2Wire Connects the Home
With its 2Wire intelligent home server and the 2Wire Shifter, the company says it allows end users to reach the content they want anytime, anywhere. At the same time, the products give service providers more control over multimedia connectivity as a managed service.
The intelligent home server combines network-attached storage with media server functionality to create a central repository of networked content. The home server hunts content on networked devices, building categorized libraries that are stored off-site and can be accessed from any networked device.
The 2Wire Shifter, true to its name, lets users remotely access the content that comes in through the set-top box or other networked devices.
Both products enable Web-based control through telco-run portal sites.
Companies like Sling Media Inc. have sold and marketed these ideas directly to consumers for some time. But 2Wire expects that its offering will take off due to service providers' interest in being a more active part of user's home multimedia experiences.
"Service providers haven't been playing in the backup solution space because they didn't know where they fit," says Jaime Fink, 2Wire's VP of technology and strategy.
Fink says his company's service provider customers were looking to deploy something that gave them more visibility into home networks and would possibly get consumers to sign up for even more managed services.
"Service providers don't want to put a product in the house that is the same as consumer products available that frankly aren't selling that well," Fink says.
That has led to a disconnect between what is available in the retail market and what service providers want out of a multimedia storage offering. "About 85 percent of [service provider customers] have come hunting us down saying, 'We need a product that will help us take control of media in the home and offer managed services,' " he says.
2Wire will be showing off the new products at CES, and they will be available in volume in the latter half of the year. According to Fink, the company already has customer commitments for the products, which will lead to some fully launched services by the third quarter of 2008.
— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading