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The October 31, 2004 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies influencing The Broadband Home

Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends

Each month we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations that you might have missed. This month’s tidbits include an update on broadband deployment, a look at HDTV in the US and price wars in VoIP.

Making Things Connect: The Digital Living Network Alliance

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) has taken on the daunting but critical role of establishing specs so that many kinds of media devices in the home can "talk" with each other over home networks. We interviewed the group's Chairman for an update on their progress. Products based on their initial specs are being shown at trade shows, and work is under way on additional specs.

The Power of Powerline : HomePlug, Intellon and Corinex

We love the concept and evidently those in Europe do too--we're talking about HomePlug. Simply plug a product into a HomePlug-equipped electrical outlet and it is networked. In a series of interviews we explored the progress on raising speeds that will be achieved over these powerline networks in the home. We also heard about how the upcoming HomePlug AV spec is being positioned as a starting point for standardizing "access BPL".

802.11a Comes Home

With the enormous success of home Wi-Fi, the segmentation of who bought what flavor of 802.11 had settled down: consumers bought 802.11b/g and enterprises bought 802.11a. It turns out that was just a stop along the road to full home networking of video as well as voice and data. New chips and products based on them suggest that 802.11a will be a big part of the consumer solution for video networking. We expect to see an increasing number of a/b/g devices as new networked video products hit the market. Microsoft is playing a big role in pushing it along.

Choice vs. Simplicity: Can We Have Both?

In “the old days” we all knew what a telephone looked like and how to get service for it; there weren’t a lot of choices. As industries collide and the choices for communicating with someone by voice at a distance proliferate, it’s becoming increasingly complex for consumers to figure out what to buy, whom to buy it from and where it will work. Convergence may mean that an increasing number of devices transmit over IP, but it certainly doesn’t spell simplicity for the consumer. Will we face up to the challenge?

Upcoming Conferences -- Telco TV

After several false starts in rolling out video services, the US telcos are taking concrete actions to add video services to their bundle. The upcoming Telco TV Show brings telco and vendor perspectives to the topic at a critical time in the process.

Your Voice -- Readers' Comments

We heard from one of our readers in Massachusetts this month about the Verizon fiber build that seems to be going on there, and we responded to other readers' complaints about broken links in our newsletter archive.