BBH Central Home Page
Broadband Home Central
BBH Report Home Page
October 26, 2000 Provided by System Dynamics Inc. in association with Pulver.com

Subscription and copyright information at end of this report.


IN THIS ISSUE:

Heard on the Net

BBH Fall 2000 -
They came from A(ustralia) to Z(urich)

Broadband Home Spring 2001
Call for speakers

"End-to-End IP" -
How Will The Telcos Survive? (Part 2 of 2)

Video Entertainment
Watching the users decide

Directory of "Broadband Homes"

pulver.com 2000 Calendar
Upcoming conferences


Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies influencing The Broadband Home

People News

Chris Bowick, currently SVP technology development at Cox Communications, will assume the title SVP-engineering/CTO on 1/1/2001, taking over from the retiring Alex Best. ( www.cox.com )

David Burns has been named corporate VP and group president, Professional Services at Telcordia. http://www.telcordia.com/

Bruce Carlsmith has been named VP of business operations at MagNetPoint. Bruce was previously CEO and a member of the board for Registry Magic. ( www.magnetpoint.com )

Edith Crowe has been named VP of Marketing for ICTV. She previously ran the marketing department at two different start-ups. (www.ictv.com )

Jim Farmery has joined Terayon as Product Marketing Manager. Jim was formerly with Pace Mico Technologies and continues to be located in the U.K. ( www.terayon.com )

Ron Geller has been appointed senior vice president for Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment Europe (SPDE), with responsibility to expand SPDE's online and interactive entertainment assets for European markets. ( www.sony.com )

Carter P. Maguire Jr. has been named VP of sales at Digeo Broadband. He was previously EVP at Turner Network Sales. ( www.digeo.com )

Randall McCurdy has been appointed Senior VP, Partner Management and Client Services at Respond TV. He was formerly VP of Business Development for ReplayTV. ( www.respondtv.com )

Maggie Smith has joined Seachange International as Manager, Partners Program for Interactive Television Systems. Previously she was at SeraNova. ( www.schange.com )

Craig Soderquist has been named President of Com21. He will add the CEO title on 1/1/2001 when current CEO Pete Fenner retires. ( www.com21.com )

Mark Sonnenberg has been named EVP-content and marketing at Intertainer. He was previously at In-Demand. ( www.intertainer.com )

Kenneth Wright is joining C-COR.net as Chief Technology Officer. Wright was previously CTO for 21e.net. www.c-cor.net.

(Please email people@bb-home.com to report a change in your position.)

Company News

--Acquisitions

Broadcom Corp. agreed to buy Element 14, a developer of DSL chipsets for 2.65 million shares. They will establish a new DSL business unit which will encompass Broadcom's VDSL and ADSL businesses, and all related telco local loop transmission activities. ( www.broadcom.com )

Wind River Systems and Rapid Logic announced that the companies have entered into an agreement for Wind River to acquire Rapid Logic. The acquisition enables Wind River to offer embedded networking technologies to developers of data networking and telecom equipment, such as Ethernet switches, IP routers, access concentrators, optical switches, and xDSL systems. ( www.wrs.com )

--Funding

Grande Communications announced that it has secured $25 million in equity financing from Reliant Energy. Grande is in the process of deploying broadband networks in select markets throughout Texas.( www.grandecom.com )

Morgenthaler Ventures and Lucent Venture Partners have provided $9 million in first-round funding to Wave7 Optics. The company was created to develop a fiber-to-home optical access system. ( www.morgenthaler.com )

New Edge Networks raised $140 million in third round financing. They provide wholesale DSL services in small and mid-sized markets.( www.newedgenetworks.com )

Oracle and Alcatel announced they will fund Thirdspace, an interactive television startup for telecommunications companies. Thirdspace will receive $144.5 million and will offer broadcast television and movies on demand. Services will use DSL over standard telephone lines, and will be offered to telcos around the world. ( www.oracle.com ) ( www.alcatel.com )

--Other News

3Com has unveiled Audrey, its new "Internet appliance" for the home. Priced at $499, it uses a Palm-like touch-screen and stylus and has a TV-like knob for switching between Web sites. E-mail can be typed on a wireless keyboard, or created through voice recording or on-screen handwriting with the stylus. ( www.3com.com )

ATT Broadband has announced plans to launch VOD services using DIVA Systems in three new areas (LA, San Francisco and Pittsburgh) in addition to Atlanta. ( www.att.com ) ( www.divatv.com )

DIRECTV, Wink Communications and Thomson Multimedia unveiled DIRECTV Interactive. The service, available to DirecTV customers at no additional cost, includes program-related interactive enhancements and new dedicated interactive television channels. ( www.directv.com ) ( www.wink.com )

Enikia and ONELINE AG, subsidiary of the German utility E.ON Energie, expanded their strategic partnership to deploy end-to-end broadband services to consumers. The agreement includes joint technology development and deployment of in-home powerline communications, ONELINE has a 3.3% investment in Enikia and a seat on its board. ONELINE will incorporate Enikia's in-home networking technology into their existing ONELINE Box. ( www.enikia.com ) ( www.oneline-ag.de )

Enron announced it will give the 15,000 employees of its wholly owned subsidiaries a high-speed computer and Internet connection, including broadband connectivity, for use at home, beginning in 2001. ( www.enron.com )

Gemstar announced agreements to make books, magazines and newspapers from a number of publishers available for its ebook format, in a bid to have their technology be a principal format for electronic publishing and portable electronic-book readers in particular. Devices using Gemstar's technology, with prices starting at about $300, go on sale at electronics retailers at Thanksgiving. ( www.gemstar.com )

Honeywell announced the availability of the Honeywell WebPAD(tm) Internet Appliance, a wireless, portable device for high-speed connection to the Internet and centralized home control applications. The device uses a wireless connection to a base which is connected to broadband cable or DSL. It weighs under 3 pounds and retails for $995. ( www.honeywell.com/yourhome/ )

Internet Home Alliance has been formed as a membership organization "dedicated to enhancing a consumer's understanding, appreciation, and adoption of the Internet lifestyle." Founding members include 3Com, Best Buy, Cisco, CompUSA, General Motors, Honeywell, Invensys, Motorola, New Power Company, Panasonic, Reliant Energy, Sears, Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments. ( www.internethomealliance.com )

KPNQwest NV has announced they will invest only 50 million eur in digital subscriber line (DSL) services next year, down from original plans to invest 300 mln. The reduced investment comes from a shift in strategy to focus more on Internet Protocol (IP) based services. ( www.kpnqwest.com )

Lucent Technologies and WINfirst, a Denver broadband service provider, are partnering in a $1 billion deal to build a fiber-to-the-home residential network for voice, data and video applications. Winfirst will invest $800 million in Lucent's equipment, software and services. The deployment also includes data switching equipment from Lucent spin-off Avaya Communications valued at $200 million over five years. ( www.lucent.com ) ( www.winfirst.com )

Massachusetts industry and government officials are launching a group aimed at speeding the rollout of broadband-speed Internet access across Massachusetts. The new MassBroadband Advisory Board is hoping to knock down regulatory roadblocks to deploying broadband and form buying pools for high-speed access, independent of technology (DSL, cable, fixed wireless or satellite).

M-TEC WIRELESS, which is developing a high-speed solution for wireless home networking, announced their cooperation with IMEC and use of its OFDM chip as a basis for its demonstrator. The result will allow for data rates up to 54 Mbps. ( www.mtecwireless.com ) ( www.imec.be )

News Corp. and Liberty Media strengthened their ties in a typically complex series of transactions, resulting in Liberty holding an 18% stake in News Corp. and News Corp. holding 43% of Gemstar-TV Guide International. ( www.newscorp.com ) ( www.libertymedia.com )

Nortel Networks and ANTEC announced an agreement to create a new company which will acquire Nortel Networks ownership interest in Arris Interactive and upon closing, will be renamed Arris, Inc. Nortel will transfer to the new company its 81.25 percent interest in Arris Interactive in return for 33 million shares of common stock and approximately US$325 million in cash, giving Nortel Networks about 46.5 percent ownership interest. ANTEC will become a subsidiary of the new company. ( www.antec.com ) ( www.nortel.com ) ( www.arris-i.com )

OpenTV Corp said it reached an agreement to integrate RespondTV's technology for interactive television services into the Motorola Inc DCT-2000 mass-market set-top box platform. ( www.opentv.com ) ( www.respondtv.com )

SBC Communications and Home Director Inc. announced an agreement that will give buyers of new homes access to advanced communications, entertainment and high-speed DSL Internet services throughout their home. The agreement will provide a solution to customize and pre-order a home networking infrastructure and SBC's voice and broadband data services. ( www.sbc.com ) ( www.homedirector.com )

Sony Broadband Entertainment (SBE) announced forming a subsidiary, 550 Digital Media Ventures, to create, incubate, operate, invest in and acquire digital media companies. The company will focus on core digital media technology areas, including broadband services. Fred Ehrlich will be President and CEO of the new subsidiary. ( www.550dmv.com )

StreamSearch.com, a distributor of playable media on the Web, and ICTV have formed a strategic relationship to integrate StreamSearch's Multimedia Search Capabilities and Database into ICTV's System. The application will be shown at the Western Cable Show and will be used in upcoming cable operator deployments. ( www.ictv.com ) ( www.streamsearch.com )

Telocity has unveiled Internet gateways with new hardware and software features to enable their broadband subscribers to order value added services (such as voice-activated services and remotely-controlled home appliances) in the future. ( www.telocity.com )

Time Warner Cable agreed to purchase 1 million licenses for BroadJump's high-speed Internet self-installation software. BroadJump's "Virtual Truck" software reduces the expense and complexity of installation. ( www.broadjump.com ) ( www.timewarner.com )

Zatso.com seems to be joining the list of dot.com casualties. The Wall Street Journal reported that they laid off half their staff this month. ( www.zatso.com )


BBH Fall 2000 -- They came from A(ustralia) to Z(urich)

For those who weren't able to join us at Broadband Home Fall 2000 (Oct 3-5 near San Francisco), there was a loud and clear message: the Broadband Home is "the next big thing". It's happening not just in one or two places - this is a global trend.

The 230 attendees representing 17 countries provided a wonderful mix of cultural, technological and industry perspectives, shared both in and between sessions as well as at our Wednesday night party. Special thanks to all the presenters and moderators, as well as to those who traveled from around the world to join us -- prizes for delegates who traveled the farthest go to four "Aussies" and two from Bangalore, India. Our personal observation was that many delegates were so knowledgeable in their fields that they could easily have been speakers.

A key theme of the conference was that speeding the reality of the Broadband Home requires collaboration across multiple industry sectors. To provide the applications consumers want, we need content and applications, broadband pipes to the home, residential gateways, home networks and broadband appliances (including PCs and TVs and new devices) -- plus ways to provision, install, maintain and bill for services. And without understanding the implications of new applications on various solution components, the solution won't work.

One message from our opening talk was echoed many times: for the Broadband Home to grow beyond a niche market, we've got to reduce complexity. Sandy showed pictures of the maze of wires, boxes, schematics and instructions needed to operate and connect the Teger-Waks voice, data, audio/video and lighting systems as an example of what the vast majority of consumers will not put up with. Although technologies and products are available to do lots of nifty things, not every home has a system administrator like Dave. For him, the Y2K problem in our plant lighting system or the mystery of why Sandy's email stopped working were "fun and interesting puzzles" to be solved. For Sandy, they were frustrating obstacles to getting things done. The San Jose Mercury News picked up on this issue -- check out their story on the conference at http://www.thebroadbandhome.com/sjm.html

Once you get beyond the first stage of the Broadband Home -- connecting multiple PCs to each other and a high speed Internet connection -- the requirements of some parts of the solutions change. For example, Peter Michel, President and CEO of Brink's Home Security, pointed out that for broadband-enabled home security, "always on" is what's most important, not high speed. The requirement for high reliability is not just about meeting some theoretical metric of five or six "nines", but may be a matter of life and death.

Similarly, home networking for connecting PCs at high speed with the Internet is not particularly demanding. But once rich media and telephony applications become part of the mix, the networks must accommodate isochronous (time dependent) traffic. Make TV or HDTV part of the mix and the bandwidth requirements suddenly grow; the 2 or 10 Mbps of today's technologies are inadequate and need to grow to 25 Mbps or so to do the job.

Wireless home networking is a very attractive way to get rid of all the wiring required today. But the industry does not have a consistent message for the consumer, with at least four different technologies being discussed -- HomeRF, 802.11b, 802.11a, and Bluetooth -- each suited to a different mix of perceived consumer requirements, price points and market timing.

A key message of the conference was that cool technology is sexy only to technologists. That's not to say that there weren't lots of discussions about the relative merits of various technologies. But as our content and applications speakers pointed out, those choices are really all about "plumbing" -- once the right plumbing is in place, all the user cares about is whether the water runs or the lights go on or the cool new apps work!

John Kernan, CEO of the Lightspan Partnership, pointed out that kids using Lightspan's innovative educational applications are learning more and improving their test scores. It's not because of the sexy technology used to implement the applications, but because the company has applied their key insight: the same techniques game developers use to hook kids on their Sega Dreamcasts and Sony Playstations can make learning a compelling experience.

We picked up on a number of additional messages that seem worth sharing:

-- Residential gateways are a hot growth area. They will come in a variety of flavors and will get into user homes via multiple channels.

-- Rouzbeh Yassini projected that by 2010 there will be 100 million broadband homes with an average of 15 broadband devices per home. We face an unprecedented situation regarding how to provision and manage such environments.

-- Mike Lunsford of Earthlink sounded a word of warning that we resonate with. It's easy to let the marketing hype overshadow the realities of what we can actually deliver. As an industry we need to beware of over-promising and under-delivering.

-- Although cable and DSL are the major broadband access choices today, there are lots more choices on the way: fixed wireless, 2-way satellite, fiber to the home, terrestrial broadcast and more. Some of these can reach communities that otherwise would not be served, as Gilat Satellite Systems showed in a video clip of broadband to the Native Americans living at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

-- New devices (like Web pads and e-books) and new applications (like interactive TV) are being conceived and funded. However, many of those producing content are facing problems with their business models. Without content, the new devices and applications are in trouble. Many believe that "the same old content delivered faster" will not keep the consumer paying a premium for broadband service. Synching up the realities of devices, applications and content is a difficult trick but one required to get the "virtuous circle" underway. We heartily endorse efforts like those of the Bandies ( www.thebandies.com ) and the Broadband Content Delivery Forum ( www.bcdforum.com ) to bring the pieces together.

-- Cable customers will soon be able to receive video content on demand, but several different approaches -- central server-based, Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) and IP streaming media-- will probably be competing with each other. We'll need to stay tuned to see how their roles -- and market shares -- play out. (See "Video Entertainment" below for our thoughts on this.)

-- Many companies are working on interactive TV for the US market. We saw several different views as to what "ITV" includes -- video on demand, Internet on the TV, interactive enhancements to existing TV programs, new interactive video applications, t-commerce (TV-based e-commerce).

We came away somewhat concerned about the positioning of ITV in the US, which seems to be heavily based on vendors' experience in European markets. Because of the high PC and Internet penetration in the US, we have long believed that the vast majority of US homes adopting ITV will already own one or more PCs, and that ITV should be positioned to be complementary with the existing PC and its applications. Instead, the ITV companies seemed to be positioning ITV as a stand-alone application, with no acknowledgement of the PC. We think this is fine for those applications which are directly related to TV viewing, but not when the TV is being used as an additional client for broadband applications -- such as email -- which now run on the PC.

This is just a sampling of what went on at this event. What each person took away was undoubtedly determined by their interests and the market their company is addressing.

Most presentations from the conference are available online at slides.pulver.com. This site requires registration. If you have not previously registered, visit the site and click on the "Register" link. Fill out the form and a password will be emailed to you in a few minutes; your email address will be your username. When you log in, select the "Broadband Home Fall 2000" link to see the available presentations. You'll need to download each presentation individually; in the future, we hope to provide a bulk download facility. The conference schedule is still available at www.thebroadbandhome.com/bbh2000/4.html.


Broadband Home Spring 2001: Call for speakers

Broadband Home Spring 2001 will be held in Miami, February 27-March 1, 2001. We invite anyone who would like to organize and moderate a session, or who would like to speak at the conference, to submit their proposal to us. We will post a new speaker submission page at theBroadbandHome.com by November 1st.

The probability of any proposal being accepted is increased if the submission clarifies why the topic is directly relevant to "the Broadband Home".

Topics of interest include (but are not restricted to): broadband technologies; services; standards; applications; content; business models; usability considerations; home networking; residential gateways; security and privacy; broadband/Internet appliances; consumer studies/research; e-commerce; T-commerce; interactive television; interoperability; end-to-end solutions; interactive games; home automation and control; access networks; service provisioning & management; digital rights management; transparency of solutions between home, car, office; installation and maintenance/support; impact on existing industries; home office/home business applications; Wall Street perspectives; investors' considerations; VOD and personal TV; business economics; impediments to market growth (and possible solutions).

We're especially interested in topics which cut across the value chain and link disparate elements inside and outside the home. Some examples would be the dependency between emerging applications and emerging devices, such as multi-player games and new game consoles; or the opportunities coming from end-to-end IP telephony to seamlessly link voice communications and Internet applications. We're also very interested in innovative applications and content taking advantage of broadband connectivity, especially those directed to emerging client platforsm such as WEBpads, Internet radios, and game consoles.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please visit theBroadbandHome.com and look for an active link to the Broadband Home Spring 2001 conference call for speakers.


"End-to-End IP" -- How Will The Telcos Survive? (Part 2 of 2)

In Part 1 of this article (see BBHR 9/26/00), we talked about "IP phones" designed to connect through "end-to-end IP" to IP phones in other people's houses. Such phones would enable a wide range of new services, unlocking the door to full integration of voice and data services and eventually adding video as well. Operating with "end-to-end IP" means that the connection is established and the conversation takes place without any use of the existing circuit-switched network and the supporting SS7 network.

Since broadband access technologies provide IP to the home, we would have thought that most companies working on broadband voice would be thinking about "end-to-end IP" and would be working hard to get there. But most broadband access service providers in the United States, including the Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs), seem to be planning to handle broadband calls through the existing circuit-switched network. Most ILECs aren't planning to use IP telephony at all - instead, they'll operate voice over ATM over DSL.

By the end of next year, we expect some service providers -- both cable operators and competitive LECs -- to launch telephone services based on end-to-end IP. We expect that many broadband customers will switch to these providers to take advantage of the new services.

A recent book provides a great deal of insight into similar situations in other industries. From the many examples in the book, it seems likely that the ILECs will continue on their current course, and will be left as the last providers of "plain old telephone service," losing the residential telephony market -- their bread and butter -- to the new entrants. Both the ILECs and their entire vendor community are at risk.

"The Innovator's Dilemma"

Clayton M. Christensen's wonderfully insightful book "The Innovator's Dilemma" (HarperCollins, New York, 2000) provides the analytical framework for understanding the ILEC's situation. Chirstensen doesn't specifically address "end-to-end IP" but provides plenty of examples to suggest that the ILECs may well lose the residential market during the transition to "end-to-end IP".

Christensen's book is about the "disruptive technologies" which cause great companies to fail when they seemingly do everything right. Well-managed companies do very well at taking advantage of "sustaining technologies," but find it "very difficult to develop disruptive technologies that ultimately steal away their markets." While leading companies make perfectly rational decisions to ignore disruptive technologies in the best interests of their investors and customers, other (typically smaller) companies exploit disruptive technologies to chip away and eventually displace them.

At the start, disruptive technologies have little or no appeal to "mainsteam" customers, but instead appeal most to "fringe" customers. Because the market size for disruptive technologies is impossible to quantify, well-managed companies will not allocate resources for their development, leaving the field for new entrants. As they gain experience, the new entrants improve their products' performance and become competitive with the incumbents. They take over the older markets because their products now meet the original needs of the "mainstream" customers and provide additional attributes which make them more desirable.

"End-to-end IP" appears to be exactly the type of disruptive technology Christensen describes. IP telephony has come a very long way from its origins five years ago. Improvements are taking place rapidly. There's every reason to believe that IP telephony will be "good enough" for many residential customers in a short time.

Christensen observes that companies group into hierarchical "value networks". Companies in a given value network have been working together for a long time, and have a very good understanding of the product attributes that are most important from one level of the network to another. Disruptive technologies change the way markets value product attributes, and therefore disrupt the entire value network.

The LECs and their suppliers form such a value network. A handful of mammoth companies -- Lucent, Nortel, Ericsson, Siemens, NEC -- dominate the markets. Between the LECs and their residential customers, product attributes such as reliability and voice quality have been most important. Between the LECs and their leading vendors, product attributes such as reliability and quality have long been more highly valued than flexibility or cost. For their business customers, the LECs provide a wide range of features which in turn have become a baseline requirement for switch vendors.

IP telephony starts out deficient in all the product attributes the LECs value. Reliability is not as good as the proverbial "five nines"; voice quality is comparatively deficient due to latency and jitter; and no end-to-end IP solution comes close to providing the supposed "3000 features" of existing central office switches. It is thus very easy for any telephone service provider to reject end-to-end IP as a solution, and focus on well-proven ATM and circuit-switched approaches.

But Christensen observes that this is exactly how disruptive technologies succeed. Because the new entrants can't satisfy the needs of the mainstream customers, they go out and find those customers whose needs they can satisfy, outside the existing value network. Once they figure out how to satisfy these fringe customers' needs, they apply the lessons they have learned to addressing the mainstream customers. Because they've developed skills, they can move faster than the market leaders. Since the new entrants usually have lower profit margins, the incumbents will move up-market where their margins are higher, surrendering to the new entrants.

It seems very likely that IP telephony will follow just this course, with some cable operators and CLECs leading the process of discovering the fringe markets and applications to gain a foothold, then improving the technologies to take on the ILECs in the broad residential market. Christensen's analysis would suggest that the ILECs will surrender the residential market while focusing on business markets.

Maybe the ILECs would like to exit from the residential markets. If they don't, Christensen offers some advice. But he is generally pessimistic in the ability of large well-managed comapnies to hold their positions in the face of disruptive technologies. In most industries he has studied, incumbents were unable to hold their customers, even though in most cases their own engineers saw the threat and had developed technologies to defend their position.

Perhaps most at risk are the many vendors in value networks with service providers -- ILECs and some cable operators -- using broadband for circuit-switched telephony. We suspect that many of these vendors would like to develop products that take full advantage of end-to-end IP, but are being directed by their customers to meet the many "mainstream" product attributes of circuit-switched telephony.

The Innovator's Dilemma suggests that this is inevitable. Successful companies are really good at listening to their customers. They have honed their skills at allocating resources to those projects offering high payoffs and low risks. Thus engineers who bring forward disruptive technologies are always overruled by marketing types who tell them the customers don't want them, and by financial types who tell them the business case can't be proven because the markets and applications are unknown. As Christensen puts it "the management practices that are the most productive for exploiting existing technologies are antiproductive when it comes to developing disruptive ones."

Thus all the vendors in the ILEC's value networks will sink or swim with their customers. Many of the best vendors will fail if the LECs are forced to give up the residential market.

We've shared our crystal-ball gazing with you. What do you think? Please email us at editor@bb-home.com with your comments.


Video Entertainment: Watching the users decide

Watching the video on demand (VOD), personal video recorder (PVR) and set-top box announcements over the past few months has been a great way to see first-hand how product and service suppliers try to find out what consumers really want and are willing to pay for.

The cable industry has experimented with VOD for years to understand the increase in customer buy rates compared to pay-per-view. It has waited for the equipment and implementation costs to drop sufficiently to make the business case close. VOD was supposed to be the real competitive edge that cable could maintain over satellite. Then along came TiVo and Replay with their PVRs and suddenly DirecTV and Echostar saw a way to jump ahead of cable by incorporating these capabilities into DBS set-tops much more quickly (and cost effectively, since the consumer buys the equipment) than MSOs could roll out VOD.

Not surprisingly, cable operators and their suppliers have now decided that they should look at incorporating PVR capabilities into their set-top boxes. Meanwhile, VOD equipment vendors are developing server-based VOD services that also include a personal video channel. This is clearly a period of learning for the industry and for consumers as everyone struggles to understand the "right" combination of capabilities.

Here is a snapshot of some announcements illustrating these developments.

  • Vulcan Ventures has teamed with Motorola, Charter Communications, and ReplayTV Inc. to design a set-top digital video recorder. The joint venture, code named Project DISCO, will create a digital video recorder using Motorola's interactive digital platform, ReplayTV's digital video recording software and software developed by Interval Research Corp.

  • Western Digital Corp. announced formation of a new subsidiary, Keen Personal Media Inc. Keen PM announced a joint development agreement to develop and license its digital video recorder (DVR) storage management subsystem software to set-top and broadband provider, Scientific-Atlanta. ( www.keenpm.com ) (www.westerndigital.com ) (www.scientificatlanta.com )

  • Other set-top vendors, such as Philips, Pace Micro, etc. have been working for some time on incorporating hard-drives to provide PVR capabilities into their set tops. For examples, see www.research.philips.com/password/pw4/pw4_4a.html .

  • Comcast is jointly marketing and distributing TiVo's personal TV Service in Cherry Hill, NJ while Time Warner is testing the RepleyTV in southern California.

  • VOD vendor Concurrent is developing a new video server to allow cable operators (MSOs) to offer a personal video channel as part of their VOD service. Unlike current PVRs, the customer does not need to plan to record the shows they want prior to them being televised, since they are being stored centrally.

  • Meanwhile, MSOs are finally deploying VOD. Examples include Time Warner in Tampa (with Concurrent) and in Austin (with SeaChange), AT&T in 4 areas with DIVA, Cox in San Diego, etc., with more systems budgeted for 2001.

One question is the future evolution of the equipment providing PVR capabilities. Listening to John Arledge from TiVo at our recent Broadband Home Fall 2000 session on VOD and streaming, it was clear that the intended evolution is for TiVo's unit to incorporate the functionality of a home gateway. This is clearly the direction of companies like Pace as well. For example at BCE in London this month Pace demonstrated its cable gateway -- the evolution of the digital cable set-top box into the gateway. ( www.pace.co.uk/newsroom/index.asp )

How will it all play out? Who will "win"? What effect will OpenCable (US retail sale of cable set-tops) have on the market? Which customers want all these capabilities? Is there room in the market for both CPE and centrally located capabilities?

There are more questions than answers at the moment. But our bet is that, as usual, there will be no "one size fits all" answer and that different solutions will sort themselves out to address different market segments. Have an opinion on how this will play out? Email us at editor@bb-home.com.


Directory of "Broadband Homes"

After reading a news release saying "Singapore Launches First Internet Home", it dawned on us that an increasing number of companies are building physical embodiments of such environments. They go by a variety of names, including "Internet Home", "Connected Family", "Intelligent Home", "Digital Home", "Wired Home", etc.

In many cases, companies are trying to showcase how their products and services will contribute to enhancing a consumer's lifestyle. In others, they are trying to understand the impact of new technologies on the purchase and use of their products.

The industry seems to have created an informal network of people in the know, to whom those embarking on such projects can so for advice and counsel. For example, Bruce King of Verizon has been one of the frequently-consulted sources for such information; those who attended our conferences in June and October probably met Bruce there.

As the interest spreads, we decided it would be a good idea to share the list of these "Broadband Homes" by creating a directory. The goal is that companies and organizations thinking about creating such an environment could reap the benefit of understanding what others have already implemented.

Here is our initial listing, which we will post on our Web site at www.TheBroadbandHome.com . We invite your updates and contributions. At "press time" we were still awaiting more details on several of these and will update the information on our Web site. Note that these homes are generally not open to the public, and require arrangement with the sponsoring company for a visit.

Company / Project Name / City / Contact name/ email /phone / url / status

1. Verizon / The Connected Family / Irving,TX / Bruce King / king.bruce@verizon.com / 972-448-4616 / open

2. Cisco / The Internet Home / San Jose, CA / Jarad Headley / jheadley@cisco.com / open / www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/consumer/internet_home/internet_home.html

3. InfoCommunications Development Authority (IDA)/ Internet Home / Singapore

4. Proctor&Gamble / Cincinatti, OH / Duane Gauger / gauger.dj@pg.com / not yet open

In addition to these, it's our understanding that IBM has such a location which is open in Austin, Texas and we hear that both Intel and 3Com are actively involved in such projects.

If you know of additional "broadband homes" please let us know the details and we'll add them to our Web directory.


pulver.com 2000 Calendar - Upcoming conferences

VON Asia 2000, November 13-15 - Hong Kong, China ( www.pulver.com/asia2000 )

Broadband Home Spring 2001, February 27-March 1 - Miami, FL ( www.thebroadbandhome.com )

Spring 2001 Voice on the Net, March 20-23 - Phoenix, AZ ( www.pulver.com/von )

Broadband Home Europe Summit, May 15-17, 2001 - Amsterdam, Netherlands ( www.thebroadbandhome.com )


Subscription and Copyright

If you are aware of others who would like to receive our report, please ask them to visit ( http://BroadbandHomeCentral.com/report/subscribe.html) to subscribe.

To change your email address, report format, or other subscription information, or to unsubscribe, please visit ( http://BroadbandHomeCentral.com/report/change.html )

Please send your comments and feedback regarding this issue of our report to editor@bb-home.com. Your suggestions for topics to be covered in future issues would be greatly appreciated.

Sandy Teger and Dave Waks
Sandy and Dave's Report on The Broadband Home
Originally published as The Broadband Home Report
October 26, 2000

editor@bb-home.com
http://BroadbandHomeCentral.com/report



CURRENT ISSUE  |  BACK ISSUES  |  SUBSCRIBE  |  CHANGE/UNSUBSCRIBE  |  BBH CENTRAL HOMEPAGE

©2001 Pulver.com Broadband Home Conferences, Inc.