Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and others join to forum the WirelessHD Interest Group

When it comes to audio/video connectivity standards, it looks as though there is always a revolving door of new technology coming in and leaving. HDTVs today come packed with composite, component, DVI, VGA, HDMI and optical out connectors to ensure that we have every possible option covered when hooking up our various receivers DVD players, gaming consoles and speaker systems.

A new consortium made up of some of the leading companies in the consumer electronics business is looking to replace that nest of wires hanging out behind your TV set with wireless technology. The new WirelessHD Interest Group is composed of LG Electronics Inc., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), NEC Corporation, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS, CO., LTD, SiBEAM, Inc., Sony Corporation and Toshiba Corporation. Together, the companies are working to implement WirelessHD to provide wireless transmission of uncompressed A/V transmissions in the 60 GHz frequency band. John Marshall, Chairman of the WirelessHD Interest Group, had this to say about the new wireless standard:

"The availability of high-definition wireless connections stands to eliminate the morass of cables, switches and other complexities traditionally needed to support the wide variety of devices consumers have and will continue to buy, such as HDTVs, HD disc players, digital video cameras and game consoles. With high-definition wireless links, media streaming and transmission from any source to any display or recorder is dramatically simplified by removing the need for a hard-wired connection.  WirelessHD will provide a high-speed wireless digital interface that will enable customers to simply connect, play, transmit and port their HD content in a secure manner."

With most of the top consumer electronics manufacturers onboard -- and with more sure to join within the coming months -- the work now begins to flesh out the specifics of the wireless standard and to push for widespread industry support. So far, the WirelessHD Interest Group is focusing on these aspects of WirelessHD:

  • High interoperability supported by major CE device manufacturers
  • Uncompressed HD video, audio and data transmission, scalable to future high-definition A/V formats
  • High-speed wireless, multi-gigabit technology in the unlicensed 60 GHz band
  • Smart antenna technology to overcome line-of-sight constraints of 60 GHz
  • Secure communications
  • Device control for simple operation of consumer electronics products
  • Error protection, framing and timing control techniques for a quality consumer experience

Specifications for the new standard are expected to be ratified in the spring of 2007. The technology is expected to be ramp rapidly with In-Stat commenting that total shipments of devices with high-speed A/V interfaces (wired and wireless) should rise from 60 million units in 2006 to 495 million units by 2009.

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