“The IEEE-1394 interface appearing in the current crop of digital electronics gadgets fails to provide the interoperability system makers promised. What’s worse, industry experts say, the problems dogging
1394 today — such as mushrooming software complexity — could hold back other wired and wireless consumer interfaces as well, postponing the arrival of truly plug-and-play home networks for perhaps a decade.
“Plug anything — camcorder, PC, set-top — into Playstation 2 with 1394, and you’ll basically get no functionality,” said Mark Kirstein, vice president of research at Cahners In-Stat Group. “Similarly, only a few MPEG [D-VHS]-based VCRs can talk to DV camcorders. There is a chance of [consumer] backlash when things don’t work.””