Wednesday, August 17, 2005

HomePlug AV Specification Approved

HomePlug AV, a global powerline technology distributing HD and SD video, VoIP and Internet services in home networks using existing electrical wiring, has been finalized and approved unanimously by the Board of Directors of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. The HomePlug Alliance anticipates that HomePlug AV capability will be designed into consumer products (such as TVs, audio equipment, computers, and networking gear).

HomePlug AV technology was built with contributions from companies that worked as part of the alliance's specification working group (SWG). The SWG further developed a baseline technology that was based on contributions submitted by Arkados, Conexant, Intellon and Sharp. The release of the specification comes nearly three years after the effort was initiated.

HomePlug AV uses a high-efficiency MAC layer, which incorporates both scheduled access (TDMA) with QoS guarantees, and contention access (CSMA) capabilities. This enable multimedia content distribution using a guaranteed bandwidth reservation function, tight control of latency and jitter, and high reliability.

"The HomePlug AV specification is the result of unprecedented cooperative innovation by a combination of global companies, each bringing their own core competencies to the table," said Larry Yonge, vice president of research and development for Intellon Corporation and chair of the HomePlug Technical Working Group (TWG).

  • In July 2005, In July, The HomePlug Powerline Alliance announced a co-existence solution that allows all powerline communications technologies, including HomePlug 1.0, HomePlug AV, and HomePlug BPL, to efficiently share the powerline network in both to-the-home and in-the-home applications. The solution would allow multiple powerline communications technologies to share the same wire while maintaining transmission speeds and effective QoS. The HomePlug Powerline Alliance has been developing a new HomePlug AV specification, which promises 200 Mbps capacity for sharing HDTV, Digital Audio, and Internet access around a home. The new co-existence technology, which is built-in to the HomePlug AV specification, fully coexists with HomePlug 1.0 data networking devices. When 1.0 devices are detected, the network switches to a Hybrid mode, allowing HomePlug AV devices to control the 1.0 devices and direct their communications, without compromising the AV network performance.

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