Currently Cable is the dominant provider of Audio/Video entertainment services into the borne. But, with the advent of video compression technologies, virtually every company and industry associated with computers and communication is targeting the delivery of A/V entertainment into the home as a future growth market.
The next 20 years are going to be very exciting and many new services will be provided to consumers, but steps need to be taken now to coordinate and standardize the hardware for distribution of information into and within the home. The problems associated with current Cable converters and Cable Ready TVs will seem insignificant when a multitude of information providers are all trying to use the same TV and VCR, and each provider is using a different interface.
This paper proposes a cost effective approach which combines the various distribution methods of external media into a single "Point of Entry" unit. The pluses and minuses of standardization are addressed and recommendations are presented as to what should be standardized and what level of standardization should be implemented.
Also, the issues associated with the distribution of signals within the home is discussed presuming that compression, A TV, and multi-media are in the not too distant future.
A marketable interface needs to be cost effective, useful, and easy to use by the consumer. It must also be backward compatible and easily expandable. Methods for solving these problems are proposed.