We had emails about our April articles regarding Internet content on the TV ( www.broadbandhomecentral.com/report/backissues/Report0802_4.html ) and on diagnosing broadband problems ( www.broadbandhomecentral.com/report/backissues/Report0802_5.html ).
A reader from Mountain View, CA questioned our suggestion that Verizon might have the right approach by "installing a Broadband Home Router (BHR) as the central management point for all services." He recounted a story of spending "many frustrating weeks trying to get Skype to work reliably at my parents home in Wilmington, DE." His parents had installed FiOS for Internet and TV and "began to experience problems with their TV service, also from Verizon, and Verizon replaced the BHR. From that point forward any peer to peer application like Skype or Netmeeting would disconnect after 2-4 minutes. Calls to Verizon tech support were of no help except to point me to Actiontec for changing the firmware in the BHR. The one time I was able to speak to a live person at Actiontec they said it was a Verizon problem."
His sleuthing uncovered a connection with having "enabled Universal Plug and Play to connect the Slingbox for remote viewing." We won't recount all the details, but after solving the problem (by disabling UPnP) the reader concluded that "This is just another example of the industry failing to reliably connect and support all the pieces together."
Another reader talked about wanting "to have the ability to show all my photos, listen to all my music and watch all my DVDs and other Windows Media Centre content" (on the TV) but also wanting his "TV to be an additional monitor for my PC such that anything I can see on my PC monitor I want to see at the same time on my TV. My TV is far from my PC. Ideally I would also want to control my PC from the TV room with a wireless keyboard or some other such device." The note illustrates the wide variety of needs consumers have for linking the PC and TV and the difficulties inherent in today's wide selection of fragmented solutions.