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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 11:22 GMT
TV to come through mains supply
By Mark Ward
Technology correspondent, BBC News website

Digital televisions
The system can only route a single digital TV channel over the network
Soon you could be piping digital TV around your home via power sockets.

At the Cebit technology fair, German hi-tech firm Devolo is showing off home networking technology that can handle signals from a set top box.

While many firms are working on ways to route data via the mains power circuits in the home, Devolo is among the first to use it to send TV signals.

Further improvements to the home networking system will help it handle cable and satellite TV signals.

Although many people are connecting up all the digital devices in their home via dedicated computer cables, increasing numbers are choosing networking technology that route data via the same wires that supply electricity to each and every room.

Data network

The systems typically work using a specially adapted plug that acts as a mini-hub to route data to devices around the house.

As a data network this system can be used to stream video to devices in other rooms or to route internet-based TV to displays or gadgets.

Now Devolo has found a way to route standard digital TV signals over the same infrastructure.

"It connects to the set-top box and converts that TV signal to an IP signal," said Andre Jansen, a spokesman for Devolo.

IP, or internet protocol, is a standard for sending data across networks.

"The adapter has a range of 200m," he told the BBC News website, "and that's enough for a normal private household."

Devolo has yet to announce prices or availability of the home TV network system.

At the moment the system can only route a single digital TV channel over the network but Devolo aims to improve this soon so people can watch different channels in different rooms.

Next year Devolo hopes to have ready a technology that can pipe satellite and cable TV pictures around the home.

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