New BT Home Hub with 802.11n wireless
A new BT Home Hub has been launched which claims to have wireless connectivity that is up to twice the range of the existing Home Hub. This extra range is due to the use of 802.11n in the new Home Hub, and additionally the extra speed that 802.11n providers will make for better file sharing across the local network in the home. The press release announcing the new BT Home Hub reveals that the new hub will be free to all those signing up to BT Total Broadband Option 3 and only those ordering Option 2 online. Existing BT Total customers can order the new hub for £45.
The changes other than supporting faster wireless are:
- Power save mode operated by a button on the hub that turns off the wireless output, saving 15 to 20% of power. Of course to save more you can still switch the hub off at the mains for example when away on holiday.
- WPA wireless security enabled by default, the default key will avoid 0,1,O and I to avoid confusion on entering the key.
- Better access control to control when devices can access the internet.
- Simpler installation procedure, which is claimed to use half the steps of existing units.
- Four Ethernet ports for connecting computers.
The casing is a curved design, finished in glossy black plastic with blue indicator lights, a BT hosted image can be seen on the BT Image Library.
This is not the only new product announcement from BT Retail today--According to its Community Forums the BT Vision product will receive a software update in August 2008 to allow downloads of HD content from September onwards. Current IPTV content is streamed to the BT Vision service, but due to the higher bit rate that HD video content requires the service will switch to a download service. MPEG-4 encoding with 5.1 surround sound will be used, but no indication yet of the actual resolution of the video or what the actual bit rate will be.