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Introduction

I've made my rounds and poked and prodded and am ready to report my findings from last week's Consumer Electronics Show. One of my missions was to sort out fact from fiction for the newer home multimedia networking alternatives of HomePlug AV, UWB, MoCA and even MIMO. I can't say that I succeeded in finding truth in all cases, but I think I at least got a better sense of where things stand.

For the bottom-line oriented among you, my conclusion is that that you just might see home multimedia networking alternatives based on a ratified MoCA (coax) standard in time for this coming Christmas' buying season. But I'm skeptical as to whether the HomePlug Alliance will be able to get HomePlug AV to market this year. As you'll see in the report, however, this doesn't mean that high-speed networking products that use powerline technology won't also be "in the channel" - probably long before Christmas 2005.

The Ultra Wideband (UWB) story is that it's unlikely that we'll see UWB products for short-range connection of HD (or even standard resolution) flat-screen TVs this year. But it's definitely a possibility that you'll see the first "Wireless USB" retail products based on the OFDM flavor of UWB currently being developed by members of the MBOA.

I'd also be very surprised if any of these newer technologies were built into the gorgeous (and increasingly larger) plasma, LCD, LCOS, DLP, etc. displays, although you may see some of them embedded into "media servers", "AV centers" or networked players of various flavors. As one of my contacts put it, any manufacturer would be crazy to risk having a multi-thousand dollar piece of consumer electronics be returned, or risk even slight customer dissatisfaction because of a $10 networking module, no matter how sexy the technology used!

On to the details...

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