Table of Contents For This Issue
News about People and Companies influencing The Broadband Home
Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month's briefs include more indicators of video's transformation, statistics on hotel high-speed Internet and GPS metadata for digital photos.
Consumers keep wishing for new electronics to be simpler and more usable, but technology seems to make more things possible only by adding more boxes, wires and complexity. Digital media adapters make it possible to listen to music and to view photos and videos on home theater systems, but add yet more boxes to the home. Keri Waters of Micronas tells why, as analog starts going off the air and new TVs must contain a digital tuner and digital video decoder, it makes increasing sense to incorporate the DMAs into TVs to create networked digital TV sets. The result may be more complex for the manufacturer but promises to be simpler for the end user.
How fast does broadband need to be? Our visit with satellite broadband provider WildBlue, followed by a visit with our son who recently installed the service, helped provide the answer: "a lot faster than you used to have." Wildblue targets the unserved and underserved markets that cable and DSL don't reach. It may be a niche market, but a target market of 12-15 million homes and offices isn't too shabby.
Mobile video is a big deal. MobiTV and Orb Networks are two companies with very different mental models of what consumers want and how to provide it. Orb approaches the market with the vision that customers already own and subscribe to lots of music, photos and video, and see their job as making it all easily available to the customer when she's away from home. MobiTV is more focused on the mobile phone experience and providing "snack TV" in short bursts, acting as both service/application platform and content aggregator. We recently visited both companies to learn more.
Ruckus Wireless specializes in smart antennas and smart software for improving the range and quality of wireless networks. Their initial focus was on improving the range and quality of Wi-Fi in the home. In an update with CEO Selina Lo, we learned more about their new product designed to improve performance of Metro Wi-Fi networks. Although investors and analysts thought they were crazy when they first entered the Wi-Fi home networking market, their success to date speaks for itself.
One of our readers wrote about DLNA networking latency requirements, and the issues some of the new networking technologies have in meeting them.
Peak vacation time is drawing to a close in the northern hemisphere and the conference circuit is swinging into high gear for the next several months. As you plan your conference and travel schedules, here are some conferences that sound particularly relevant to our readers. We would love to get to all of them ourselves, but doubt we'll get to Hong Kong this time around. We'll be at VON in Boston next week, UPLC's Powerline conference in Charlotte the following week and WiMAX World in Boston in October. Pack those suitcases!