New Network Technologies Vie to Carry Video

LAS VEGAS--As devices that record TV--from TiVo to Windows Media Center PCs to other PCs with video-recording software--become more prevalent, the question of how to distribute all that video throughout the house looms for networking experts.

Big networking companies are already selling products designed to stream video wirelessly using 802.11g networks. But company officials acknowledge that system isn't perfect. If the signal must travel too far or deal with much interference from other networks or cordless phones, the video image can seriously degrade. Many of those same companies hope the solution will be faster Wi-Fi with better range.

But other experts argue that a real solution won't come from Wi-Fi, but rather from other systems that use wires you already have in your home--either power lines or coaxial cables. They say Wi-Fi networks, no matter how fast, are inherently susceptible to interference from other wireless networks, devices like cordless phones, and even people blocking the wireless signal. While early adopters may be willing to deal with occasional video glitches, they say, customers who have spent thousands of dollars for HDTVs or pay a subscription for television service won't tolerate stuttering images. That's why TV manufacturers and companies that provide television service are looking hard at Wi-Fi's competitors.

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News source: PCWorld

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