. Lots has happened since AT&T purchased TCI and laid out their cable telephony plans. US cable has over 2 million local voice customers. PacketCable is finally getting ready for field deployment. But Comcast makes clear we shouldn't look for large volume rollouts in 2003. And what about SIP telephony and its impact?
We were struck by a full-page ad with this headline in the Sunday New York Times and thought it was time for an update on things wireless: the emergence of 802.11g products; notebook PCs with built-in Wi-Fi; and lots of activity in hot spots from Boingo and Cometa Networks.
We visited Broadcom to learn more about the new video compression technology that will replace MPEG-2. When the dust settles, it will provide a 3X improvement over MPEG-2 and will be called H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10.
PRISMIQ showed us their new MediaPlayer, a low-cost device that connects to your TV and sound system on one side, and over a home network to a capable PC on the other. It provides audio, video, Internet browsing and chat on the TV screen, leveraging the horsepower of the PC you already have.
Microsoft and HP have brought to market the first product based on the "Freestyle" concept Bill Gates debuted at CES last January. It's a good first step to fulfilling the promise, although one purposely targeted to a specific segment of the market.
Intel has announced a new initiative to connect existing audio and video equipment to PC-based MP3s and photos. They're providing a reference design based on UPnP and Linux, and are aiming to get these technologies embedded in consumer electronics equipment.
ViXS Systems, a Canadian start-up, has announced a "video networking processor" chip designed to transmit digital video over home LANs. We think XCode is worth watching because it promises to enable true broadcast-quality video over the next generation of home networking.
We completed our in-home tests of HomePlug equipment with two additional USB devices made by ST&T xNetworks and were surprised to find that they performed noticably better than the units in our first series of tests.
"Advanced" digital set-top boxes have promised much and delivered precious little in North America. "Moore's Law" makes it difficult for such a box to have much payback. Two companies - ICTV and Ucentric Systems - offer radically different solutions for cable operators: ICTV puts most of the functionality at the cable headend, while Ucentric puts more in the home to create consumer value. ( www.ictv.com ) ( www.ucentric.com )
CableLabs has come a long way in its short life. It has the leading role in specifying and certifying the technologies for delivering advanced services over cable in North America, and plays an increasing role beyond the Americas and far beyond TV and entertainment services. It's now leading an ITU effort for global end-to-end IP multimedia communications. We report on our visit with CableLabs and our telephone interview with its CEO.
OpenGlobe's Rob Hudson explained how his company sees the chaos of users' growing media collections as his company's opportunity.
Georgia: Peaches, Peanuts and Broadband? - A visit to GCATT's Broadband Institute
Georgia Tech's Broadband Institute focuses on broadband communications research and applications. Much of their funding and work plan come from industrial sponsors. They're starting a new project cycle and welcome inquiries.
Fulfilling the Vision of the Broadband Home - A Visit with Ucentric Systems (BBHR 11/14/2001)
We visited Ucentric Systems. One of the most ambitious companies in home networking, Ucentric sees the need for a "whole-home converged services" system: a common platform addressing all the family's networking needs for communications and entertainment. This includes the full range of services -- data, voice, audio and video -- and all of the current and future devices appropriate to those services.