Routers in the Living Room!

Ah! Six tuners, multi-room DVR, 500GB of storage, a built-in router, USB ports on the front and MoCA! What more could a digital media loving person want?

All of that is in the Arris’ Whole Home Solution STB that Canada’s Shaw Communications will offer its 3.4 million subscribers. Wi-Fi 802.11n is an option for those who don’t already have a Wi-Fi network.

It’ll be called the Shaw Gateway. Initial installations are in Calgary and ultimately will be throughout its footprint. It will connect to Arris Media Players that are attached to TV sets in other rooms so they can use the central DVR.

Shaw will use the boxes to offer broadcast and narrowcast video, video on demand, DOCSIS 3.0 broadband, two lines of carrier-grade voice over IP, OTT videos and media sharing of user-generated content. It also supports DLNA to connect with subscriber owned DLNA-enabled devices that are on the home’s network and supports CableCard conditional access.

The Arris Media Players (satellites) support full HD via HDMI, component, and composite outputs, front and rear USB ports, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet and MoCA 1.1+. It’s operated with a backlit remote control.

Arris Broadband Communication Systems president Bruce McClelland said the product “will accelerate and ease the transition of content delivery to a cost-efficient, all-IP model.” It will, he said, bring the broadband experience of the future into their customers’ homes.

The Real World: Routers in the Living Room

Consumers buying smart TVs, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles and smart TV adapters will start finding they need a router or switch in the living room and perhaps one in the bedroom, depending on how much equipment is installed there. An increasing number of devices need a home network connection, preferably wireline Ethernet for maximum reception.

Sure Wi-Fi could do but just as pay-TV won out over antennas for reception clarity in millions of home, so will wireline Ethernet win out over Wi-Fi, at least the current iterations of Wi-Fi. If wireline Ethernet is the chosen path, then it makes sense to put a router or low-cost switch in the living room so that only one Ethernet cable has to be run from the home’s router that’s connected to the broadband modem.

If the router or switch is being installed in an area of the house like the bedroom where Wi-Fi reception is dodgy, then it makes sense to install a second Wi-Fi multi-port router.

Having a router built-in to the DVR box as Arris is doing makes the installation easier and results in fewer wires. If it weren’t so cold there and for so many months, a digital media lover might move to Calgary.

About the Author

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