Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Saw this on Marc Canter's Blog.

Rick Lehrbaum (updated Sept. 11, 2002)
Intel embeds Linux in home digital media adapater
A key component of the Extended Wireless PC Initiative's media distribution architecture is a new PC peripheral called the digital media adapter, which provides an appliance-like link between PCs, TVs, and stereos. The device, which is based on an XScale microarchitecture PCA210 'applications processor' and runs an embedded Linux operating system, receives digital media from the PC via 802.11 wireless networking and UpnP technologies, and connects to TVs and stereos using standard audio/video cables -- much like a DVD player. Using a simple remote control, consumers navigate through menus on a TV screen, selecting the PC digital media they wish to receive.
Marc Canter
The 'magic sauce' is something called UpnP (universal plug and play) which was originally designed for plugging cards into a PC bus or USB devices (such as keyboards or mice.) But now they have a 'stack' to route A/V info to the Digital Media Adapter. I wonder is UPnP can sense out I.P. addresses like Apple's Rendezvous (otherwise known as ZeroConf) and make setting up Home LANs easy to do?
vis_site02.jpgThis reminds me of my SliMP3 that I wrote about earlier, but that doesn't have wireless or video. It also reminds me of my Sony Airboard which has 802.11, ethernet, dialup Internet, TV and a browser. The Airboard is less of a "hub" and more of an "all-in-one". I guess the key to the Intel thing will be low cost and open standards. If they can help orchestrate a bunch of devices without trying to make their device do everything, it might work. I still don't like the idea of "fat" home servers. I am hoping that, at least in my house, I can use everything I already have. My PC hard disk, my audio amp and speakers, my plasma display and my digital satellite dish... Having said that, there may be a market for small all-in-one's...


1 Comment

This Digital Media Adapter isn't about being a box or device that does ANYTHING more than just ROUTING A/V signals from your PC (or MP3 player or ANY device which originates or stores media) to those old fashioned things called TV sets and stereos.

That's it.

It does the same for video and audio that a network hub or router does for tcp/ip packets. It just sends the A/V info to a particular destination. Then us humans set these boxes up throughout our homes, offices, digital lifestyle environments. Of course it's gonna require some cool software to make this easy and intuitive (gee now who could THAT be created by? :-)

This technolgy will work with traditional PC's - all-in-one PC's, everything except Macs.

There will need to be a UPnP driver written for Macs to them to work on this 'multimedia net'. Apple's ZeroConf technology will also need to have a PC drive to connect up PC's.

BTW This box will eventually (pretty soon) be one chip - with processor, wireless, AV adapters, network controllers, etc. - all as one chip. THEN it can be built into the TV sets and stereos themselves. It finally bridges us nerds into the world of consumer electronics.

And if I knew somebody who had good relationships with certain consumer electronics manufacturers - I'd be telling them - that this is the 'missing link'.