Internet Helps Televisions, Stereos and Computers Communicate

Dennis Faas's picture

Those wanting to see a glimpse of the future need only look to the upcoming Internationale Funkausstellung in Berlin, the largest consumer electronics convention in Europe. Here, some of the biggest electronic companies in the world are set to showcase their latest products, with the main focus of the convention centered on wireless interconnectivity in the home.

Manufacturers are closer than ever to releasing technology that allows televisions, stereos, computers and even kitchen appliances to communicate with one another wirelessly and automatically over the Internet.

Among the new gadgets expected to be unveiled at the convention include the MediaSmart LCD television by Hewlett-Packard which wirelessly streams high-definition video, a plug-in adapter by Sony that allows some of their Bravia televisions to wirelessly connect to the Internet as well as a joint submission by Pioneer, Samsung, and Sharp which will allow the first batch of flat-panel televisions to connect to the Internet. (Source:

Philips Electronics is also looking to steal the show with a new line of stereo systems that can wirelessly activate music stored on nearby PCs and laptop computers, streaming music throughout the house.

While every manufacturer is hoping that wireless Internet interconnectivity becomes a hot sell amongst consumers, there is a great deal of concern over the fact that most devices will be unable to communicate with products released by other manufacturers. This is due to the contrasting technological standards amongst different companies. In other words, your RCA television may not be able to "understand" your Sony stereo.

To fight this problem, major electronic powerhouses Samsung, Sony, Philips, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sharp and Toshiba all belong to the Digital Living Network Alliance, a coalition whose common goal is to ensure that their devices are able to communicate with one another. (Source:

While the technology and products on hand at the Internationale Funkausstellung are a step in the right direction, analysts believe that the commercial "wireless interconnected household" is still a few years away.

It is expected that by the end of 2008 only 5% of those with broadband Internet will own the technology needed to interconnect their devices. However, if the popularity of the proposed system skyrockets in 2008, we could see these figures quadruple by the end of 2009.

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