Chapter 5

Software Structure used in Home Area Networks

Once the cables (or radio links) are in place in a home area network, applications speak to each other. This communication is possible thanks to protocols and standards put in place with the aim of improving inter-operability of devices, and the integration of applications.

5.1. Characteristics of Home Area Networks

Today there are three types of home area network (in terms of uses) but others could soon be added:

– a home area network for multimedia applications;

– a home area network to interconnect home equipment: machine to machine;

– a network which operates the gateway with the Internet world and provides a management interface, with adequate access controls.

Protocols and standards, from the physical layer to the application layer, exist to guarantee inter-operability and easy application over a large range of devices commercially available.

Several standards exist, since the requirements of multimedia services and home systems services are different:

– multimedia devices need to exchange and control images, video, audio;

– home systems equipment synchronize with each other, sharing resources and offering machine to machine services;

– like multimedia devices, home systems equipment extend their services with service providers (through a service gateway).

In order to offer subscriptions to the general public and fully provide these services, home systems networks must respect a certain number of restrictions. In particular, ...

Get Home Area Networks and IPTV now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.