The launch this week of the Motorola VAP2400 Wireless Bridge Solution – a self-installation device which allows operators to stream up to four high definition video channels to any room – was viewed by some Video Leadership Forum attendees I spoke to as being as important aesthetically as it was technically.
The technological challenge for operators to get multi-stream video into non-wired homes (i.e. homes without co-axial or Ethernet networks built in) has long been understood. Video signals weaken as they pass through buildings, and for countries who tend to build houses with thick walls – whether by traditional design, climate requirements, architectural history etc, – the problem of getting HD video wirelessly around a home is apparent. This is becoming a problem as viewers no longer expect to be tethered to one television in the home, especially for content they pay for. They want the freedom to move from bedroom to kitchen to lounge while watching the same programming, or indeed different content from the same service.
But the aesthetic challenge of not having wires hanging from every screen has been a stiff one to overcome, as has the perceived hassle factor of having to wait in for an installer to upgrade a system. It could be argued that up until now, service providers have ‘gotten away’ with not having to service this demand fully due to viewers’ concerns about wires and waiting times.
So the VAP2400 is a good reminder that not all challenges to the adoption of new technologies are technical in nature. Who knows, perhaps aesthetics are a reason why the home networking and automation market is still relatively nascent? With the acquisition of 4Home, we (Motorola) have some pretty cool go-to-market demonstrations of home networking and automation, from turning on the heating to monitoring CCTV systems and lighting – all without a cable in sight. In fact, the VAP2400 can be integrated with our home networking solution allowing remote management by the service provider – meaning even less hassle for viewers when a system needs updating or service and of course, lower servicing costs for the providers.
With breakthroughs in wireless home networking like the VAP2400, service providers are approaching a new era as regards service development and product offerings. Who knows, some may even move more strongly towards these areas and away from the more competitive world of telecommunications?