Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month's briefs focus on the new face of Wi-Fi, a BPL deployment in Michigan, TV broadcasters' paths to mobile TV, and the deluge of CE products in our lives.
Redesigned Wi-Fi Logo Includes 802.11n
The Wi-Fi Alliance unveiled a re-designed consumer logo for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n Draft 2.0 products, and announced the products and reference designs that will comprise its test bed for interoperability certification. [See "Draft 802.11n"--On Track for Wi-Fi Certification ( www.broadbandhomecentral.com/report/backissues/Report0702_4.html ) (BBHR 4/12/2007)] ( www.wi-fi.org )
BPL System Deploying In Michigan
utility.net, a Broadband over Power Line (BPL) network provider, in cooperation with Consumers Energy, which provides utility service to 6.5 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents, announced its production BPL system will initially deploy to 10,000 homes in and around Grand Ledge, Michigan by the end of 2007. Subsequently, Consumers Energy will grant additional service areas to utility.net, in blocks of 100,000 customers. utility.net's goal is to reach one million Michigan customers over the next several years. ( www.utility.net ) ( www.consumersenergy.com )
Making US Broadcasting Mobile
Despite the fact that mobile television is in its infancy, there are many groups developing standards and trying to protect the interests of its members. In the US, two efforts were recently announced, relative to using broadcasters' DTV broadcast channels to bring programming to mobile and handheld devices.
The Advanced Television Systems Committee is proposing to create the ATSC-M/H Standard for facilitating broadcasters’ use of their DTV broadcast channels to provide new services directly to small hand-held devices and fast moving vehicles. Broadcasters will be able to allocate a portion of their 19.39 Mbps/8-VSB signal to mobile and handheld while continuing to transmit services such as HDTV. ( www.atsc.org )
Meanwhile, nine major TV broadcasting companies established the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) "To accelerate the development of mobile digital broadcast television, and capture the full potential of the digital television spectrum in the United States." The coalition will work with the National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Advanced Technology Advocacy Committee to promote mobile digital broadcast technical standards and objectives for broadcasters, drive regulatory support and promote consumer adoption. The OMVC is open only to US broadcasters, whereas the ATSC includes both broadcasters and non-broadcasters. ( www.openmobilevideo.com )
The broadcasters join other spectrum owners in the race to see what mobile TV services consumers will want and be willing to pay for. Each group (cellular, satellite, TV, and others) is looking at their spectrum and is defining ways to use what they have.
How Many CE Products Do You Own?
[Sandy]I don't know how many CE products you own, but as I was packing my gizmos and chargers for a recent trip, I took a picture of some of the ones that travel with me. It is frightening!
According to the Consumer Electronics Association's eBrain Market Research, if you live in the US and are an "average" household, you own 25 consumer electronics (CE) products and spend $1,200 a year on them. Their 9th Annual Household and Teen CE Ownership and Market Potential Study also revealed that the top five growth sectors were digital video recorders (DVRs), network routers or hubs, MP3 players, cable modems and digital cameras. HDTV showed significant growth, with penetration now at one quarter of US homes. Some details are available in CEA's press release ( www.ce.org/Press/CurrentNews/press_release_detail.asp?id=11274 ). The complete study is available free to CEA member companies and for purchase by non-members. ( www.ebrain.org )