Home Area Networks designed for the delivery of both multimedia contents (e.g. TV programs, movies, music) and home automation services (e.g. household appliances commands, lighting and surveillance controls) are becoming widespread, especially thanks to the latest developments in wireless sensor and communication devices. This kind of networks, however, represents a new challenge for the networking field, particularly with respect to the integration of many different home and building automation solutions, that are not originally conceived to coexist and exchange data. Consequently, it is necessary to introduce an operational infrastructure able to interconnect different devices on the same communication link, or over different links, by means of a single user interface and a unified intelligence, thus making possible a complete and efficient management of the system. This paper outlines the main components in the design of an integrated home network architecture based on both commercial and customized devices developed ad-hoc, and provides preliminary results about the performance obtainable in the delivery of different data flows. The convergence of many differentiated services over IP-based architectures dramatically increases the amount of IP traffic to be delivered to the clients, so that Quality of Service management issues arise, and are to be taken into account.
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