October 19, 2006 -- At the Connected@Home conference in San Diego, Pulse~LINK, Inc., a developer of UWB platforms for whole-home High Definition (HD) multimedia connectivity, conducted a public demonstration of high data rate HD video transmissions using both 1394 (Firewire/iLink) and Ethernet simultaneously over the same coaxial cable. The demonstration featured Pulse~LINK's CWavechipset implemented in Mini-PCI card form.
"This is a major breakthrough for service providers, set-top box manufactures, and virtually all CE companies who want HD content moved around the home," comments Bruce Watkins, president and COO of Pulse~LINK. "Each of these interface standards have important attributes for the digital home. With our CWave products, both 1394 and Ethernet are simultaneously supported by the same chipset across the same physical network."
According to Pulse~LINK, service providers and industry groups see use of existing in-home coaxial cable as a logical backbone for whole-home multimedia and data networks whereby movies, music, and data located on any device in the home can be easily accessed from any other location within the home. Coaxial cable is ideal as a digital distribution backbone for multimedia content throughout the home, since coax is already deployed in a significant majority of households. The company says its CWave chipset's ability to seamlessly merge both coax and wireless connections into one hybrid network addresses many shortcomings that wireless technologies alone have been unable to overcome, including reliable coverage, security, quality of service (QoS), and throughput limitations.
The ability to support multiple simultaneous streams of HD content with "Trick Play" capabilities (for pause, fast forward, and fast rewind), as well as interactive menus, can require throughput of several hundreds of megabits. Pulse~LINK says its CWave technology has been independently tested and validated to achieve the highest performance available, with over 400 Mbit/sec of application layer throughput available across hundreds of feet of consumer grade RG59 coax, including consumer grade cable splitters, varying cable lengths, and un-terminated coax stubs. This level of throughput is enough to support five simultaneous streams HD content with Trick Play, as well as additional data, throughout the home. The Pulse~LINK demonstration at the Connected@Home conference shows five simultaneous HD video streams using 1394 and Ethernet across the coaxial cable.
Pulse~LINK notes that such whole-home networks drive the objectives of several hundred companies participating in groups such as the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), the High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance (HANA), and others. DLNA prefers an Ethernet-based approach for networking personal content such as home videos and photos, while HANA prefers an approach based on 1394 technology for commercial premium content; it is likely that both 1394 and Ethernet will be used as networking technologies in the digital home landscape. Pulse~LINK, a member company of both HANA and DLNA, says its demonstration showed how its CWave chipset has the ability to support both approaches simultaneously on the same coaxial network backbone using a common chipset, enabling Ethernet and 1394 networks to coexist with one another, and with services already being carried across the coaxial cable from MSO, Telco, or SAT service providers.
"Pulse~LINK's solution helps solve the issues surrounding video and data delivery and brings together both worlds," remarks Bob King, vice chairman of HANA. "This demonstration showcases the ability for a common platform to network both personal and commercial content throughout the home."
The CWave Mini-PCI card used in the demonstration is the basis of Pulse~LINK's current evaluation kit. The company contends that its CWave chipset is the first technology to facilitate room-to-room distribution of multiple streams of HDTV over in-home coaxial cable and wireless networks with guaranteed QoS for broadcast quality video. The chipset's Gigabit data rates enable simultaneous streaming of multiple HDTV programs with interactive "Trick-Play" capabilities, high quality multi-channel audio, and high-speed data for what the company calls "unprecedented whole-home connectivity."
"We are extremely excited that Pulse~LINK has chosen to participate in CABA's Connected@Home event," concludes Ronald J. Zimmer, CABA's president and CEO. "CWave represents the emergence of a whole new breed of innovative technologies for total whole home connectivity. Their demonstration of CWave is a technological leap forward in the distribution of multimedia and data content throughout the home and should be a major influence on the consumer electronics marketplace in coming years."