Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Making High-Definition Home Networks Easy: A Special Session Hosted by Pulse~LINK

Summary information from Day 2: CONNECTIONS™ May 2007, hosted in Santa Clara, CA.

Making High-Definition Home Networks Easy: A Special Session Hosted by Pulse~LINK

Can networking HD devices actually restore simplicity for the consumer? What are the value propositions with enabling whole-home entertainment networks? A panel representing content and service providers, CE companies, and others describe HANA’s latest progress in simplifying and enhancing the HD experience for consumers.

Zephra Freeman, Home Networking Business Development Manager, Digital Interface Business, Texas Instruments, Inc.
John J. Kang, Sr. Director of Business Development, Samsung Electronics Co.
Sheau Ng, Vice President, Consumer and Broadcast Technology, NBC Universal
Paul Pantera, Sr Software Engineer, 4HomeMedia, Inc.
William (Bill) Rose, President, WJR Consulting Inc.
Bruce Watkins, Co-Founder, President/COO, Pulse~LINK, Inc.
Moderator: Harry Wang, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates

Pulse~LINK sponsored this session to discuss HANA's approach in helping consumers better enjoy HD entertainment in their homes. The session featured six panelists representing CE manufacturers, content owners, 1394 chipset makers, networking silicon manufacturers, middleware developers, and integration service providers.

Harry Wang started the session by describing consumers' frustration over the setup and delivery of networked multimedia entertainment in the home and turned to the panelists for clarification on HANA's solutions. The panelists answered questions specific to their components of HANA's specifications, how the solution works, and the benefits for consumers as well as service providers and CE manufacturers. Bill Rose from WJR Consulting emphasized the benefits to consumers of one remote control for all TVs in the home. Paul Pantera from 4HomeMedia explained how his company's solution enables the same on-screen menu for every TV in the household and that OCAP standards from the cable industry will make the UI more easily developed as the HANA framework also supports OCAP standards. John Kang from Samsung showed a remote control model from his company and said that HANA helps simplify consumer use cases with one remote/one UI concept, thus encouraging sales of networked CE nodes. Zephra Freeman from TI explained the benefits of using 1394 as a reliable in-home connectivity solution with superior throughput and a proven content protection scheme, DTCP, recognized by almost all industries, including cable. Bruce Watkins added a chipset maker's perspective, that quality-of-service features of the company's UWB chipset provide guaranteed bandwidth for video streaming in the home and the chipset design is flexible enough to be compatible with either coax or Ethernet infrastructure. Sheau Ng from NBC Universal elaborated that the content industry wants and is ready to support a solution with that is simple to use but has robust security features, all of which HANA has demonstrated.

All panelists agreed that HANA is a fast-track approach with a narrower scope than Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA). Rose commented that HANA stands to solve the most immediate needs of consumers in their living room and this focused approach will earn support from consumers. Watkins pointed out that all six companies on the panel also have seats with DLNA but they see special value in HANA's approach in tackling the critical aspect of living room entertainment. Freeman added that many components of HANA are proven technologies and they do not intend to re-invent the wheel for potential adopters. Rose provided updates on recent HANA developments – that the promoting member companies and working groups are working diligently to test technology and interoperability and that final standards will be ready for adoption in late 2007.

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