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Chapter 9. Residential Gateways

Chapter 9. Residential Gateways

In this chapter…

In today's rapidly changing communications industry, the boundaries between PC networks, Internet-based systems, and broadcast television have begun to blur. The evolution of new residential data broadcasting services has created the need for a special interface or gateway device that can be used to pass digital content between the Internet and a home network. These gateways provide the fat pipeline that is required to carry information between the Internet and appliances in your home. Home gateways sit between the access network and the in-home network and allow multiple appliances in your house to share a single connection to the Internet. With the deployment of high-speed Internet connections and the push by service providers to offer integrated voice, data, and video services over the same high-speed pipe to different nodes throughout the home, the residential gateway is expected to become a key integrated services enabler. Technology drivers of the emerging residential gateway market are:

  • The rapid emergence of viable, standards-based home networking technology such as those based on HomePNA and HomeRF

  • New entertainment options, including digital TV and Web-based interactive TV

  • Non-PC-based Internet appliances

A recent study by Cahners In-Stat Group expects the residential gateway market to go from one that is nearly nonexistent today to a $2.4 billion market by 2003. In an aggressive market scenario, the market could reach as high as $8.8 billion by 2003. Many of the home networking devices that are currently being used by consumers to access broadband networks will incorporate residential gateway functionality in the near future. In addition to these devices, a number of dedicated residential gateways such as home servers are expected to emerge. In this chapter we will focus our energies on the various types of devices that are competing for a share of the residential gateway marketplace—cable modems, digital set-top boxes, digital video recorders, DSL modems, and home servers.



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