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Buffalo Roams Into Servers

Las Vegas— Buffalo Technology's first A/V-network products compliant with DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certification standards consist of three home media servers and a client, all with Ethernet ports. Certification is pending.

The products, displayed off-site during International CES, include a 1TB TeraStation Home Server at an estimated street price of $899 and the LinkStation Home server in 300GB and 400GB capacities at an estimated $399 and $549. They feature a gigabit Ethernet port. A DLNA-compliant compact client, the LinkTheater Mini, retails for an estimated street price of $99. All use Mediabolic middleware and were expected to be available in January through retail outlets, resellers and

LinkTheater Mini supports such formats as MPEG-2, JPEG, MP3, BMP, PNG, and LPCM, and it can convert WMV, AVI, GIF and WMA files via a transcoding engine for real-time file conversion. It includes a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port, composite video and analog audio outputs to connect to TVs and stereos, and an interface whose features include music playlist creation and slideshow viewing.

Panasonic Plans Powerline

Las Vegas—Panasonic plans March shipments of its first network products to use a proprietary HD-PLC technology to deliver multiple streams of HDTV over a home's powerlines.

The HD-PLC Ethernet adapters retail for a suggested $129.95 each or $199.95 for a two-adapter starter kit for use with any PC or AV product outfitted with an Ethernet port. It's suitable for music, video, broadband Internet access, Panasonic's IP-network camera, and VoIP applications, the company noted.

Compared to Wi-Fi wireless adapters that require users to set up security parameters, the HD-PLC adapters automatically set AES 128-bit encryption, which is used by Internet banking and shopping services, Panasonic said.

Wi-Fi To Simplify Security

Austin, Texas–The Wi-Fi Alliance, in a departure from its role in certifying interoperability of IEEE 802.11a/b/g equipment, is developing a specification to make it easier for consumers to secure information going over their Wi-Fi networks.

The Simple Config initiative will develop a Wizard and autosensing capability to standardize the steps that consumers must make to turn on security settings, said alliance managing direcxtor Frank Hanzlik. “Right now, Wi-Fi is secure, but you have to turn it on,” he said. “Only a few [vendors] make it easy, but they do it in different ways,” he noted.

The standard could be final by early February, followed by the start of certification testing by the alliance in August or September, he said.

Verizon Adds New Network

New York—Known for its cellular and landline networks, Verizon will add its name to home networks in the spring when Verizon-branded equipment made by Belkin turns up at retail.

Under a licensing deal, Belkin will produce and ship broadband networking equipment and offer customer support, Verizon said. The products — including wireless routers, desktop and notebook cards, and USB adapters — will be available in retail outlets that already sell Verizon's Online DSL service.

The launch marks only “the first step in a licensing strategy Verizon has introduced to expand the Verizon brand into new markets and reach new sets of consumers,” said Verizon brand management director Catherine Stanley. She said the strategy “will complete the solution” for Verizon's customers and that “by bundling broadband services and products together, Verizon will make it easy for consumers top get what they need in one store visit.”

Control4 Adds Wi-Fi

Las Vegas—Wireless ZigBee adopter Control4 has adopted Wi-Fi to stream music wirelessly around the house.

Having used ZigBee to control home automation systems, the company is expanding its network portfolio with the Wi-Fi-enabled Speaker Point, which incorporates wireless and 2x50-watt audio amplifier for connection to any speaker system, and the Mini Touch Screen, a touch-screen controller with audio decoders for wall or tabletop mounting. The products are priced at suggested retails of $449 and $799, respectively.


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