The networked home is fast becoming a reality. It will enable consumers to link the growing number of electronic devices in the home to the outside world via a high bandwidth data pipe. The digital set-top box is ideally positioned as the hub of the networked home, acting as the 'Home Gateway', enabling devices in the home to link with each other and the outside world. The technological capabilities of the Home Gateway are endless. It is already becoming the most popular consumer device to access online interactive services. As a result of its core capability in the delivery of digital television, its consumer interface is also attractive and easy to use. To create the home network, wireless and wireline communication technologies will be vital, allowing connectivity between the Home Gateway and the various appliances around the home - from PCs and telephones to kitchen appliances and utility meters. The selection of the technologies that make this possible and mitigation of problems in the traditional 'home protocols' will be crucial.
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