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Ucentric Readies A/V, Data Network

Ucentric Systems expects a second-half commercial rollout of a home-network platform that distributes audio, video and data throughout the house from a hard-drive-equipped set-top box that will be marketed initially by cable operators.

The platform has been in field trials for more than a year. At least one cable operator will deploy it, said product management director Tim Collins.

Ucentric software will appear in a cable box that incorporates a cable modem, Web browser, streaming Internet audio and video capability, and a hard drive, which operates as a PVR and an MP3 jukebox.

Audio, video and data will be distributed via wired Ethernet, wireless Wi-Fi 802.11b, HomePNA, and HomePNA over coax. Simultaneously, consumers will be able to stream multiple independent sessions of recorded video and MP3 audio to multiple rooms in the house.

The device also makes it unnecessary for consumers to add a cable box to each TV to access premium or pay-per-view cable channels.

The device could be built to support internal DVD/CD player or connection to a DVD/CD changer whose discs could be accessed from multiple rooms.

The system will support a single high-definition stream.

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