BBC reception problem now rectified for Kogan Internet radios

Kogan Internet table radio

Kogan Internet table radio - BBC updates now available

Over the last few months, those of you who own a Kogan Internet/DAB+/FM table radio, which I have reviewed in this blog in November, wouldn’t have been able to receive any Internet radio services from the BBC. It may be of concern to UK expats or Anglophiles who have bought this radio primarily to listen to the sound of the BBC radio stations that broadcast there like BBC Radio 4. The symptom was typically in the form of the radio showing “Network Error” when you select a BBC radio service. This was because the BBC were doing a technical re-engineering of their online radio streams and were moving away from the original Real-Audio streams to newer technologies.

vTuner had updated their “master” Internet radio directory which services Frontier-based sets as well as a lot of other Internet-radio designs to reflect the BBC changes. The set manufacturers had to then roll out the updates to each of their set designs through the over-the-air updates. In the case of this Kogan table radio, it took a frustrating long time for the update to materialise because the OEM who makes these sets had to make sure it was working properly before releasing the update.

As of 18/03/2010, Kogan have rolled out the updated directory to these radios and next time you turn on the set and select “Internet radio”, you will have an “update notice” appear on the display. Press the INFO button in response to this “update notice” and wait for the update to complete. The radio must not be disconnected from the power at all during this process. The progress of the update is highlighted with a “fuel gauge” bar that appears on the bottom row of the display and when the set is updated, the display will show “Press SELECT to continue”. At this point, press the large “tuning knob”, and the set will restart and, a while later, the last Internet radio station that you listened to will play.

Then you can tune to the BBC stations using the menu system or recall any BBC stations that you previously allocated to the preset buttons. This update does not affect any other functionality or personal settings that you have established when using this set.

If you had bought one of these radios and the BBC reception problem had made you think of returning the radio to Kogan, now you don’t need to do so because of this update/

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Product Review – Hewlett-Packard Photosmart Wireless network multifunction printer

B109n I am reviewing the Hewlett-Packard B109n Photosmart Wireless network multifunction printer which is HP’s latest entry in to the basic network-enabled consumer multifunction printer market. It is based on their basic HP Photosmart printer, but has 802.11g WPA2 WPS wireless networking added to it.

The Photosmart Wireless is a piano-black machine with a very small LCD mounted at an angle on the left of the unit. The display has touch-buttons that light up in a “pinball-machine” fashion to provide an operation experience similar to most automatic-teller machines. This is with buttons placed on the edge of the screen and whatever the button does is indicated on the display screen.

HP Photosmart Wireless display

Control panel

Setup

The setup experience is typical for many consumer multifunction printers, where you have to install drivers from a CD-ROM supplied with the printer. You can download the software from HP’s website if you want to make sure the printer works with the latest drivers for your operating system, and will have to do so for Windows 7 systems.

Loading ink cartridges

 

This printer has been improved as far as access to its interior is concerned. When you open it up to load ink cartridges, you don’t need to operate any catch to release the lid. As well, the lid stays open and wide without the need to work with any stays or levers to prop it up, which is also of benefit for people who are short-sighted

There is no need to apply any extra pressure to remove or install any of the ink cartridges, which I consider important for older people or people who have arthritis or similar limitations.

4 ink cartridges that are easy to load

This printer uses one cartridge per colour, which allows you to replace the colours that you need to replace when they run out. This is compared to an inefficient practice older colour inkjet printers where you replace a “colour” cartridge if any of the colours run out. It can work with a standard cartridge or, a large-capacity cartridge which is available at a slight price premium over; and you can choose to run with either of these types for each of the colours.

Network capability and setup

B109n connected only to power

Only cable connected to printer is the power cable

There is the ability for this printer to support “push-button” or “PIN-number” setup from its control panel if you have a WPS-enabled Wi-Fi network. On the other hand, you have to connect it to a host PC and run the software on the CD-ROM to set it up to work with a Wi-Fi network.

The printer doesn’t have an Ethernet port, so that puts other network technologies like regular Ethernet or HomePlug powerline out of the picture. This may not be an issue with typical wooden or brick-veneer suburban homes where you can receive Wi-Fi everywhere from one router, but can be an issue with older double-brick homes or larger homes.

As far as network functionality is concerned, you can print or scan via the network. There isn’t a “wake-up” arrangement which allows you to bring the printer out of low-power mode from any network-connected computer. Therefore you have to make sure that the printer is fully on when you want to start printing or scanning.

Printing

There were no major hassles involved with printing documents, which it was able to do very quickly. I even ran a “pressure-test” print of one of the HP manuals for this unit from HP’s website to see how it can handle a large printing job like a school assignment or large report. It was able to allow 30 pages to “pile up” on the paper tray without causing reliability problems. As well, I was able to replenish the paper supply and continue printing by using the unit’s controls and without having to go back to the host computer when it ran out of paper.

This reliability has been provided for because Hewlett-Packard had stuck to the same kind of inkjet printing mechanism for their desktop inkjet printers ever since they released the original Deskjet in 1988.

For photographic work, the unit worked well with keeping the colour balance and flesh tones right. Infact it didn’t “over-saturate” pictures even when a person who was in the picture had a reddish complexion. It still took its time to print the photographic images because of the requirements of that job.

It can also print from camera cards including SDHC camera cards, and can print DPOF print orders that you set using your camera’s user interface. It still has the usual limitations of requiring the card to stay in the slot during printing, which can be a limitation when you want to grab more “moments” while the unit is printing your pictures.

Scanning

The printer can scan documents and images, whether direct-connected or network-connected. If you want to start the scanning job from the printer’s control panel, you will need to make sure that you select the desired computer to send the job to. This is determined by whichever computers have the HP software installed on them.

I have scanned some 35mm prints using this machine, including some pictures of people and the printer’s scanner was able to reproduce the pictures properly. This included a picture that I took with people who had different complexions and this kind of scenario could be a trial for some scanners.

The Photosmart Wireless printer took around 15 seconds to copy an A4 page, no matter whether the unit was to make a colour or monochrome copy of that page. This would still make the printer suitable as a convenience copier for most households.

Fit and finish

This printer is finished in that “gloss piano black” look that makes it appeal to home use. This would be more of an advantage with rooms where the furniture is primarily a “dark wood” finish or a finish similar to that lacquered-black grand piano. The only disadvantage with this finish is that it attracts fingermarks too quickly.

There is still that sense of sturdiness that is common with good-quality printers with everything snapping in to place in an assured manner.

Advantages

It is easy to perform routine maintenance tasks on this printer like replacing ink cartridges because there isn’t much effort required to open the lid or remove and install the cartridges. As I have said before, this is important for those with weaker hands like older people.

The printer is very quick at most of the routine tasks that you would expect it to do. It also has the hallmarks of Hewlett-Packard’s build quality and reliability that they have been known for.

The software isn’t likely to get in the way of your computing tasks or place unnecessary burdens on your computer’s performance. Infact, the only way it makes its presence felt is to inform you of your print-job status or to accept scanned documents or images if you start the scan from the printer’s control panel.

Limitations and Points of Improvement

One main limitation is that you have to connect the unit to a computer running supplied software via USB for it to work with Wi-Fi network segments that don’t use WPS configuration. It cannot be used with wireless networks that use WPA-Enterprise security, nor does it have an Ethernet socket for use with other networking technologies. These particular limitations are most likely to be typical of a low-end Wi-Fi-enabled consumer multifunction printer.

There isn’t a USB host socket, which rules out the use of the printer for PictBridge printing or printing from USB memory keys. As well, the small display screen may be a hindrance for some people, especially those who have eyesight limitations.

Now that the cost of secondary-storage flash memory is becoming very cheap, manufacturers like Hewlett-Packard could install an extra SDHC card slot or low-capacity flash memory in these printers and use it as a low-capacity “hard disk”. This could permit print-job buffering for memory-card or network print jobs, CD-free setup for USB or network installations and improved network-scanning workflow.

Conclusion and Placement Notes

I would recommend buying this printer as an entry-level Wi-Fi network all-in-one printer, especially if you are moving your computing lifestyle towards the “new computing environment”. This is based around a laptop that connects wirelessly to the Internet via a wireless router and is likely to be used around the house. It would also work well as a secondary Wi-Fi network printer for the home such as one that would be placed in the family room while you have the more-expensive unit placed in the study or home office; or as a Wi-Fi network printer for use at a secondary home location like a holiday house or city flat.

For small-business use, this printer could work well as an “away-from-office” multi-purpose printer/scanner where there are occasional small print runs or the need to do “quick copies”. The network ability would only support Wi-Fi network setups that don’t use enterprise-level authentication. This would mean that it can work properly with the typical 3G routers that “edge” temporary networks.

The machine is priced at a “street price” of AUD$129 (obtained from Officeworks advertisement) with original-name (HP Genuine) ink cartridges (part number 564) costing AUD$18.76 for the black and AUD$16.76 for each colour. You can also buy original-name (HP Genuine XL)  “extra-yield” (part number 564XL) cartridges for AUD$51.20 for the black and AUD$29.56 for each colour if you find you do a lot more printing.

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Reference section being added to blog site

Hi everyone!

I have established a reference section on this blog to improve its useability. This is being achieved through a glossary that uses simple language to explain the computing terms that will be used in the blog or by salesmen in this industry. There is also a “network hierarchy” reference table which describes the logical areas of a network in relationship to each other, as well as the relationship of various device classes to the network.

As this blog evolves, I will be adding more reference material to this area as a way of making the articles easier to understand.

With regards,

Simon

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What could be the definition of the European universal broadband Internet service?

 thinkbroadband :: European USO could interrupt government plans

My comments and summary

The European Commission are looking in to the idea of a standard for baseline broadband Internet service across the European Union. This is based on certain factors where the UK’s fixed broadband coverage is 99% whereas the average across the European Union is 93% with the EU’s rural areas clocking in at 77%. In my opinion, these figures don’t quote a minimum service speed “at the door” for any of the ADSL services.

The issues they were raising include:

  • competitive service provision to European-Union standards, especially in rural areas
  • access to the Internet service by disadvantaged groups such as disabled people, people on low means and people who are in remote areas
  • Minimum service speed
  • How should the universal service be funded
  • Should the standard be determined by the European-Union nations themselves or by the European Commission in Brussels

Competitive Service Provision

I had used the DegroupNews website to observe how ADSL Internet service was being provided through France, and that there were many service providers in the population-dense areas whereas the population-sparse areas were serviced by one operator. A very good example of this was the département of Alpes-Maritimes (16) which has the cities of Nice and Cannes. Here, all the exchanges covering areas near the seaboard had many operators, with those big resort cities had many operators whereas the towns in the Alps had just one operator.

If you don’t have the same level of competitive service in a geographic area as you do in another geographic area, there is an increased likelihood of the dominant operator providing poor service quality or taking time to roll out service and technology improvements to that area.

Disadvantaged groups

A common issue that may be raised would be provision of broadband service to disadvantaged groups like the disabled, people on low incomes and people who live in remote areas. The cost of providing computer-usage-aids to disabled people is reducing because of various imperatives like the ageing population, civil-rights measures that include disability access, increased use of standard hardware / software interfaces and easy-to-implement software modifications. This group of users, along with the elderly, may also benefit from having broadband service included in to communications-access welfare measures like telephony-service benefits that are part of pensions and benefits.

This heading also includes economically-disadvantaged groups such as the unemployed or those on low income. It should also include provisions to prohibit service providers from “redlining” service out of economically-disadvantaged areas in a similar pattern to what happened in major cities in the USA through the 40s to the 60s. As well, there may be issues raised about minimum bandwidth to be made available for “social” or “low-cost” private services as well as the provision of public-access facilities in the form of “cybercafé-style” terminals and/or Wi-Fi hotspots; and cost-effective broadband service for community organisations.

It also includes providing broadband Internet service to remote communities, whether through a wireless technology like WiMAX; extending wired technology to these communities or a mixture of both methods. This will also encompass the issue of providing any extra consumer-premises hardware that is needed to receive broadband under these conditions. 

The standard network speed

An issue that is also being raised is what should be the defined headline speed for the universal service. Some countries may run on either 512kbps or 1Mbps for the standard speed but the UK is preferring to call 2Mbps as the standard for universal broadband service. As well, the European Commission are showing a preference for a 2Mbps service as the baseline standard.

Funding of the universal broadband service

The question of funding the costs of meeting universal broadband service targets is a similar one to how the cost of providing universal telephone service was met. Here, there isn’t an established broadband Internet service provider in the same way that there was an established telephone service provider. This is although in most European countries, the established telephone service provider such as the “PTTs” or the telephone spinoffs such as British Telecom or France Télécom ran a basic online service in the form of a “viewdata” service and had established their own retail ISP services.

One method that may be considered easy would be for the established ISP to bear the costs themselves and end up charging steep prices for discretionary services like what has happened with the established telephone services. On the other hand, there could be a universal-service fund similar to what is established in the USA for the provision of the universal telephone service. This could be funded by all Internet providers through a levy charged to all customers’ services which the UK was proposing or a turnover-based tax, or simply the national government or European Commission to offset this through line-item spending.

A similar argument that may be raised is whether the nations should fund the universal service themselves or rely on the powers-that-be in Brussels to manage the funding.

Should the standard be determined at national level or European-Union level

This issue is being raised because some countries in the European Union, most notably the UK, France and Germany have made headlong progress in achieving the goal of the universal broadband Internet service. Some countries, such as the UK, have also achieved highly-ambitious standards like 2Mbps as the baseline speed.

The national vs European-level determination may affect whether countries are able to compete more easily in the European single market and whether an advanced country should be “pegged down” by lower baseline standards that may be determined to accommodate countries with not-so-advanced Internet infrastructure or expectations.

Conclusion

Other countries and country groups that are outside the remit of the European Union should observe what is being decided in Brussels for the universal broadband Internet service so they can know what is expected for such a basic level of service and what factors should be looked at when determining this expectation.

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Samsung Super AMOLED explained in pretty moving pictures (video) — Engadget

 Samsung Super AMOLED explained in pretty moving pictures (video) – Engadget

Samsung’s explanatory video clip

My comments on this technology

Same desirable attributes as the OLED displays, but improved in significant ways. Ability for the display to have integrated touch-sensitivity, This leads to slimmer touchscreen handsets which is an increasingly-important application in the now-competitive smartphone market, as well as similar applications like remote-control handsets and personal media players.

They have improved the outdoor viewing ability and display responsiveness for this display, which would be of benefit to mobile phones as well as digital-imaging and handheld-games-console applications. But do I see this technology going further? Another application that I could see the Super AMOLED work well with is a watch which works as an auxiliary display and control unit for mobile phones, like some of the Sony Bluetooth watches that have been surfacing lately. Such watches could then permit a colour display on the wrist with various interesting applications.

An area where this Super AMOLED technology could excel would be automotive and marine applications, especially if the cost of larger-area displays comes to a par with the common LCD displays. For example, the new multi-function displays that are becoming the control point for HVAC, infotainment, navigation, and similar applications in newer cars could move towards this display technology. Similarly, this technology could appeal to personal navigation devices a.k.a. “sat-navs” or GPS units, marine GPS / fish-finder units as well as aftermarket car-audio equipment.

What I see is that the Super AMOLED could be one of the next key display technologies as was the LCD or the LED displays.

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Now Google is proposing search for the big screen in the home

 Google Testing TV / Web Search on DISH Network Set-top Boxes | eHomeUpgrade

Video business-news bulletin including story about Google’s TV / Web search

My comments on this technology

Google has become a byword for searching for information on the Internet in a similar manner to the way the word “Walkman” became a byword for personal stereo equipment or “Hoover” became one for vacuum cleaning. Their presence is now strong on the computer screen and the mobile screen, but the territory that they haven’t conquered yet is the television screen.

Now they are working with DISH Network (one of two major satellite-TV services in the USA) to develop a TV-show / Web search user interface for use on the set-top boxes that DISH Network provide to their satellite-TV customers. Could this mean that we could be able to find RF-broadcast content as well as content on the Web like YouTube clips or Web sites such as online episode guides. They reckoned that this may need the use of a QWERTY keyboard near the TV.

But I have observed an increasing furtherance towards text entry from the couch, which would be important with Google’s TV/Web search. For example, some remote controls are implementing text entry on a 12-key keypad similar to how those teenagers type out text messages on their mobiles and others, including TiVo are issuing remote controls that have a slide-to-expose QWERTY keyboard for text entry. On the other hand. there have been manufacturers who offered small wireless or USB keyboards being pitched at “lounge-room” use.

This is even though I have seen situations where teenagers have brought laptops in to the lounge area so they can IM or Facebook friends while watching their favourite TV shows, or where I have used Google or the Internet Movie Database from my mobile phone to search for information relating to a show that I am watching.

So it definitely shows that the Internet is becoming part of the regular TV-viewing life rather than a separate activity.

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The Browser Choice Screen – we are still not happy

 Les éditeurs de navigateurs se mobilisent contre Microsoft – DegroupNews.com (France – French language)

My comments on this situation

There is still some disquiet in the European Union regarding the Browser Choice Screen that Microsoft launched in that market on 1 March 2010 to satisfy the European Commission’s anti-trust issue concerning their delivery of Internet Explorer 8 as the standard browser for the Windows platform.

The main issue was that the only browsers that were immediately visible to the user were the “top 5” desktop browsers – Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Opera. The user had to “pan” the menu rightwards to see the other browsers like Maxthon, GreenBrowser, K-Meleon and Flock. This had annoyed the developers of these alternative browsers, some of which were “super-browsers” built on either the Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer codebases and were endowed with extra features.

These browser developers want the European Commission to mandate an easily-identifiable visual cue as part of the Browser Choice Screen user-interface to indicate more browsers available. This is even though there is a scroll-bar of variable width under the browser list that can be dragged left and right to reveal the other browsers.

Personally, I would also look into the idea of an alternative user-interface layout in the form of a 6 x 2 grid for the browser-selection part rather than the current “ribbon” menu. This can cater for more browsers to be shown to  the user, but the downside would be that it requires more screen real-estate which limits its utility on smaller screens like netbooks. It may also make the user-interface more cluttered and intimidating.

It is certainly a situation that reminds me of many council planning-permission fights that I have read about in various local newspapers whenever one of the big American fast-food chains like KFC or McDonalds wants to set up shop in a neighbourhood. A very constant argument that I read of in these reports is that the fast-food chain’s logo and colour scheme stands out like a sore thumb against all the other small cafés that had existed previously in that area. The alternative browser developers like Maxthon see themselves as the small café who is put out of business by the “big boys” (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer & co) who are seen in a similar light to McDonalds, KFC & co.

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Product Review – Revo Domino Internet table radio (Frontier Internet Radio Platform)

I am reviewing one of Revo’s latest Internet radios – the Domino FM/DAB+/Internet table radio which one of many of the radios appearing in this class.Revo Domino 2

This set comes in a charcoal-grey rubber-textured housing, with a joystick on the front as the main selection control. It also has a knob for selecting between operation modes and another knob to turn the volume up and down. As well, you turn the radio on and off by pressing this knob in a similar manner to most car radios.

The display is in the left “porthole” on the front of the set and is a small OLED display with a similar “off-white” colour to the vacuum-fluorescent displays on most consumer electronics made by Sony and Panasonic.

Revo Domino - display close-up There is an integrated iPod dock that is covered by a removable panel and the set came with Apple-style iPod inserts that work with whichever iPod or iPhone you have.

It also comes with a card-style remote control which, like its stablemate, allows for operation from a distance and allows for direct access to the locally-preset stations.

Setup

This process is similar to most Frontier-platform Internet radios like the Kogan and the Revo iBlik. The set is capable of supporting “quick-setup” with WPS “push-button-setup” routers and is the first one that I have reviewed to offer this method/ But this option isn’t made as part of the Network Setup Wizard, rather you have to go to System Settings – Network menu and select “PBC setup” to instigate this kind of setup.

It is also the first Internet radio that I have reviewed that supports multiple wireless-network profiles (SSID and security-parameter combinations). Here, this set can remember the profiles for the four last-used wireless networks but the user can delete a particular network profile from the list.Revo Domino - remote control

Operation

It works in a manner similar to the other Internet radios that I have tried, with a “mode selector” and heavy use of menus. The unit also supports FM radio with RDS and DAB/DAB+ digital radio for regular RF-based radio service. The aerial for this is a telescopic rod one that is clipped vertically on the back of the unit so you don’t have to unclip it when you just need to extend it upwards.

The set stores 10 preset stations for each “band” – FM, DAB and Internet radio; and you select them by pressing the star button and highlighting the station with the joystick then pressing the joystick to hear it. To set a station as a preset, you press the star button to show preset list, then hold joystick button in until “Preset saved” comes up on display. For Internet radio, this is in addition to the favourite stations that you have identified at the wifiradio-frontier.com Website.

The set works properly with a UPnP AV / DLNA home media network and the transport controls on top of the set allow you to move across the music collection that you are playing.

The set can work as a replacement for the old clock radio in the bedroom. The Alarm button on the front of the set is for enabling different previously-set alarm times when the set is off or to set the alarm times when the set is on. You can set two different alarm times and determine what to wake to – buzzer, FM station, DAB station, Internet station or iPod for each alarm time. Like the iBlik that I reviewed previously, you can set an alarm event to occur on a particular date, every day, every weekday or every weekend. When the alarm sounds. all the buttons on the unit reset the alarm. The joystick works as “snooze button” and repeated pressing of it allows you to extend the snooze time. There is a sleep-off timer that causes the set to stop playing after a known time. but you have to go through the menus to start the sleep timer, something you wouldn’t do if you are very tired and just want to drift off to music.

There is inherent support for the last.fm “personal-music” service which can “learn” your music tastes from music played from your iPod, last.fm’s Internet radio service or a UPnP AV media server.

Sound quality

The Revo Domino is the first Internet radio that I have reviewed to have tone controls. These are found under “Equaliser” option in “System Settings” menu. There are 5 preset tone settings plus a user-determined tone setup – bass, treble and loudness-compensation.

The NXT “dual-radiator” speaker allows for some “punch” in the sound without suffocating the vocals when music is played. It also reproduces speech very clearly and the set can put up a significantly loud volume without distorting. This can be of benefit if you need to use it in noisy environments.

This unit has the similar output level to most radios of its kind, enough to fill a reasonably-size room with easily–identifiable music and can compete with the noise emitted by typical kitchen appliances.

Points for improvement

There are a few places where the Revo Domino could be improved.

One is that the OLED display could be made a bit larger. This could improve its useability, especially if the user doesn’t have good eyesight, which may be common with senior citizens.

It also could benefit from having a headphone jack installed, which can cater for late-night listening or for playing it through an active speaker system.

Conclusion and placement notes

Beyond the above-mentioned limitations associated with a small display and the lack of a headphone jack, there isn’t anything much else that I could fault this set on.

Here, I would recommend that the Revo Domino be best sold as a “step-up” Internet radio / iPod-dock combination for use in the kitchen, office, workshop, or small shop. It can also work well as a clock radio even though you have to go in to the Main Menu to set the alarm or enable the sleep timer.

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thinkbroadband :: Broadband Campaign "Final Third First" launched

thinkbroadband :: Broadband Campaign “Final Third First” launched

Advocacy site

Final Third First blog

My Comments on this campaign

There have been steps taken in the UK to “get broadband to the farm gate” but there are still a lot of questions concerning how this is going on.  The main issue being raised regarding rural broadband in the UK is lack of “proper access”. IMHO, this would mean “at the door” access speeds that match service-package “headline speeds” for mid-tier ADSL packages.

Previously, I had blogged about rural broadband not just being about planting a DSLAM in to a rural telephone exchange and providing a backhaul to one or more Internet services. There is a lot more that needs to be looked at in this context, such as the quality of the telephone wiring from the exchanges to the properties. The act of planting a DSLAM in the telephone exchange may provide close to headline-speed DSL to every one of those fixed telephone lines in the built-up area such as a hamlet or village. Then you have the issue of “clapped-out” telephone lines servicing the rural properties that limits DSL performance to these properties. Other factors also include a failure to use the options that are part of the ADSL2 standard to “push out” the signal over long distances.

I would therefore recommend a gradual but prompt process of renewing and reorganising telephone lines for particular geographic areas as users register interest in broadband Internet in their areas of residence. This may also include investigating the use of ADSL repeater setups and similar “push-out” hardware setups. I would also look at the idea of deploying fibre-based Internet like Vitesse did in Birch Green, Bramfield, Hertingfordbury and Stapleford in Hertfordshird (UK), whether directly “to the door” or as part of a backbone to copper-based runs.

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The Android-driven Wi-Fi cordless phone that thinks it’s a smartphone

News and Blog articles

DSP Group’s Android DECT / Wi-Fi Home Phone Reference Design Has Me Drooling | eHomeUpgrade

DSP Multimedia Handset – Android Based Home Phone | Android Community

From the horse’s mouth

DSP Group’s “video brochure” available on YouTube

DSP Group’s Web page on this phone

My comments on this phone

Most of the news concerning Android is focused on smartphones that are pitched as cellular mobile phones. But this phone is an intent to take Android to a new territory – the home cordless phone which is used as a household’s “common phone”.

Here, it uses VoIP technology through a Wi-Fi network (which nearly all home networks are based around) but can work as a DECT-based cordless phone. But it can work with a home network by providing DLNA functionality, access to home automation, consumer-electronics control; as well as being a hand-held Internet terminal. Telephony service providers like Telstra can customise the phone to suit their needs such as providing a branded customer experience like they do with mobile phones. This can also extend to hosted-PBX providers providing this phone as part of an IP-based business phone system for a small business.

This has been achieved through the use of Google Android as the phone’s operating environment and the phone being able to gain access to applications provided for the Google Android MarketPlace. This can open up this home phone for all sorts of innovative applications. I would also extend this to business-related applications including order-entry for restaurants or tourist information for the hospitality industry.

This phone has become the first reference design for an in-home / in-premises cordless phone to have an interface and level of functionality that puts it on a par with today’s smartphones. It will also definitely appeal to the competitive “triple-play” marketplace that is being built out in different countries around the world and could herald the beginning of a new age of “in-premises” telephony.

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