Home networks to go further in 2005

By Christine Ruecker Special to The China Post

“Wireless home networking systems from 2002-2004 allowed a broadband connection cable, satellite, or DSL to connect to three machines at a range of two walls or 100 feet,” said Colin Macnab, vice president of marketing and business development for Atheros Communications. “In 2005 and beyond, the range will remain the same, however the throughput and equipment connected will increase for more video and audio use.” The home networking phase began in 2001, when multiple PCs shared Internet access and printers, at a bandwidth below 1Mbps. In 2005-2006, Macnab predicts the third entertainment generation to allow HDTV content from cable, satellite, PVR to have total integration throughout a home at a robust minimum speed of 100Mbps. A successful entertainment home networking requires at least a range of 50 meters, with a minimum throughput of 100Mbps, easy use, and quality of service such as low latency or prioritized access. According to Parks Associates in 2003, among U.S. broadband Internet households, the video content from PVR to all TVs at home is the number one most demanded home entertainment network. Among those surveyed, 76 percent want to do home networking distribution without running new wires. Atheros introduced their next generation in wireless entertainment home networking, the industry’s first WLAN chipset with quality multimedia features, AR5005VA.

Its application includes connection to wireless TV, media gateway, PVR, WDVD, and STB. The quality of service improves throughput and prioritizes video streams, while jitter removals allow smooth video transmission.

The evolution of WLAN began with data networking products such as printers, laptops and cell phones. In 2004-2005 consumer electronics evolved to digital cameras, DVD players, and TVs. Macnab predicts for 2006 WLAN to look at cellular, VoIP and telematics, which include cell phones as well as cars.

With the rapid change in technology, “many WLAN producers have had a decrease in revenue quarter two this year, while Atheros has had a record revenue,” said Macnab “The typical trend for quarter three is to be slower, but at quarter four will pick up again because of the holidays in Europe and the U.S.”