Provided by: System Dynamics Inc.

The June 17, 2010 Issue:

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In this issue:
 - Heard on the Net: People, Companies and Trends in the BBH industry
 - Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends
 - 2011: A Critical Year for Wired Networking
 - Ford SYNC--"A Simpler Way to Connect"
 - The Evolution of TV--Now It's 3D
 - The US National Broadband Plan
 - Upcoming Conferences
Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home - some
highlights from 1H2010

People News

Anil Barot has joined Wavesat as VP of Business Development. Mr. Barot
was previously with Motorola. ( )

Henry Choy has joined ActiveVideo Networks as VP, Business Development,
responsible for their Web-Connected TV initiative. He was previously VP,
consumer electronics business development for AnySource Media. ( )

Bill McLean has joined Ozmo Devices as CEO. He was previously co-founder
and CEO of GloNav. ( )

David Mendels has been appointed President and COO at Brightcove; he was
previously with Adobe. Eric Elia has been promoted to VP of TV
Solutions, to lead the company's TV everywhere initiatives. ( )

Dan Moloney has taken the position of CEO of Technitrol. He was
previously with Motorola’s Home business. ( )

Petr Peterka has become CTO at Verimatrix. He was formerly with
Motorola. ( )

Phillip E. Pompa has joined Conexant Systems as senior VP of product
marketing. Pompa was previously CEO at Rational Semiconductor. ( )

Neil Smit, formerly CEO at Charter Communications, was named to head
Comcast's cable unit. Michael Lovett was appointed as Charter's
president and CEO. ( ) ( )

Company News


4Home Inc. has completed a $6.8 million Series B funding round. ( )

Aircell LLC, a provider of wireless base stations and infrastructure,
closed a $176 million funding round to expand its air-to-ground
communication network. ( )

BlackArrow, a provider of advanced advertising for TV platforms, has
closed $20 million in Series C financing. ( )

Ember Corp., a provider of Zigbee components, has raised $5 million
worth of debt from specialty financiers Wellington Financial LLP. ( )

Ozmo Devices, a maker of low-power Wi-Fi PAN chips, has completed its
$10.8 million series D funding round led by Atlantic Bridge Ventures. ( )

TidalTV has raised $16 million in Series B funding, with Comcast
Interactive Capital among the investors. ( )

Widevine announced that Liberty Global, Samsung Ventures and a third
corporation have become strategic shareholders. ( )


Abry Partners is acquiring RCN in a transaction valued at $1.2 billion.
( ) ( )

ActiveVideo Networks has announced completion of an acquisition of game
company TAG Networks. ( ) ( )

Broadcom has completed the acquisition of EPON supplier Teknovus for
$123 million. ( ) ( )

CenturyLink is acquiring Qwest Communications in a deal worth
approximately $10.6 billion. ( ) ( )

Google is buying software developer Global IP Solutions (GIPS) for $68
million. GIPS develops software for IP voice and video communications. ( ) ( )

Motorola has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SecureMedia, a
developer of digital rights management (DRM) and security systems for IP
video distribution and management. Terms were not disclosed.

Tekelec has agreed to acquire policy control company Camiant and has
completed the acquisition of subscriber data management company
Blueslice Networks. ( ) (
) ( )

Walmart is acquiring VUDU, Inc., a provider of technologies and services
for delivery of entertainment directly to TVs and connected consumer
electronics devices. ( ) ( )

Other News

BSkyB launched its 3D channel Sky 3D
( in April. The channel reaches
more than 1,000 pubs and clubs in the United Kingdom and is focusing on
high-profile soccer matches. The 3D service is initially available only
in pubs and clubs, but will be launched to residential customers in the
fall. Sky offers the 3D channel for free to any pub or commercial venue
that takes its highest movies and sports package and plans to use the
same approach when it launches a residential channel. Sky has more than
2 million high-definition subscribers in the UK and Ireland and plans to
provide the 3D capable Sky+ HD box as standard to all new and upgrading
customers. ( )

Brightcove has teamed with Ping Identity to provide an open
standards-based user authentication and authorization system. Its goal
is to enable programming providers to offer TV Everywhere compatible
television services. ( ) ( )

CableLabs and Canoe Ventures completed the EBIF IO6 specification which
provides a uniform technical baseline for unbound applications and other
interactive television features. The two organizations have also
announced a formal partnership between Canoe Ventures Innovation Lab and
CableLabs’ AdLab for a joint testing program. (
) ( )
Comcast is rebranding all of its cable services as Xfinity, starting in
11 cities. By the end of 2010, Xfinity will be the Comcast brand name in
the majority of its markets, using the names Xfinity TV, Xfinity Voice
and Xfinity Internet. ( )

Google Energy, a subsidiary of Google, has been authorized by the US
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to buy and sell electricity
in bulk at market-based rates. This will allow Google to better manage
its own energy costs, and opens the possibility that it can add
"electricity marketer" to its inventory of services. ( ) ( )

Thomson, Technicolor's French parent, has reorganized and changed the
name of the entire conglomerate to Technicolor. ( )

Standards and Organizations

Open IPTV Forum

The Open IPTV Forum has signed liaison agreements with the Digital
Living Network Alliance (DLNA), the Digital Video Broadcasting Project
(DVB) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in
order to further drive for an interoperable end-to-end IPTV solution for
managed network and open Internet deployments in the global market. The
agreements allow for the regular exchange of information, the
participation of observers and joint promotion in areas of mutual
interest which center around all aspects of IPTV services delivered via
managed networks, the open Internet and the home network. ( ) ( ) ( )
( )

Broadcasters Form Mobile TV Alliance

A story in the NAB Show Daily
( reported that twelve major
broadcast groups announced the formation of a joint venture to develop a
national US mobile content service. Utilizing existing broadcast
spectrum, the service will allow member companies to provide content to
mobile devices, including live and on-demand video, local and national
news from print and electronic sources, as well as sports and
entertainment programming.

Broadcast spectrum for the new service will come from three
owned-and-operated station groups and nine local broadcast groups. The
local broadcasters formed Pearl Mobile DTV Company LLC as a vehicle for
their involvement in the venture.

In addition to spectrum, the partners will contribute content, marketing
resources and capital to the new venture, which will use ATSC-M/H, an
open broadcast transmission system developed by the Advanced Television
Systems Committee specifically for mobile devices.

WiMax 2 Collaboration Initiative

Intel announced the WiMax 2 Collaboration Initiative (WCI)
, a collaboration with companies including Samsung, Motorola, Alvarion,
Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Sequans and ZTE to accelerate the development
of standards and devices surrounding WiMax 2 technology. This next
generation of WiMax mobile broadband technology, built upon IEEE
802.16m, is billed as a 'true' 4G iteration, since it will be able to
burst past the IMT-defined 300Mbit/s. ( )

OneVoice becomes VoLTE

The Voice over LTE (VoLTE) initiative
( , a
successor to OneVoice, has gained consensus among a long list of backers
to address mobile interconnection and roaming challenges. Specifications
are expected as early as the first quarter of 2011. Backers include
AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile, KDDI, NTT Docomo, Orange,
SKT, SoftBank, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Verizon
Wireless and Vodafone, and vendors like Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson,
Huawei, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Qualcomm, Samsung
and Sony Ericsson are on board.

WHDI Consortium Adds 3G

The WHDI Consortium has announced that WHDI 2.0, the next version of its
Wireless Home Digital Interface standard, includes support for 3-D. WHDI
provides an uncompressed wireless HDMI connection between video devices
such as set-top boxes and flat-panel TVs. They say the new specification
will be available in the middle of next year, but early products based
on the updated version may be demonstrated at CES in January. ( )

ZigBee Health Care

The ZigBee Board of Directors has ratified ZigBee Health Care and made
the standard publicly available. ZigBee Health Care is an open standard
for interoperable, low-power wireless devices enabling secure monitoring
and management of noncritical, low-acuity healthcare services. It is
targeted at chronic disease management, eldercare, wellness, in-patient
and asset tracking. It supports thousands of devices on a single network
and provides full support for IEEE 11073 devices, making each device
eligible for FDA certification. ( ).

Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends

Briefly Noted

Each issue, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or
observations you might have missed. These briefs focus on broadband and
IPTV growth, Internet-connected TVs, interactive TV, and more.

Strong Broadband and IPTV Growth in 2009

Point Topic reported that 58 million additional lines of broadband
technology were added in 2009, with annual growth over 14%. There are
now more than 466.95 million broadband customers in the world.

IPTV also had a strong year, adding over 10.8 million subscribers. By
year-end 2009, there were more than 33 million IPTV customers- an annual
increase of 47%. The Asian market showed the strongest growth with Asia
now accounting for 39% of the broadband market and 32% of the IPTV
market. ( )
Internet-connected TVs Gaining Traction

Over a quarter of U.S. TVs purchased at the start of 2010 were linked to
the Internet, according to iSuppli's U.S. TV Consumer Preference
Analysis service. U.S. consumers indicated their sets were connected to
the Internet either though internal TV capabilities, or via external
devices, such as digital video boxes or game consoles. The survey showed
that a growing percentage of connected sets have built-in Internet
connections and thin client support capabilities. ( )

Cutting the Cord

The National Center for Health Statistics survey
found that almost one quarter of US homes subscribe only to cell phone
service, while an additional 15% have landlines but almost never use
them. Interestingly, this goes way beyond the "under-30" demographic: in
the last 6 months of 2009, the majority of wireless-only adults (59.2%)
were aged 30 and over.

Seniors Increasingly Online

Neilsen recently reported
that senior citizens (those over age 65) actively using the Internet
increased over 55% between November 2004 and November 2009, from 11.3
million to 17.5 million. These seniors are spending more time online and
the growth by women has outpaced growth by men by six percentage points.

BuNGee Jumping in Europe

BuNGee is a new European mobile broadband initiative, largely funded by
€4.7 million from the European Commission. Its full name is Beyond
Next-Generation Mobile Broadband and its aim is a tenfold increase of
mobile broadband infrastructure capacity density. The project will
identify new network deployment strategies suited for dense urban
environments. Dr. Ze’ev Roth,CTO, Alvarion, will serve as the
consortium’s project coordinator. ( )

Time Warner and Verizon Expand "TV Everywhere"

In a joint press release
, Time Warner and Verizon announced a deal for Time Warner to provide
key content to Verizon FiOS TV customers. Customers who subscribe to
both FiOS TV and FiOS Internet will be able to receive the same HD
content on their PCs at home or away, using any broadband connection.
The companies said they plan to bring the content to mobile devices in
the near future. ( ) (

SelecTV Chosen as US Cable's ITV Brand

A news release last month
said that Canoe’s efforts to develop an interactive digital television
platform were bolstered when MSOs Bright House Networks, Cablevision,
Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner joined with the
Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB), the Cable & Telecommunications
Association for Marketing (CTAM), CableLabs and national advertising and
programming partners to launch SelecTV, a single, nationwide ITV brand
that “promises a seamless and secure interaction between the viewer, the
cable company and the programmer, advertiser or content provider across
all major U.S. cable systems.”

Wi-Di Moving from Laptops to Handhelds
Intel's Wi-Di wireless display technology
, currently available on PCs with Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 chips, is
targeting mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, although they
have not provided a specific timeframe in which this will happen. Wi-Di
technology allows wireless transmission of images and video from Intel
PCs to a high-definition TV screen.

Wi-Di involves software that uses the graphics capabilities inside
Intel's Core processors and a wireless chipset to create a
point-to-point Wi-Fi connection between the TV set and the user device.
The software automates the process of transmitting images from the PC to
the TV. The technology will also become available in laptops in China
and Europe soon.

2011: A Critical Year for Wired Networking

In 2002, we ran a series of tests of HomePlug, a new (at the time)
industry-defined standard for home networking over existing power lines.
We were impressed by HomePlug's performance -- comparable with Wi-Fi at
that time, and more consistent around our house.

As we were conducting these tests, we said to each other "We got it! Buy
any device, plug it in, and it's networked!" Surely it wouldn't be long
before every device with a power cord would be networked over the power
line; Wi-Fi would be used only for portable battery-operated devices.
Our article in September 2002 was headlined HomePlug Powerline
Networking - Getting ready for prime time

Eight years later, nearly all mobile devices that would benefit from
networking -- laptop PCs, smart phones, iPads and more - come with Wi-Fi
built in. By contrast, most fixed-location devices -- such as desktop
PCs and the latest TVs -- still have only Ethernet. It's up to the
unsuspecting buyer to figure our how to get them connected to the home

Wi-Fi has succeeded because the key players in wireless networking were
able to agree very early on a single standard: IEEE 802.11, branded as
Wi-Fi. The chip companies promoting other wireless approaches swallowed
their pride and rallied around Wi-Fi well before most consumers realized
they needed home networking. What was the payoff? A recent headline
reads "Wi-Fi IC Shipments Could Top 770 Million in 2010".

Networking over existing wiring has underperformed because the players
have never been able to agree on much of anything. Chip companies have
lined up in opposing camps, each seemingly more focused on beating the
other camp -- or their competitors in the same camp -- than on growing
the pie to benefit everybody. Devices from one camp often interfere with
those from another camp. Consumers can't tell them apart.

The result? Total IC shipments are only a tiny fraction of those for
Wi-Fi. Very few consumer-purchased devices come equipped with any form
of existing-wiring networking. One of the networking camps thought it
was impressive to put out a press release proclaiming "Experts Agree: 10
Million ... Connected Homes by 2013."

This may be about to change. Most of the chip companies have aligned
around two emerging standards: IEEE P1901 and ITU-T These are very
different standards, with no requirements for interoperability between
them. But they are designed so as not to interfere with each other if
both are installed in the home.

Chip makers say ICs for both standards will be on the market this year,
with early devices shown at CES next January. Telephone companies - the
primary supporters of - are poised to place orders for delivery
next year. Consumer electronics companies may be getting ready to place
bets on which standards to adopt for Internet-connected TVs and video
media adapters.

This should all come to a head by the end of this year. We think next
year will prove to be critical for the future of wired home networking.

Battle of the SDOs

Wired home networking has long suffered from fragmentation, with five
different technology camps competing for dominance over existing
electrical, coax, and phone wiring. Most of these technology camps have
now lined up with either IEEE P1901 or ITU-T

Until now, "standards" for networking over existing wiring came from
industry consortia. By contrast, the IEEE and the ITU are
long-established highly-respected standards development organizations
(SDOs). Both have developed thousands of internationally-accepted formal

Large service providers are moving toward wide-scale deployment of
triple-play services. They view networking over existing wiring as far
preferable to pulling new wires or using Wi-Fi. Both P1901 and are
directed to large-scale purchases by service providers. The stakes are
high, and all technology camps and their backers are gearing up.

At CES in January, we met with representatives of these camps and their
key member companies. We recently followed up by phone to get an update
on the current status and the outlook for 2011.

IEEE P1901
The IEEE P1901 Working Group brought together key members of two of the
powerline camps (HomePlug and HD-PLC), along with many other industry
representatives, to create a comprehensive standard for Broadband over
Powerline (BPL). The P1901 standard includes detailed mechanisms for
both BPL access to the home and BPL networking in the home. The camps
were unable to agree on a single physical layer (PHY) approach, so P1901
includes two distinct PHY layers (one from each camp) with a common
upper MAC layer.

Since the two PHY layers would interfere with each other if they were
not coordinated, P1901 includes a coexistence mechanism that permits
both PHYs to operate in the same house, sharing the potential bandwidth
of the powerline wiring while gracefully deferring to each other. This
coexistence protocol - Inter System Protocol (ISP) - is also explicitly
designed to coexist with and with BPL used for broadband access to
the home. P1901 envisions the possibility of four non-interoperable PHYs
sharing the power wiring, with ISP keeping them out of each other's way.

At CES, we met with Rob Ranck of the HomePlug Alliance; we recently
followed up on the phone. Much of our discussion concerned the progress
of P1901 and its market impact.

The P1901 standard is very nearly finished. It passed its Sponsor Ballot
in April 2010; the IEEE website says "Approval of P1901 as an IEEE
standard is targeted for September 2010". The draft standard is
available for purchase from the IEEE Website.

The HomePlug Alliance appears to be preparing to take on the role of
certifying P1901 products. In April, HomePlug announced that it is
working with HD-PLC on a "joint certification program" to test
coexistence between the two PHY technologies within P1901, and said an
interoperability "plugfest" had been scheduled for May 2010 "to certify
the first compliant silicon chips."

ITU-T Forum

ITU-T brought together key members of two other camps (HomePNA and
UPA), along with other industry players, to work out an ambitious
specification for an "every wire" standard designed to operate over all
existing wiring: powerline, phoneline, and coax. Aiming at a higher
performance level than existing technologies, did not adopt an
existing protocol, but rather designed a new approach based on elements
drawn from all the existing camps.

HomeGrid Forum, a trade group formed to promote, aspires to play
the same role for that the Wi-Fi Alliance plays for IEEE 802.11.
Its members include many companies active in the standards
development. It is already actively promoting and is working to
develop the certification testing process.

At CES, we met with a group representing HomeGrid, including Matt Theall
of Intel, Mike Coop, John Egan of DS2, and Mario Finocchiaro of Aware.
They said the standard was nearly done; indeed, the last pieces
were consented in Geneva the following week and were approved in June
2010. At CES we also met separately with Michael Weissman, now VP
Corporate Marketing at Sigma Designs. We met with Michael at the recent
Cable Show, and talked on the phone with Matt.

Many silicon vendors are working on chips. DS2, Sigma and Lantiq
are well along. DS2 and Sigma promise to have samples ready by the
summer and fall. Matt says working interoperable devices should be shown
at CES next year and that many more chips are "in development."

Earlier this week, HomeGrid and The Broadband Forum announced that they
were collaborating on the global certification and interoperability
program for

MoCA - "The Killer App is Multi-room DVR"

MoCA -- the fifth technology camp -- is not supporting either P1901 or Instead it is continuing on its own, and developing its own
second-generation specification, MoCA 2.0.

We recently talked on the phone with Vinay Gokhale, SVP of Marketing and
Business Development at Entropic Communications, the company that
founded MoCA. Vinay described multi-room DVR as "the killer app". He
said multi-room DVR has "really started in a big way" in North America
-- and most video service providers use MoCA to connect set top boxes
between rooms.
 - Verizon has long included MoCA in its FIOS set top boxes. MoCA
   provides the basis for the FIOS multi-room DVR service, launched
   nearly four years ago.
 - In January, DIRECTV announced that it had chosen Entropic's MoCA
   chips for its new line of set top boxes designed for "multi-room
   viewing". DIRECTV has now launched its "Whole-Home DVR Service".
 - Not to be left behind, the three largest US cable operators are well
   along too. Cox launched its own "Whole-Home DVR Service" in May.
   Comcast has been testing its AnyRoom DVR service in a few markets and
   is expected to roll it out later this year. Time Warner Cable has
   announced plans for multi-room DVR. All are based on MoCA.

Vinay said that Broadcom's support for MoCA had played "an important
role" -- it helped the video service providers "get comfortable" by
having a major chip company as a second source. "Service providers take
comfort from multi-source vendors; costs can be controlled."

We asked Vinay if he was concerned about competition from He said was at least two years away from market. Nearly all major North
American video providers have now committed to MoCA. MoCA has become "a
self-fulfilling prophecy" -- it's "much more difficult to deploy without

And MoCA 2.0 isn't far away. Earlier this week, MoCA announced the
ratification of the 2.0 specification. It offers "Basic" and "Enhanced"
modes that promise 2X and 4X the performance of MoCA 1.1, with full
back-compatibility with the earlier 1.0 and 1.1. It includes low-power
modes for energy efficiency, and higher-performance modes for
point-to-point applications. Soon after the announcement, Entropic's CTO
Tom Lookabough told us we should expect to see interoperable "MoCA 2.0
devices in volume by the beginning of 2012."

HomePlug "AV2" and "AV Turbo"

While P1901 and are moving toward the market, HomePlug and its
member chip companies are not standing still.

While focusing much of its attention on the benefits of P1901, the
HomePlug Alliance is continuing to work on the second generation of AV,
called "AV2". When AV2 was announced, HomePlug said it would far exceed
the performance of while maintaining back compatibility with
today's AV. Rob Ranck recently told us that HomePlug was “insuring AV2
is true next-generation” technology.

Meanwhile, Atheros, Sigma Designs and Gigle have introduced chips that
claim to perform much better than HomePlug AV while still maintaining
back compatibility with AV devices.

We asked Rob about these devices when we talked with him recently. He
observed that this was the same way 802.11g transitioned to 802.11n -
with a lot of "turbo" chips.

In an announcement late last week, Sigma explained how they boost
powerline performance. They said that their new HomePlug AV chips use
MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) -- the same technique used in
802.11n Wi-Fi -- to get much better performance than competing chipsets.
They said MIMO will also be used in their chips expected later this

The Outlook for 2011

We've written many times about what we term "whole home networking" --
integrated networking for digital voice, video and data. The need for
data networking became clear as consumers needed to connect multiple PCs
to the Internet. But the need for video networking was less obvious
until IPTV, multi-room DVR, and Internet-connected TVs came along.

Now all video service providers - most also broadband service providers
- see the need for whole home networking, and are trying to decide which
technology(-ies) to deploy. Pulling new wires is time-consuming and
expensive. Wi-Fi can't reliably and consistently handle multiple streams
of high-definition video across an entire house. Service providers want
to use existing wires to deliver digital data, video and soon telephony.

In North America, where nearly every home already has coaxial cabling
between all the TV sets, it's an easy decision to use the same cables
for digital video services. Verizon and most cable operators have chosen
to use MoCA; AT&T and some smaller telcos have chosen HomePNA and say
they expect to move to when it is ready. Many have used Wi-Fi and
HomePlug for data networking.

Outside the US, many telcos have deployed Internet and IPTV services
using either specialized Wi-Fi equipment or powerline with HomePlug AV,
UPA, or HD-PLC. In markets where most homes already have coax, cable
operators and telcos are likely to choose MoCA now or wait for
Many telephone companies participated in the ITU's effort, and have
announced their intention to deploy it.

If the chip makers meet their projected schedules, they will show
interoperable prototype devices based on two or three different chips by
the end of this year. These early devices promise performance better
than HomePlug AV and MoCA. Some will provide back-compatibility with
HomePNA, UPA, or HomePlug AV, providing a migration path for the many
telcos who have deployed these earlier technologies. If achieves
these objectives, many leading telcos are likely to deploy devices
for both IPTV and data networking. This would create a big market for chips and devices.

This opportunity has caught the attention of some big chip companies.
Until recently, the existing-wiring networking business was the province
of small early-stage fabless chip companies. Now some of the world's
largest semiconductor companies sense a big opportunity for chips --
first in devices for telcos, then in all networked consumer electronics
devices. Some of these big companies have lined up behind standards:
 - Intel (#1 in 2009 global semiconductor sales) and TI (#4) are backing
   HomeGrid/, as is Lantiq (recently spun out of #11 Infineon)
 - STMicroelectronics (#5) is backing HomePlug (and by extension P1901)
 - Broadcom (#14) is backing MoCA

Several large chip makers are already Promoter members of HomeGrid
Forum. If the telcos announce plans to place large orders, more chip
makers will see the opportunity and commit to producing chips -- or
SoCs incorporating along with other functionality. This will drive
BoM costs down, lowering the price of retail devices, and providing a
path for Internet-connected TVs and other video devices.

If the chip makers fall short, HomePlug chip makers will be
delighted to show the telcos P1901 and "AV turbo" solutions which
outperform AV while providing back-compatibility, and are deliverable
now in quantity. MoCA will try to build on its North American success to
capture market share where there's significant coax penetration.

By 2011, it should be clear whether will get the lion's share of
the global existing-wiring market -- or whether P1901 and MoCA will be
free to dominate the market.

What About the Consumer?

At every powerline display at CES 2010, we saw consumer electronics
insiders surprised at the novel idea of using powerline to connect media
devices. Many seemed to think there was a Wi-Fi antenna hidden somewhere
inside. Powerline has been around a long time, but most people still
don't get it.

While the Wi-Fi Alliance focused much of its early efforts on educating
consumers on the benefits of using wireless for home networking, none of
the existing-wiring camps has invested any significant effort to
building consumer awareness. Our recent discussions with all the
existing-wiring players revealed that their efforts continue to be
focused on wooing the service providers and bashing each other. If
existing-wiring networking is ever to achieve its true potential in the
broadband home, they'll need to shift their attention to the consumer.

For More Information

We have written about home networking since the first issue of this
newsletter more than ten years ago. Our Topical Index: Home Networking
( provides access
to our articles on all aspects of home networking, organized by
 - We wrote about the competing powerline standards and P1901 in
   Powerline Networking--War of the Standards
   (BBHR 4/12/2007)
 - We first wrote about in The Everywire Standard: and
   HomeGrid Forum
   (BBHR 5/15/2008). Following CES 2009, we provided an update on
   and HomeGrid
   (BBHR 3/16/2009).
 - In Skeptics: "Nobody Needs Another Incompatible
   we reported on why MoCA and HomePlug don't think is needed.
 - Nears Approval -- The Battle Continues
   (BBHR 10/18/09) described the ongoing battle between and its
   opponents backing HomePlug and MoCA.

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
Ford SYNC--"A Simpler Way to Connect"

Eight years ago, we wrote about
the craziness of having to read a manual to figure out how to operate
our new car radio. That problem paled in comparison with another car we
read about at the same time, which came with "a set of instructions for
the owner to hand a valet, so that a bewildered parking attendant can
figure out how to move the car!".

Since that time, we've entered the age of devices like iPhones and iPads
which many people have embraced as part of their lives. Everyone wants
to be connected everywhere.

MyFord Touch Driver Connect Technology -- Using Personal Technology

Ford Motor Company believes they have a solution to the increasing
complexity of a car's communications, navigation, entertainment and
control technologies. At CES in January we met with Doug VanDagens,
Director of Ford Connected Service Solutions to talk about Ford's
approach to helping drivers stay connected.

At CES Ford announced MyFord Touch "Driver Connect Technology," which
aims to:

 - Facilitate drivers' use of their personal electronics in their cars.
 - Integrate control of personal devices with those native to the car,
   like climate control.
 - Do it in a way that is simple and intuitive to use.
 - Do it in a way that puts the highest premium on driver safety.

Ford's SYNC system (based upon the Microsoft Auto operating system) is
the integrated operating system for Ford vehicles. MyFord Touch is a
user interface layered on top of SYNC to replace many of the car's
traditional buttons, knobs and gauges. Inputs can occur in multiple ways
including voice command, touch screens and five-way buttons like those
found on today's consumer electronics devices. The system includes a
media hub with multiple inputs and a multifunction touch screen which
can display entertainment, navigation, phone and climate control

Ford expects users to connect their own personal devices, such as mobile
phones, MP3 players, USB drives and SD cards when in their car.
Connectivity includes a USB-connected broadband modem for in-car
Internet access and a Wi-Fi hot spot for passengers.

Doug emphasized that safety is a primary concern, so Ford's goal is to
make the experience as distraction-free as possible. For example, the
in-dash touch-screen display can only be used for video and Web browsing
when the car is in Park.

The screens can be personalized for different drivers. Settings can be
downloaded to a USB drive and imported into another MyFord equipped
vehicle to transfer driver preferences.

The service allows drivers to operate most MP3 players,
Bluetooth-enabled phones and USB drives using voice commands. Additional
features include turn-by-turn navigation, realtime traffic updates and
business search tools.

With a capable electronic base in place, Ford can add features such as
asking the car to suggest the most fuel-efficient route. It does so by
using historical data to determine roads that are most likely to let
drivers maintain a consistent speed, thus cutting down gas consumption.

The SYNC in-car communications and infotainment system is standard on
all 2010 Lincoln models and available on select 2010 Ford and Mercury

GM OnStar - Focus on Emergency Support

A recent NY Times Article
drew an interesting comparison between Ford's approach with SYNC and
General Motors's OnStar strategy. The article points out that although
the systems handle many of the same functions, the original intent of
the two systems was quite different. OnStar was designed as an emergency
response system; SYNC's impetus was to entertain and inform.

The communications mechanisms used by the two companies illustrate the
philosophical split. While Ford relies on using the driver's own mobile
phone as the communications link, GM believes a built-in phone is
essential to its system. Some of the trade-offs have to do with cost and
upgradeability. The useful lifetime of a car can be much longer than
that of a mobile phone, and GM has had to deal with several generations
of technology shifts and obsolescence.

The pricing models are also quite different. As the Times article
pointed out: "SYNC is standard on Lincolns and on the highest trim level
version of each Ford and Mercury model. It’s a $395 option on most other
models. Customers must elect to activate the service, and the
subscription is free for three years. After that, car owners can
continue their full-service subscription for $5 a month....OnStar is
standard on most G.M. and all Saab cars. The first 12 months of service
are free. After that, service is $18.95 per month for a basic package or
$28.90 a month" for an expanded package of information services.

When GM first introduced OnStar in 1996, few mass-market consumers were
comfortable with mobile phones and digital media technologies. Now PCs
and broadband are in most homes, navigation systems in most cars, iPods
in many people's hands, and smartphones growing fast. Ford's approach
seems better tuned to the times.

Since we both drive older cars and don't buy new ones very often, we
haven't had the opportunity to test either of these systems. Until we
actually experience it, we can't reach any conclusions about whether the
Ford system we saw at CES is as intuitive as it appeared, and whether it
accomplishes its goal of making it easier for drivers to do the things
they were going to do anyway--like listening to music and making phone
calls--with less distraction than they currently experience.

We'd welcome comments from any readers who have had personal experience
with these systems.

( ) ( ) (
The Evolution of TV--Now It's 3D

First black-and-white turned into color. Then standard-definition TV
became High Definition. Next came Internet-connected TVs, with 3D sets
following closely on their heels. How many households will be ready to
open their wallets yet again, while their last TV purchase still has
plenty of time left on its warranty?

Starting with CES this past January, 3D TV has been getting ever higher
on the hype scale, as people take their turns using special glasses to
see what all the fanfare is about.

The 3D demos gave Sandy a headache -- in two different ways. The first
was literally--many of the demos made her want to reach for the
Excedrin. (Sandy wasn't the only one--we asked a young techie in another
booth what he thought of all the 3D hype, and he said the same thing.)

After Sandy's CES experience, she was a little concerned about how she
would react to Avatar in 3D in a theater. She had no problems with
headache or eye discomfort, suggesting that it would be prudent for
prospective 3D set buyers to try them out on all the members of a family
before putting up the money for what will initially be premium-priced

The second headache was trying to wrap her mind around a striking
contradiction at the show. On the show floor, manufacturers seemed
committed to bringing 3D sets to market, and the content industry is
driving to create new revenue streams. At the same time, the technical
discussions focused on the many 3D issues yet to be resolved: the
multiplicity of possible ways to create, send and render 3D; translating
the 3D theater experience to the home environment; resolving the many
types of incompatible glasses; avoiding eyestrain and vertigo; and more.

To help sort out what is happening across these various efforts, many
companies have joined a consortium called 3D@Home
( . This consortium does not set standards, but
is acting to help coordinate efforts by working with each of these
organizations. It has published some helpful white papers, such as 3D
Stereo Rendering: New Processing & Perception Challenges
published in May 2010.

At the May Cable Show in LA, a session called "Depth Perceptions:
Technical Approaches For 3D Video Integration" moderated by Comcast's
Tony Werner did little to allay Sandy's concerns about how fast the
industry is rushing into a sea of unsolved problems. One of the most
enlightening, because of the accompanying visuals, was Mark Schubin’s
presentation from his paper What 3D Is And Why It Matters
( in the
Technical Forum Proceedings.

Schubin pointed out that a stereoptic image pair is only one cue in
human depth perception; other cues include one object blocking another,
objects getting larger and sharper as you move closer to them, and
muscle feedback from aiming and focusing the eyes. Inconsistency in
these cues is a major source of eyestrain and vertigo. He discussed many
issues in 3D video production, and observed that while it's easy to
produce 3D, it's hard to produce good 3D. There's much more on Mark's
blog SchubinCafe ( .

While technology is expected to advance to the point where special 3D
glasses will not be required, 3D now depends on many different types of
glasses using a variety of different technologies. "Active" glasses have
a built-in electronic shutter synchronized by the TV to the left and
right images. "Passive" glasses use a variety of techniques including
color and polarization. Active glasses are said to provide better 3D but
are rather expensive. Some glasses work on only one model or brand of
TV, others on multiple models.

None of these unresolved technical issues have deterred the drumbeat of
3D announcements. LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have started selling
3D TVs. ESPN and Discovery/Sony/IMAX have announced 3D channels. DirecTV
and Sky are launching 3D, as is Cablevision (a cable provider in the New
York City area); not to be outdone, Verizon says it will offer 3D
service over FiOS TV later this year. Avail-TVN will join the party by
offering a mix of linear and on-demand 3D content to cable, satellite,
and telco operators later this year.

Motorola announced a set-top technology that they say solves one of the
major problems with 3-D television: the need to switch seamlessly
between 2D and 3D TV while keeping channels and menu screens clearly
viewable. Motorola says new software for its DCX line of set-top boxes
automatically detects the presence of 3D content and identifies the type
of 3D format required for proper delivery and display on the 3D TV.

Although technology and standards are always interesting, the key
ingredient in 3D TV will be what the user wants and is willing to pay
for. We do wonder if 3D is rushing to market before it's really ready
for prime time. We'll soon see how the 3D theater experience translates
to the home.

( )
The US National Broadband Plan

In March 2010, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the
National Broadband Plan. Most other industrialized nations have adopted
such plans and many are ahead of the US in broadband penetration. Over
the past decade the FCC has spoken eloquently about the importance of
broadband, but squandered its energy picking fights with the incumbent
providers and promoting impractical broadband technologies.

The US has a vibrant competitive broadband industry. As the FCC plan
points out, broadband (at 4 Mbps or better) is already available to 95%
of the US population, with more than 80% in markets with more than one
provider. While many other country’s broadband plans were devoted to
bringing fixed-line broadband to consumer homes, the FCC’s plan is
focused on the future.

Over the next ten years, the FCC plan aims to push actual broadband
download speeds for most homes to 100 Mbps, with 50 Mbps as an
intermediate goal. The FCC recognizes that the incumbent broadband
providers are already rolling out higher-speed facilities, the cable
industry with DOCSIS 3.0, the telephone companies with fiber.

The FCC recognizes that mobile broadband has the potential to inspire
innovation as great as that from fixed broadband, and that the US will
be at a severe competitive disadvantage if it fails to encourage the
rapid and widespread deployment of 4G and other mobile broadband
services. The plan recommends making 500 MHz of additional spectrum
available quickly to support the projected rapid growth of
next-generation devices and applications. It also recommends the
repurposing of some little-used existing spectrum. To this end, the FCC
has created an open spectrum dashboard
( to make
current spectrum allocation far more transparent.

The FCC is concerned about families left out of broadband due to
availability or cost. Because "not having access to broadband
applications limits an individual’s ability to participate in 21st
century American life," the plan aims to provide universal broadband
access at a minimum download speed of 4 Mbps by 2020. To extend
broadband access to “high-cost areas” not currently served by fixed-line
broadband facilities, the FCC proposes to shift funding from the
long-standing Universal Access Fund and inter-carrier compensation

The FCC has come up with a comprehensive and well-thought-through plan.
While the FCC could be criticized for trying to cover too many bases,
and understating the importance of wireline broadband, it is properly
trying to make up for lost time.

For More Information

 - The FCC plan can be read online or downloaded at the FCC's
   Broadband.Gov ( website.
 - Our "Two Sides to Every Story" column in the current (June 2010)
   issue of Broadband Library (
   contains our analysis of the pros and cons of the FCC plan (see pages

( )
Upcoming Conferences

Seventh Annual Healthcare Unbound Conference & Exhibition

The Seventh Annual Healthcare Unbound Conference will take place on July
19-20, 2010 at the US Grant Hotel in San Diego, CA. Healthcare Unbound
has been defined as "technology in, on and around the body that frees
care from formal institutions." The focus of this year's event is the
networks, platforms and applications for technology-enabled
participatory medicine. The program will have a strong focus on the use
of remote monitoring, home telehealth, mHealth, eHealth and social media
for chronic care management and wellness promotion. It will provide an
opportunity for networking with high-level executives and clinicians
from across the US and abroad. ( )

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Please send your comments and feedback regarding this report to 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
June 17, 2010

(c) 2010 System Dynamics Inc. All Rights Reserved