RIOT Program Unveiled by Ruckus Wireless

Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (Ruckus) developed the first Wi-Fi interoperability and open testing program aimed at networking popular home media appliances for multimedia content distribution in the digital home without cumbersome wiring.

The Ruckus Interoperability and Open Testing (RIOT) program was developed to ensure the flawless operation of IP-enabled media appliances, such as set- top boxes (STBs), personal video recorders (PVRs), mobile video players, home entertainment systems and conditional access systems over standards-based, multimedia-purposed Wi-Fi technology pioneered by Ruckus Wireless.

Advanced Digital Broadcast, Amino, i3 micro technology (i3), Entone Technologies, Telsey Telecommunications and Sling Media are among the inaugural members to join the Ruckus RIOT program.

Now, makers of home media appliances can offer their customers unprecedented freedom and flexibility with products that can be easily installed or moved anywhere, anytime, throughout the home.

"The broadband connection in the home is quickly becoming an important funnel for a plethora of digital multimedia content and services to consumers, " said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst at Parks Associates. "The problem is that the broadband outlet is nowhere near the TV or audio/visual devices in most homes so cabling has become a barrier to the uptake of new, multimedia offerings. Wi-Fi is a desirable solution but consumers need to be assured that media devices do work reliably over the air. Programs such as Ruckus RIOT are an essential step toward delivering true multimedia-capable wireless solutions."

The goal of the Ruckus RIOT program is to accelerate the deployment of carrier-based IPTV services by simplifying the installation and increasing the flexibility of media device placement in the home through the use of new multimedia-purposed Wi-Fi technology. RIOT testing and certification is open to manufacturers of third-party IP-enabled media devices at no cost. All testing is performed by Ruckus Wireless in real-world home environments.

"RIOT is an important step in creating an ecosystem for next generation IP-based home entertainment networks, " said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. "Consumers aren't networking experts and service providers can't afford to roll out new services that require huge installation and support costs. RIOT not only helps accelerate IPTV deployment, it brings a new level of flexibility and accessibility to both consumers and providers of IP multimedia devices and services."

RIOT testing includes qualitative and quantitative analysis related to the transmission of multimedia content over smart-MIMO wireless technology. RIOT testing examines a variety of factors such as the accurate measurement of packet loss and bandwidth consistency, channel change latency, as well as the distribution of multicast traffic -- all essential to supporting emerging applications such as IPTV.

Service providers everywhere are rushing to bring consumers a new generation of interactive, IP-based voice, video and data services and they are discovering that in-home distribution of these services is a stumbling block.

Inevitably the broadband connection in a home is set up in a study or the basement, away from the home entertainment areas where audio/visual devices are located. For the majority of homes that do not have Ethernet pre-wired to all corners, the consumer has to put up with unsightly exposed wiring, or hire a cable installer.

While Wi-Fi is seemingly the ideal solution for media distribution in the home, its performance has historically been too unstable for high-quality audio and video streaming. Multimedia applications do not tolerate random delays and loss caused by temporary interference, motion, and bandwidth contention.

To solve this problem, Ruckus Wireless has developed a smart-Wi-Fi system that assures a quality signal path over the air for delay- and loss-sensitive traffic. Patent-pending Ruckus BeamFlex and SmartCast technologies are used to find the best path for Wi-Fi transmission and to prioritize bandwidth among different types of traffic. This ensures that, for instance, while watching a streaming TV channel over the Wi-Fi network, the picture remains perfect even if someone else is downloading MP3 files or cooking popcorn in the microwave.

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