[opendtv] Re: Why HANA, why now?

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 17:53:28 -0400

John Golitsis wrote:

> Having been in A/V retail for a number of years and having done
> countless A/V system installs, I can tell you that something
> like HANA is very dearly needed. Unfortunately, HANA will
> likely go the way of it's predecessor HAVi (www.havi.org) and
> never make any meaningful impact on the market. Why HAVi failed
> so miserably is something I'd love to know.

Wow, I had completely forgotten about HAVi. That's another example.

People often say, "I want the set with DVI (or whatever) interface to
make this purchase more future-proof." Retailers often spread this bit
of wisdom too (not casting stones at you, John; just stating a fact).
The simple truth is, in order to be future proof, you need the analog
interfaces. The more fancy the interface becomes, the more limiting it
will ultimately be. I think that's a general fact of life.

This certainly happened with LANs. The first one, Ethernet, was
supposedly superseded by many others. But since Ethernet was and is the
simplest, it was the one that was easiest to upgrade, time and time
again. As speeds went up, as networks grew in size, the various
token-passing or demand-priority schemes either became irrelevant or
they impeded progress. Ethernet instead went to full duplex and switched
mesh topology, and off it went into the future. And all the older
Ethernet links are still compatible.

This same thing happened with the DIN standards for stereos, back in the
1960s and 1970s. They were very convenient, if you wanted to just wire
up your component stereo. One cable to connect the tape deck. One cable
to connect the turntable. One standard connector for speakers. No wires
to strip, no fussy binding posts to deal with. It took seconds to set up
a component stereo system.

But the problem is, if you deviate from the prescribed formula, then it
becomes far more cumbersome to use than the more basic US stereo
standards. Just for example, if you want to use really fat speaker
cables, those DIN connectors became worthless. Or for multichannel
sound, those convenient single audio cables became obsolete. Or if,
heaven forbid, you wanted to fabricate your own cable for whatever
special installation, what a hassle. Ever tried to do a clean job with
the multipin DIN audio connectors?

Same happened to the MCA bus introduced by IBM PS/2s. It was supposed to
be a common bus for peripherals and memory. Pretty soon, memory buses
had to be far faster than anything MCA could offer, and we were back to
the separate memory buses.

The fancier standards are, the more limiting they become.

HANA seems to have all the same vulnerabilities, much like HDMI and much
like MCA. They are probably great as long as they are used in the
original context for which they were designed. As soon as you migrate
beyond that original formula, you're back to using individual cables or
individual protocols for the new stuff, and the supposedly common
digital standard is relegated to legacy boxes. The simple and direct
analog interfaces, for video and audio, are what you need when push
comes to shove.

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