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month), you get unlimited, on-demand access. And check out its radio
service ($5 per month) that offers differently themed radio stations. The
Rhapsody player (the service uses its own proprietary player) is based
on Windows Media Player, so it should work with just about any HTPC
remote control.
MUSICMATCH MX (www.musicmatch.com): Like Listen.com, MUSIC-
MATCH MX comes in two versions: gold ($2.95 per month) that gives
you radio access, and platinum ($4.95 per month) that gives you on-
demand access to the catalogs of over 8,000 artists. MX is fully inte-
grated into MUSICMATCH jukebox, so you™ve only got one interface to
deal with.
Movielink (www.movielink.com): Check out Movielink, which is a cool
site from which you can download and play current Hollywood movies
(meaning about when they make it to DVD). A six-day “rental” is about
$3 per movie ” the catch is that you gotta finish watching it within 24
hours after you start playing it.

Other wireless ways (Where there™s a will . . .)
We are very obviously biased toward the (Model USR6003, list price $105) uses FM fre-
802.11x technologies because we believe in a quency bands to link your PC and stereo over
home wireless network backbone. We think that channels 88.1 or 88.3. This is basically an FM
with all the focus on standards, costs will transmitter for your PC. (In Home Theater For
decrease, new features will evolve, and the Dummies, we tell you about how to use this type
overall capability will continue to get better. of transmitter to make your own drive-in!)
Collectively, it simply gives you more options for
For another approach, check out Terk™s (www.
the home.
terk.com, $99.95) Leapfrog Series Wave
That doesn™t mean that standards are the only Master 20 (Model LF-20S) that uses the same
way to go. There are plenty of proprietary 900 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum as does 802.11b
MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5 GHz approaches ” as well and 802.11g to carry audio and video around
as other frequency bands ” that are popular the house. So 802.11 is not the only way, but
because they™re just cheap to manufacture and we prefer it. Just remember: The more signals
cheap to implement. For instance, the that you put in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz ranges to
SoundLink (www.usr.com/products/ compete with your 802.11 signals, the more
problems you™ll have.
USR6003) Wireless Audio Delivery System
Chapter 14
Other Cool Things You Can
In This Chapter
Cruisin™ with wireless onboard
Looking good on Candid Camera, 802.11-style
Controlling your home from afar
Talking to your robo-dog (and having him talk back)

T he wireless age is upon us, with all sorts of new devices and capabilities
that you can add onto your network that save you time, enhance your
lifestyle, and are simply fun. After you have your wireless local area network
(LAN) in place (which we show you how to do in Parts II and III), you can do a
nearly unlimited number of things. Sort of reminds us of the Dr. Seuss book,
Oh, the Places You™ll Go!.

In this chapter, we introduce you to some of the neater things that are avail-
able today for your wireless home network. And in Chapter 19, we talk about
those things that are coming soon to a network near you! Together, with the
gaming and A/V discussion in Chapters 12 and 13, you™ll see why we say that
wireless home networking isn™t just for computers anymore.

In this chapter, we give you an overview of a lot of new products, but we can™t
really give you a lot of specific information about how to set up these prod-
ucts. In general, you have to provide your Service Set Identifier (SSID) and
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) codes, and that should be 95 percent of what
you need to do to set up your device for your wireless network. In this chapter
and in Chapter 19, we feel that it™s important to expose you to the develop-
ments that are happening now so that you can look around and explore differ-
ent options while you wirelessly enable your home. To say that your whole
house is going to have wireless devices in every room within the next three
years is not an understatement ” it™s truly coming on fast (so hold on tight!).
262 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network

The wireless-enablement of consumer goods is spreading faster than a wild-
fire. As we write, products are coming out daily. A lot of the products that we
mention in this chapter represent some of the early forms of addressing the
wireless enablement of some area of your home. If you™re interested in seeing
what else has popped up since we wrote the book, try searching Yahoo!
(www.yahoo.com), as well as our book update site at www.dummies.com/
extras, for the products that we mention in the book. The press likes to
compare different items in articles, and you™re likely to find other new prod-
ucts along with those referenced in this book.

Making a Connection to Your Car
For many people, their car is something more than a mechanism to get them
from Point A to Point B. Some folks spend a considerable amount of time
each day commuting ” we know people who spend 1.5 hours in the car each
way in a commute. For others, like those with RVs, their vehicle represents
almost an entire vacation home.

If you think about the things you do in your car ” listen to some music, talk
on the phone, let your kids watch a movie ” they™re not all that different
from things that you do around the house. Because your home™s wireless con-
nection can reach outside your walls and into your driveway or garage, your
car can go online with your home network and access data ranging from your
address book on your PC to your latest MP3s in your stereo. You can down-
load these to your car, thus simplifying your life and making the car truly a
second home. (No more calls home, “Honey, can you look on my computer
for the number for . . .?”)

Your car™s path to wireless enlightenment
Although you might think that wireless is a new topic for your car, in fact,
your car has been wirelessly enabled for years. Your car stereo gets wireless
AM/FM signals from afar, and with the advent of satellite radio, now even far-
ther than ever before. (See the nearby sidebar, “Satellite radio.”) Wireless
phone options ” cellular and Bluetooth-based technologies ” are quickly
filtering into the car. (We discuss Bluetooth and cars more in Chapter 15.)
And then there™s the new wave of electronic toll systems that also predom-
inantly use short range wireless technology to extract from your bank
account that quarter (or dollar) every time that you cross a toll bridge. So
wireless is all over your car . . . but just not centralized on any sort of wire-
less backbone, like we talk about for your home.
Chapter 14: Other Cool Things You Can Network

Satellite radio
Your wireless home is not always just about www.sirius.com) to find the programming
802.11 technologies . . . other forms of wireless that you prefer. Then get your hands on a satel-
will enhance your home, and satellite radio is lite radio tuner. (You can find a bunch of differ-
one of them, particularly for your car. If you™re ent models listed on each company™s Web
like us, you live somewhere where there isn™t a page.) The majority of these satellite tuners are
whole lot of programming that you really want designed for in-car use (because people tend to
to listen to. Check out satellite radio, which listen to the radio most while they™re driving),
offers a huge number of stations (over 100 each) but XM Radio offers some really cool tuners
beamed to your house or car from a handful of (from Sony and Delco) that can do double duty:
geostationary satellites hovering above the You can put these tuners in your car, and when
equator. We find a ton more diverse and just you get home, pull them out and plug them into
plain interesting stuff coming across these your A/V receiver. As of this writing, SIRIUS
space-based airwaves than we find on our local doesn™t yet offer a receiver for in-home use, but
radio today. Satellite radio services, from star- we expect that it will shortly.
tups such as XM Radio or SIRIUS, require you
Remember: These satellites are down by the
to ” gasp ” pay for your radio (about $10 to
equator, so no matter where you live in the United
$12 a month).
States, put your antenna in a south-facing
Check out the Web sites of the two providers window to pick up a good signal in your home.
(XM Radio, www.xmradio.com; and SIRIUS,

Your car is also becoming more outfitted for computing and entertainment
devices and functionality as manufacturers add as standard and optional fea-
tures things such as DVD and VHS tape playback systems, Global Positioning
Systems (GPSes), and even computers to operate your car.

All this spells “opportunity” for wireless. Bluetooth and 802.11 technologies are
infiltrating the car, creating the same wireless backbone as in your home ” a
universal wireless network that any device or function can access to talk to
other parts of the car, like your stereo, and to points outside the car. In fact,
your wireless home network is going to play an important part in helping con-
solidate and integrate your car™s wireless network within the car and with your
home as these two areas converge towards each other.

The response has been a flurry of activity by the auto manufacturers and
others to network-enable cars with wireless phone, data, video, audio, and
control mechanisms that resemble (in a lot of ways) the same efforts that are
going on inside your house by the other consumer goods manufacturers. In
fact, you™re starting to see whole product lines that include home and car
wireless network products.
264 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network

Linksys, for instance, has teamed with Zandiant Technologies (www.
zandiant.com) to extend its digital home media products to wireless MP3
players in the car and other products that enable vehicles to connect with
home, office, and hot spot networks. Very cool. A version capable of doing
video is expected by the end of 2003, probably based on 802.11g. Other famil-
iar home wireless product companies, like Kenwood, have similar efforts.

Synching your car stereo with home
The major area where 802.11 has initially started to take hold is in third-party
add-ons to the car ” a typical precursor to manufacturers directly bundling
these add-ons into the car (in-car VCRs started the same way). One example
is in the A/V arena. We show in Chapter 13 how simple it is to synchronize
your audio and video server across the house and over the Internet ” why
not with your car, too? (See Figure 14-1.)

Figure 14-1: Auto-synchronization of audio files via wireless
Linking your
car with
your home
network is
a matter of
having your n ization
car™s access
point or
client log
onto and
sync with
the home

Rockford Fosgate (www.omnifimedia.com), for instance, has an 802.11b-
based car product Omnifi ($599 plus the $99 wireless option) that enables
you to wirelessly transfer tunes from your home PC to the car, where they
can be played on your in-dash stereo. The in-dash device can store up to
20GB of files; the home component is a standalone receiver capable of
streaming media dispatched from the PC. (See Figure 14-2.)
Chapter 14: Other Cool Things You Can Network

Figure 14-2:
The Omnifi
system in
your car!

Omnifi eliminates the legwork (the need to burn CDs) to listen to digital music
in the car. It gives consumers the ability to download and transfer music and
programs from the Internet to the PC hard drive to the consumer™s car and
home stereo/theater systems ” using wireless technologies. The Omnifi comes
with an Internet services package ($49.95 annually) that includes thousands of
radio stations, news and information, and a host of additional content from
providers, such as Live365, Yahoo!, Virgin Radio, AOL Shoutcast, Pinnacor,
Gracenote, Tower.com, and Muze. Way cool.

Omnifi is a family of connected devices based on its SimpleWare software
suite. You can manage your media files in one simple media player applica-
tion, SimpleCenter, and then wirelessly deliver the content to your stereo or
car-installed Omnifi devices. What™s more, you can schedule delivery of infor-
mation. The Omnifi scheduler gives users the ability to set information and
music preferences in the SimpleCenter application and schedule the delivery
of media automatically and wirelessly to devices in the car and at the stereo.
This feature works with both local files and Internet-based files that a user
can access through SimpleCenter™s Internet services offerings. For example, a
commuter might choose to schedule an information update of local weather
and traffic, stock quotes, breaking news, and his daily horoscope to be auto-
matically transferred to the Omnifi device in the car at 6:30 a.m. every day in
time for his daily commute.
266 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network

Other vendors are entering the marketplace, so expect your car to become a
hot zone for wireless technologies soon.

Installing a wireless audio system in your car can range from the do-it-yourself
job to something that a local audio installer needs to tackle. Generally, you
have to install the electronics in your trunk or other tucked-away spots in your
car. Some devices allow you to transmit to the car™s stereo by short-range FM
transmitter. (Rockford sells one for its Omnifi that™s about $30.) So you run
power (per the installation instructions) to your installed device, and the wire-
less connections can log onto your home network. You can then download all
your music to the device by using the software provided with the device. That
music is then played by tuning your car stereo into the frequency of the trans-


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