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Connected by Design Tour at CES & IBS Shows

We're Sandy Teger and Dave Waks, founders of Broadband Home Central, and we've been exploring the potential of broadband for much of our careers. In the Connected by Design Tour—an audio exploration of the broadband technologies in the Home by Design Showhouse—we've matched available and increasingly affordable broadband products and services with Sarah Susanka's wonderful design, demonstrating that technologies can enable families to live more enjoyable, convenient and productive lives.

Broadband - The Next Residential Utility
The Connected by Design Tour will demonstrate how broadband is becoming the next residential utility, enabling not only high-speed Internet but also music, video, pictures and phone calls. You'll see how broadband connectivity, home networking, consumer electronics and computing products can be assembled to deliver all the services this new "plumbing" makes possible. Tour visitors will see how new digital devices can "talk" with each other-and to homeowners' existing TVs and audio systems. The tour will show the importance of structured wiring in future-proofing homes for tomorrow's technologies—as well as demonstrating applications that can be connected in existing homes using "no new wires" approaches such as Wi-Fi (wireless) and HomePlug (over powerline).

Technology For Your Lifestyle
As Sandy says: "Just as Sarah Susanka believes that homes should be designed for the way people really live, Dave and I believe that technology deserves a place in your home only when it helps you live the way you want to. In our view, technology should adapt to you and your lifestyle—not the other way around."

We'll be escorting you through the Showhouse by means of an Acoustiguide, which will describe a wide variety of services and the building blocks that make them possible. As you walk around, Dave will tell you about the broadband infrastructure—what we sometimes call the "broadband plumbing"—which includes the connections and the hardware devices that must be in place to make these applications possible. At other stops in the tour, Sandy will demonstrate many of the "connected" applications and appliances that broadband makes possible. If you can't visit the house personally, please visit the videos and information on this Website to get the next best thing to being there.

Broadband Infrastructure

During the Connected by Design Tour, Dave Waks will tell you about the broadband infrastructure—the "plumbing" through which all the connected applications are transported to and throughout the house. Just as you wouldn't imagine having a house without water and electricity, broadband is increasingly becoming just as essential to people's lives.

Steve Easley, co-host of the Showhouse, says, "Integrating technologies like broadband is a fundamental component of homebuilding. It's no longer something to be tacked on after move-in. Just like you wire a home for lighting and install ductwork for home heating systems, broadband has become the next residential utility that must be included in the home's original architectural design."

Like any utility, broadband has two elements: a main service that brings the broadband connection TO the home, and a distribution network INSIDE the home.

The connection TO the home provides the foundation for all the other pieces. There are many types of broadband connections—cable, DSL, wireless, satellite and fiber—capable of providing homes with a full range of video, Internet and telephone services. In this showhouse, the broadband connection is supplied by Cox Communications.

The second essential element is the home network, which distributes the broadband connection throughout the home. Just as you wouldn't have the water company deliver water to only one spot and then have to carry it by hand throughout the house, so with broadband you need to take it from the point it is delivered and bring it to the many places all over the home where it will be used.

There are many types of home networks, some using wires and some wireless. While several other types are used in this house, structured wiring from Leviton is the backbone. Like the pipes in the walls that bring water to the faucets, wiring in the walls brings the broadband connection to broadband outlets in most rooms—where you can plug in the computers, TVs, phones and audio equipment. If you are building a new home, you can't go wrong by putting in structured wiring. Although the applications and devices you will see on this tour may change over time, the structured wiring is a long-term investment. It will continue to support all the kinds of applications and devices we foresee coming to market for a long time.

In addition to the wired broadband outlets throughout the house, we have also provided wireless broadband connectivity for mobile devices like laptops, which may be carried around the house or out to the porch or terrace on days when the outside beckons. We are also showing HomePlug powerline networking, which operates over existing electrical wiring. Wi-Fi and HomePlug are terrific, but for new construction they're a complement, not a replacement, for structured wiring. For existing homes, the mess and cost of adding structured wiring makes these other approaches more attractive.

Applications and Appliances

During the Connected by Design Tour, Sandy Teger will accompany you through the various rooms of the house, showing you some broadband applications that can enable families to live more enjoyable, convenient and productive lives.

Just as the purpose of a television plugged into a cable connection and an electrical outlet is to provide entertainment in your home, so the purpose of the broadband infrastructure and appliances is the many applications they enable you to experience.

These applications and appliances include:

  • broadcast video entertainment, video on demand and digital video recorders for watching what you want when you want it—in high-definition TV
  • music services that allow you to hear and record a wide variety of content; devices that let you take your music with you when you leave home; and other devices that let you play music on existing speakers anywhere in your home
  • media center PCs that deliver advanced computing, plus easy-to-use integrated digital entertainment—live and recorded TV, movies, music, photos, and radio
  • digital media adapters that let you show your latest videos and digital photos on your big screen TV
  • multi-player games for kids and adults
  • telephone services based on IP telephony—very affordable today and preparing for a new world of telephone functions that are only possible with this new technology
  • plus lots more…

The appliances and applications we're showing on the Tour are available today and are affordable by most families. We use them in our own home and hope that you too will experience all the new communications, entertainment, information, shopping and business applications you can have right in your own home.


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