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SUMMARY

A wireless home network is an intriguing alternative to phone-line and powerline wiring systems. Wireless home networks provide all the functionality of wireline networks without the physical constraints of the wire itself. They generally revolve around either IR or radio transmissions within your home. Radio transmissions comprise two distinct technologies—narrowband and spread-spectrum radio. Most wireless home networking projects are based on spread-spectrum technologies. To date, the high cost and impracticality of adding new wires have inhibited the widespread adoption of home networking technologies. Wired technologies also do not allow users to roam about with portable devices. In addition, multiple, incompatible communication standards have limited acceptance of wireless networks in the home. A group called HomeRF was formed in 1998 to address these issues and develop a standard that allows the connection of A/V devices and PCs without laying any cables. Since its formation, the group has developed a specification for wireless communications in the home called SWAP-CA. The group believes that this open specification will:

  • Allow consumer electronic devices and PCs to talk to each other without being concerned with the existing wiring system in the home.

  • Enable interoperability between many different consumer electronic devices available from a large number of manufacturers.

  • Provide the flexibility and mobility of a wireless solution. This flexibility is important to the success of creating a compelling and complete home network solution.


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