Always connected. It seems to be the priority of consumers these days, as they never want to sever ties with the web. They want to be connected to the internet when they use mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops/ultrabooks, and they want their devices to communicate with each other, so watching their favorite TV show is streamlined on any device, and they can blast tunes to their speakers from their smartphone or tablet.
As promised, here’s the latest installment of our CES coverage, this time covering the networking side of the industry. For the CES 2013 home entertainment roundup, click here.
Cisco upgraded their Smart Wi-Fi portfolio with three new wireless routers: the dual-band Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1750 HD Video Pro, EA6700 which is designed for “power users,”, and the dual-band Linksys Smart Wi-FI Router AC 1600 Video Enthusiast.
Let’s start with the EA6400. It’s designed for homes with fewer connected devices and offers speeds up to 1,300 Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
Then there’s the EA6700 for power users. It comes with support for 10 or more connected devices. And with HD streaming on anything from smart TVs to smartphones, it’s supposed to deliver Wi-Fi speeds up to 1,300Mbps on a 5GHz band and up to 450 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
Finally there’s the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1200 Advanced Multimedia, EA6300 which is intended for smaller homes with three to five connected devices. It offers up to 867Mbps on 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on 2.4GHz band. Linksys also incorporated the beam-forming technology in their new line of routers to speed up transfer speeds while it boosts the networks range.
The company understands people’s need for constant connectivity, introducing new technology that boosts a router’s performance. The StreamBoost optimises the performance and capacity of home networks, and enables home routers to intelligently manage broadband connection. StreamBoost does so by smartly delegating bandwidth to each connected device and application, so internet hogging will no longer be a problem and teens fighting for the internet will hopefully be a thing of the past.
Over time, StreamBoost will be able to learn the internet-related characteristics of apps to prioritize bandwidth allocation. StreamBoost is currently available in routers equipped with Qualcomm’s new VIVE 802.11ac chip, the company’s first 802.11ac chip that offers up to 1.3Gbps Wi-Fi data rates and is the second 802.11ac chip on the market, second to Broadcom’s chip introduced last year.
Gamers rejoice! D-Link has expanded their line of award-winning routers with the new D-Link Gaming Router with Qualcomm StreamBoostTM technology (DGL-5500). The router offers Gigabit AC1300 wireless speeds, and because of the StreamBoost technology, it can allocate bandwidth intelligently. It also offers “flawless gaming and HD video streaming to multiple devices with AC wireless speeds of up to 1300Mbps and blazing fast wired speeds with four true Gigabit ports,” and features a user-friendly interface with intuitive controls “for complete network management, enabling users to see a graphical depiction of the bandwidth used by the entire home network, including connected devices and the applications in use by each device.”
In partnership with Sierra Wireless, AT&T unveiled their second touch-screen hotspot: Unite. Unite features a 2.4-inch display and supplies connectivity for up to 10 Wi-Fi devices and offers touch access to device and network settings from the screen. No news on the price yet but one can assume that existing AT&T customers can add the hotspot to their existing or shared plan.