Blog Post

Home Wireless Networks Aren't Yet Ready for Video

broadcom_logoWireless networks in their current form can’t support efforts by service providers trying to deliver video inside the home. That’s according to Joe Del Rio, a senior marketing manager at Broadcom (s bcom) with whom I chatted yesterday; he said service providers are still inclined to trust wired networking standards such as Home PNA or MoCA to deliver video and entertainment content around the home. Carriers are asking for between 30 Mbps and 36 Mbps, he said — enough to deliver three uncompressed HD video streams to televisions.

But so far wireless networks can’t deliver — at least not consistently throughout an entire house. Broadcom is conducting a trial to use Wi-Fi to send content around the home as part of AT&T’s (s T) U-verse product, but can’t disclose any results yet. Wireless would help carriers install home networks faster and would cut costs, but it’s still not something carriers trust to deliver quality video streams. If a customer is paying $100 a month for IPTV service on their 52-inch plasma TV, and the picture pixelates, or otherwise experiences problems, consumers aren’t going to be as accepting as when such things happen on their PCs. So far carriers are keeping to wires even if it makes installation of IPTV setups more of a pain.

Currently Broadcom is trying to build a Wi-Fi chip that would sit inside a residential gateway and deliver 20 Mbps streams inside a home, but that still wouldn’t be enough. In the meantime, there are other companies trying to offer alternate ways to boost wireless signals inside the home for a consistent network to deliver videos. Quantenna is using a series of repeaters to boost a home’s Wi-Fi signal throughout the home, while Amimon is trying to create a home wireless video network using the 5GHz spectrum and its own standard. And even if carriers don’t like wireless home networks, it may not be up to them if the PC wins out as the source of entertainment for consumers.

9 Responses to “Home Wireless Networks Aren't Yet Ready for Video”

  1. i agree david… also there now this

    makes the worlds cable ISPs still catching up to antiquated CHEAP SOC/Chips sets and droneing on about how 11g is good look so silly.

    however i still find it a travesty that the cheap and cearful Ethernet OEMs have not seen fit to bring out any better SOC/chips for the mass SOHO markets above the now old 10/100/1000 1gig RTL type chips etc.

    they could and should already be making mass market 2,4,6 and 8gig gig low power RTL chips/PCi-E ethernet cards today with generic MS “Bonding” drivers no less, to make multi bobded etehrnet a reality for the mass home markets LANs to.
    “[Wireless Japan] IEEE to Certify Over-Gbps Wireless Communication Standard
    Jul 23, 2009 11:44

    Hiroki Yomogida, Nikkei Electronics

    “It can realize a high-speed wireless interface of more than 1Gbps with home audio-visual equipment, PCs, mobile phones and so on.

    “In the IEEE802.15.3c, data is transmitted by using multiple channels with a frequency bandwidth of 2160MHz in the band ranging from 57 to 66GHz. The standard includes the specifications of both single carrier and OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing).

    For example, when a single carrier is used, a data transmission speed of up to 3Gbps can be ensured by using QPSK (quadrature phase shift keying) as a primary modulation method and Reed-Solomon codes for error correction.

    When 16-value QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) and LDPC (low density parity check codes) are combined, the transmission rate can be as high as 5.2Gbps. Furthermore, when OFDM is used, the speed can exceed 6Gbps by combining 64-value QAM, Reed-Solomon codes and LDPC.

  2. Jesse Kopelman

    36Mbps does not equal 3 uncompressed streams. It equals 3 streams retaining the compression they had coming into the house. All HD content (including what is distributed on Blu-Ray) is compressed in some fashion, be it MPEG2 or MPEG4.

    • Mishan Aburted

      It also depends on the fuzzy definition of “HD” used in the streaming world. Blu-Ray maxes out at 48Mbits/sec, and is typically in the 20-30Mbit range for 1080p at high quality, but typical “HD” downloads from places like Netflix and iTunes use much lower bitrates and are usually 720p.

      Only DVD and a few other holdouts are still using MPEG-2. Just about everything else uses variations of MPEG-4.

  3. This article just isn’t accurate.

    Today, there are nearly one million subscribers around the world now using “smart Wi-Fi” to transport both standard and high definition IP-based video around the home without as much as a flicker.

    Our company, Ruckus Wireless, spent nearly two years developing and perfecting the ability to form and direct Wi-Fi signals so they can support multiple IP multicast streams flawlessly.

    Three years later Deutsche Telekom, Swisscom, Belgacom, Singtel, Telecom Austria ,Telefonica and many many broadband providers are actively deploying Wi-Fi to support production IPTV services. These 802.11n systems deliver 50+ Mbps (WORST CASE) throughout a 4,000 to 5,000 square foot home.

    This same technology – “Smart Wi-Fi” is now making its way into mainstream North American homes.

    These are facts.