My brother write a blog entry yesterday about home networking and powerline technology. And without knowing, he’s actually commenting on a subject dear to my professional heart.
My company produces very nice DRT (digital television recorder / PVR) products, some of the best in the industry (so the man from Sony tells me). We are really trying to lead the industry when it comes to this product range and my job is to help influence that. It is my feeling, and that of many others, that there will be a consumer device, probably in the lounge, probably grown out of a DTR product and probably it will extend it’s reach well beyond the lounge. My first hope is to secure support for DLNA, this technology makes it easy for network connected devices to share resources or control each other. From a media point of view this means that content can be streamed from one device to another without complex user intervention.
Power line technology is a lovely idea, unfortunately from a manufacturers perspective to integrate it into a product is very expensive. The cost of the module is easily more than the cost of an HD decoder chipset. This means that I struggle to justify putting it into a product when I know that the majority of consumers will never actually use the technology. I am also a bit dubious about putting signals over wires that weren’t designed to handle them, the mains in the UK is about 240V at 50Hz, the cable is designed for that and works well enough. But when you start putting complex noise signals at wide bandwidth over them you are going to have some effect at some point. Powerline delivered broadband already has a huge objection from the HAM radio groups and radio astronomy groups, thousands of low cost PLT home devices can’t be much better (even if they are lower power).
We are however striving to add ethernet ports to as many products as possible and we are working on some decent software to exploit it to the full. I do conceed however using these plug adaptors could be an easy way to avoid the fact that wireless never delivers even close to it’s stated bandwidths and most consumers don’t want to rewire their house for Cat-5e/6. Although remember that current electrical installation requirements in the UK now often require a professional electrician to do the install otherwise you can’t sell your house.
A lovely article in the Guardian newspaper starts with:
"A quarter of Freeview households in Wales and Northern Ireland – and a fifth in the Meridian and Anglia regions of England – will not have full access to the digital terrestrial TV channels after analogue switchoff, according to media regulator Ofcom"
I attend a large number of meetings where this subject is covered. Yes, quite a few people won’t get all the muxes, but that is for those commercial channels to decide if they want that extra coverage (much like it is their choice to exist or not). The three core ‘PSB’ muxes will be available to nearly everyone who currently receives a TV signal, and in many cases reception may be improved after switch-over.
An excellent example of sensationalist journalism based on selective statistics interpretation. So, after switch off people will have more services, but because of logistical reasons not all of the possible channels. However that’s not good enough for some people and they feel it’s their god given right to watch shopping channels.
One thing that this doesn’t take into account is current research work which could help in the long run such as same-channel COFDM repeaters which could be wind or solar powered to fill in coverage and there will be more options in the next few years. Not to mention that satellite services are soon to be even more accessible to a wider range of consumers due to the opening up of competition in the market place.
Please save me from this world of head-line grabbing journalism… to paraphrase the classic line: "Lies, Damn Lies and Journalism."
Thanks to my brother for spotting that the comment section of my site didn’t work. Hope I’ve fixed it, darn SEF module was doing too good a job and the Comment module had a stray ./ a mixture for disaster.
In response to a blog entry by Euan Semple :
Since I have moved jobs my relative profile has increased, through press releases and now because I have stuck my oar in on DigitalSpy to correct some speculation about my companies future products.
I have always been a prolific tart when it comes to socialising (especially on-line), but recently I was ‘found’ on Facebook by someone who is an avid user of our products. I decided that, although this person is known to me, I would deny this ‘friend’ request just because by many measures I don`t actually know them.
Euan and I have met only very rarely in person and in our previous lives interacted on-line as part of his now famous community at the BBC. This makes me comfortable considering hm one of the loose social network of on-line friends that I have, but without some personal connection or professional relationship, if the association is too loose I don’t feel I can ‘friend’ someone.
I invite comment…
At the risk of angering over-enthusiastic people with a lack of sense of humour:
I was thinking about the Holy PVR today, if in doubt about what to watch you can ask the PVR: "WWJD?"
Early attempts invoked the Anti-Christ and it recorded excessive amounts of "Ant & Dec ".
So, I have a dekiwiki I use for some purpose or another, I wanted it to be used via https to ensure security (just general paranoia). That was fine to implement, however it needed authentication otherwise whats the point! So, I sat down and tried to figure out how to authenticate Apache2 against a MySQL database. There are lots of tools to do this, but luckily for me none of them work with Dekiwiki because the site doesn't store it's password in any normal way.
Continue reading “DekiWiki apache2 authentication against MySQL”