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Networking start-up plugs into cable

New gear relies on home cable outlets to deliver fast network connections for gaming and digital video.

LOS ANGELES--A networking gear start-up hopes to popularize a new, faster form of home networking that relies on existing cable TV connections.

Coaxsys, a San Jose, Calif.-based company formed by a former networking guru at Intel, plans to start selling its Pure Speed products in the third quarter of this year. The hardware consists of a network hub that plugs into the home's cable TV line and network adapters that split the signal into a TV line and an Ethernet networking connection.

The Pure Speed products are a high-speed alternative to home wireless networking gear, and another networking technology called powerline networking, which uses a home's existing electrical wiring to deliver network connectivity.

The company, which is showing the hardware this week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo video game trade show, reasons that a major market for the hardware will be game players hoping to tap into new online services for game consoles from Microsoft, Sony and others.

Despite the growing use of wireless home networking gear, company founder John Morelli predicted that Coaxsys hardware will be popular for more demanding uses. He expects that Pure Speed systems will work alongside wireless 802.11 networking gear in many homes, because wireless connections don't have the speed needed for high-bandwidth applications such as games or digital video.

"Wi-Fi is great for what it is," Morelli said. "It's perfect for data networking. But it's not good for doing video or games. We think what we're offering is a great backbone for Wi-Fi."

Pure Speed gear will sell for around $350 for a kit to connect two rooms, and about $120 for each additional room.

Coaxsys hardware saves installation headaches and drywall repair by utilizing existing outlets. About 97 percent of American homes are already wired for cable TV, said Coaxsys CEO Michael D'Addio, and the coaxial cable jacks they use are made for transmitting video.

"We think people will pick up on this pretty fast as an easy and reliable way to extend their network connections throughout the house," D'Addio said.