Last night as I was running some errands, I drove by and decided to pay a visit to my local Best Buy where I live in San Antonio. I walked through the myriad of big screen TVs and of course the way cool Magnolia Theater section of the store.
I needed to do this in order think through a bit more about how and why Best Buy’s role as a Board Member of the HomeGrid Forum will impact the future of the wired home network.
Then it hit me.
The “ah-ha” moment came to me when I realized that in one fell swoop, the big box retailer will be the key driver in the migration to the next generation of wired home networking - the G.hn standard. Now that Circuit City is dead, Best Buy controls what U.S. consumers buy in terms of consumer electronics, home appliances, and computers.
Best Buy wants to make sure that when a customer walks in the door to shop and hopefully buy, the entire experience is excellent. While I haven’t spoken to Best Buy, my guess is they probably realize all too well that the home networking experience today is not that great an experience. There are too many standards, different devices that don’t work well together and as a result, customers get confused and return their products.
Best Buy can fix all that. By pushing TV, appliance, computer and network device makers towards a common standard like G.hn, Best Buy can do more to help rally the industry around a unified approach to the connected home. Plus, what Best Buy does in the U.S. will impact what other big box retailers in other parts of the world.
My guess is once Best Buy decides to embrace G.hn in full, every hardware company will have to migrate from existing standards such as HomePlug, MoCA and HomePNA to G.hn. This probably won’t happen overnight. It will probably take years. Still, I can’t hardly wait and see how Best Buy makes it all work seamlessly together.