Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ordinary or extraordinary?

"Ordinary events" are frequently the result of extraordinary journeys. I experienced one of those "light bulb" moments yesterday. After being an avid Skype user for years, I decided to add a Skype phone to our house, instead of always using it on my PC. We have tracked IP phones for years now, but had never felt that using the PC got in the way. It amazed me how blown away I was by the convenience and simplicity of adding a Belkin Skype phone in my kitchen. Intellectually I had known that the phone was a friendlier device because of its familiarity, but the difference was tremendous.

Some days seem made for epiphanies. My second ordinary/amazing moment came when Dave finally installed the high quality camera he had bought for his PC back a year ago when Skype started supporting them. As someone who lived thru the arduous history of desktop videoconferencing and videophones at AT&T, I had become a Skype devotee when my daughter in Florida was awaiting heart surgery. With expectations conditioned by years of compromise, I thought that the pictures I was getting of my far-flung family were adequate and didn't expect more. When Dave called me with his new video camera (which costs $89.99) I once again realized what a long road we have travelled since the days of the $500 AT&T Videophone 2500, with its (maybe) 4 frames per second capability. What a picture!

Lest I seem hung up on Skype (I guess its my deep video history), I was also struck today by an article in Telecommunications Online, by Sean Buckley. With the leader "Actiontec cleans up the home network clutter" Buckley starts by saying: "It’s hard to imagine a time when the idea of having an integrated modem with Wi-Fi wireless and other capabilities on one common network gateway device was a foreign concept." I flashed back to a slide we presented at VON Asia 2000 (November 13-15, Hong Kong, China ( ). Called "Enabling the Broadband Home", we illustrated "the complexities which need to be overcome by the industry to make the broadband home a reality for the mass market." It is humbling to understand that it has taken eight years to move from conception to realization and adoption!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

PCs and broadband--life's essentials?

We're about to start the remodeling of our second "broadband condo" in Sanibel. On Monday the contractor starts dismantling everything, so today we gave away virtually all the furniture. We'll be putting in new furnishings when the reconstruction is done.

As with our previous condo (which we still own) we'll be putting in some structured wiring, wireless, a sound system, 3 flat screen HDTVs and probably a Skype phone.

Looking around the condo this afternoon had me musing on what the essentials of life really are. We have a bed, the refrigerator is still here and we have our porch table as a temporary desk, eating spot, etc. However, the things that are most prominently still here are 4 PCs (3 laptops and 1 desktop), our cable modem, our Homeplug setup and an old TV. I've posted a few pictures of our temporary digs--they show what we can't live without. Oh yes, the other thing we do have is a couple of bottles of wine--one more essential of roughing it :-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

POF and musings on video vs text interviews

I noticed that we were not the only ones to observe on plastic optical fiber (POF) at the IPTV World conference, where we recorded several videos on the topic Today's issue of Fierce IPTV noted that Swisscom is a leading deployer of POF, and that the technology has received most of its attention in Europe thus far.

Speaking of videos, we are still figuring out which medium to use where. One of our BBH Report readers that said that she still preferrs text interviews over video. I am speculating on whether this is because you can skim a text interview, pick out if there is anything of interest, and then focus on that section. With simple videos you have to watch the whole thing--and might not find anything you really wanted to know.

I wonder what other people are doing and find useful. For example, should there be a breif text summary of the main points, with links to the section of the video where that topic is discussed? Could be... But that means yet another layer of work to get these things online. Comments??

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Where to find all of Broadband Sandy's videos

I realized I had put in a link to one of the videos we did at IPTV World, but didn't say how to find the others. We've (namely Dave, has) modified our Website to add a place with links to our videos and blogs . Videos are organized by conference they were done at. You can see all 4 from the Chicago conference at .

I was thinking about shooting a video of the outside of our broadband home (we did a video a long time ago about the inside) but decided it was more fun to work in the garden than to video it. I'm including a picture of the mailbox--just for fun.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Finally--we have 4 videos on YouTube

I know this all will be much easier the 2nd time through--but there were an amazing number of things I didn't know when we did our first interviews at IPTV World in Chicago. Like--YouTube has a max length of 10 minutes for a video--and our interviews were longer. Or like--you need to do something special before you record if you want to be able to edit audio and video tracks separately --at least with the editor we are using (which is Ulead Video Studio 11). ...and more.

One of the interviews was with a very charming guy named Armen, from a French company called Witbe. company is very interesting--and Armen also has a very captivating smile.

It is great that this is done but now come a whole new load of "learning opportunities". Like where to put links to these, how to syndicate and lots more. Life in this age of technology can never be dull--there is always something new to learn

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Goodbye 20th century

After writing Sandy and Dave's Report on the Broadband Home for the last eight years, we've finally decided it's time to embrace the 21st century. As we have covered new technology, we've taken photos and written articles, but have not captured our interviews on video.

That is finally changing. At the recent IPTV World Forum in Chicago, we captured three video interviews, which we will be posting to YouTube. Hello, 21st century!