The Last Few Feet

by Parks Associates | Apr. 29, 2009

So, I have fiber optic telco services to my home. So, why do I not have it all the way to my PC or set top box? I know, I know. The installation is expensive, a hassle, and requires adding new wires to my home - not a fun prospect. Wireless could be an option, but what if I am one of those homes where RF is, shall we say, problematic.

This past week I had a chance to look over a new technology that looks to address many of these challenges. Firecomms provided us with a demo of Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) technology for in-home networks. POF has been around for years in everything from Christmas tree lighting to in-car multimedia networks for the Mercedes 7 series. Our demo presented POF as a solution for wiring from to the RG and set top box.

The cable for POF is tiny compared to both coax or Ethernet cabling, potentially small enough to tuck between my carpet and baseboard. One of the most impressive aspects was the installation, which was as simple as cutting the POF cable with a razor blade and popping it into a Firecomms POF interface. No other tools required.

While POF is growing in acceptance in Europe, awareness in the US is just beginning to take hold. We will be tracking uptake of POF by service providers, STB makers, and RG makers as they promote quality of service for high bandwidth applications in the digital home.

Next: Parks Associates’ Digital Den at ESCA to discuss innovations in digital content delivery and home entertainment
Previous: U.S. cable operators jumping on the multi-room DVR bandwagon


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