Home Networking

Will Powerline Plug Installers?
December 1, 2005

HomePlug and Powerline Communications provide simple connections for complex applications that normally require whole-house wiring. But is the technology really viable? By Cliff Roth Imagine plugging a TiVo or Media Center PC into an electrical outlet and it instantly connects to the internet. Imagine plugging a TV or set-top box into an AC wall outlet in a bedroom, and it instantly and automatically connects to a media server in the living room. Imagine it also instantly connects to the living room cable or satellite box, and displays all these choices as soon as you first turn it on. Does this sound a bit

Deconstructing Builder Relationships
May 1, 2005

Home contractors are a prime source of revenue for C-tailers, systems integrators and manufacturers willing to understand the landscape By Nancy Klosek One's destined for the kitchen and the other for the living room floor, but the similarities that exist between Corian countertops and carpeting are self-evident to any home contractor. Both figure prominently on the list of needs that can be met by trusted and familiar suppliers who know the ropes in house-building. Builders can work seamlessly with such providers in an opportune fashion and then move on. But what does it take for consumer electronics integrators to make the subcontractors "A" list

Electronic Home Improvement
May 1, 2005

Smarthome taps growing consumer acceptance of home automation By Janet Pinkerton "Let's not talk about 'home automation,'" says Rajeev Kaur, vice president of sales and marketing at Smarthome. "Let's talk about 'electronic home improvement.'" Why the change in phraseology? Kaur posits that in most consumers' minds, "home automation" means "robots all over your house" and lots of alienating technology. Instead, he suggests "focusing on improving the value of the home" by adding smart lighting, security and home control. Just as remodeling a bathroom or kitchen will increase a home's value, Kaur says, "these products pay for themselves." The home automation market isn't new, notes

Process Makes Perfect
May 1, 2005

Better video at the Chip Level By Cliff Roth And then, a small revolution in video processing occurred. Instead of offering a tweak on picture tube performance, or an optional frill (like on-screen graphics that disappear after a few seconds), suddenly advanced video processing was required to generate the picture, constantly. Fixed pixel displays—that is, practically everything that isn't a CRT, including LCD, DLP, PDP, LCoS and so on—are the reason. Fixed pixel displays could handle only a single resolution—the display's "native resolution"—without video processors capable of scaling. Video Scaling Scaling is arguably the most important, and visually apparent, task that today's video

Hifi Is Dead, Long Live Music
April 1, 2005

Make digital audio files soung great, and make money doing it By Mitchell Klein Herman Cardenas was convinced digital was the way of the future. He knew that delivering encoded audio in its native digital format was the most logical means of sending music to remote locations around the house, and IP (Internet Protocol) was the way to get it there. His flush-mount IP concept was introduced at CEDIA Expo four years ago, drawing all kinds of quizzical looks. MP3 streamed direct to a speaker? How absurd! Who would ever want to do something so silly? Herman stayed his course, spending the next four

February 3, 2003

The a-b-gs of Wireless Networking By David Dritsas Nothing is hotter in CE networking right now than wireless. Hard-wired Ethernet is still a dominant technology, of course, and rightfully so. But wireless networking's popularity, courtesy of the 802.11 spec, is exploding everywhere, and end-users are voting with their dollars. As the interest in this technology grows, vendors are looking beyond the PC as the core application. Wireless has already established itself in distributed audio applications, and video won't be far behind. As the technology gets faster and better at its job, wireless is bound to be requested by your customers even more frequently

Software Spotlight ? HomeSeer
February 1, 2003

HomeSeer 1.6 Automation Software By Ron Goldberg It's hard not to give X10 technology the props it deserves, not only for lasting this long, but for evolving over the years. Annoying pop-up Web ads aside, in many ways, X10 is still as cutting-edge as it was in the mid-1970s, when it was controlling Accutrac turntables and introducing America to the idea of simple home automation. Despite the general perception of X10 as a medium that's too limiting for larger-scale applications, the technology continues to be a powerful and relevant force for affordable home control. Because X10 has been around for so long, the technology

Shopping for a Home Network
December 1, 2002

Competing with Office Superstores After years of preaching the virtues of residential home networking to a market that wasn't ready for them, custom installers can finally take heart that the technology has gone mainstream. For many jobs, particularly new constructions, a network isn't even questioned anymore. But for existing constructions, the market opportunity that installers have waited for all these years may be changing at Internet speed. Consumers are being told that setting up a network in their home is an easy business. Broadband providers are sending them self-installation kits to route DSL and cable modems. CE manufacturers are promising plug-and-play capabilities through simple,