The Wireless Home
by: Mark J. Donovan
It was only a few years ago that Real Estate agents and Builders were promoting the "Wired" feature
as a must have when buying a new home. Wired meant that the home not only had cable running throughout it, but also Cat-5 wire. Cat-5 wire consists of four pairs of wire that are sheathed into one bundle,
and is used for interconnecting multiple computers and computer peripherals throughout the home. Electricians went to great length to run Cat-5 throughout new homes, and homebuyers paid a handsome premium
for it. Now the latest buzz from the Computer and Networking world is, "Unwire Your Home", as the Computer/Internet world rapidly moves to wireless interconnections.
Most of the leading Personal Computer
(PC) providers are major players in this paradigm shift. They are selling new technology from leading networking equipment companies that enable homeowners to wirelessly connect their Personal Computers to
their Home Entertainment centers. Through a Wireless Media Adapter, connected via standard cables to the Home Entertainment Center, and a Wireless Router connected to the PC, homeowners can enjoy their
digital photographs and MP3 music collection on their Televisions and play their MP3 music collection through their stereo system. Photographs and music stored on the PC are wirelessly transmitted anywhere
within the home to their Home Entertainment Center.
The wireless protocol interconnecting the Media Adapter and Router is known as Wireless-B (802.11b). The Media Adapters typically include a Remote
Control, and have user-friendly menus that are displayed on the TV. They can support JPEG, GIF, TIF, and BMP type file formats and the Remote Control can also be used for browsing your MP3 or WMA formatted
music collection. Today, the cost for a wireless Media Adapter is around $100, and the cost for a wireless Router is around $50.
There is still a benefit for some Cat-5 wire in the home, but without a
doubt, wireless is the present and future technology for interconnecting home electronics. Definitely take a look at these products prior to paying any type of "wired" premium on a new home.