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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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no more wires!
By swtethan on 10/31/2006 3:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine, no wires except for power!




RE: no more wires!
By therealnickdanger on 10/31/2006 3:50:38 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, don't worry, I'm sure Monster will find a way to still sell you $5 cables for $80. LOL! They'll sell some sort of "wireless signal enhancer/cleaner" for $700. I can only imagine how Monster, a company constantly marketing against the ills of EMI suddenly outdone or supporting a radio-based system.

Retail chains can kiss some of their beloved margin away as well...


RE: no more wires!
By jp7189 on 10/31/2006 4:52:16 PM , Rating: 3
heh Monster.. they'll likely sell high quality air that improves the trasmission of 60GHz signals.


RE: no more wires!
By One43637 on 10/31/2006 6:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

by jp7189 on October 31, 2006 at 4:52 PM

heh Monster.. they'll likely sell high quality air that improves the trasmission of 60GHz signals.


couldn't have said it any better lol.


RE: no more wires!
By guy642002 on 11/1/2006 7:00:33 AM , Rating: 2
Monster actually sells their cables for relatively cheap it's these great companies that put 500% markups on their accessories that are screwing everyone over.


RE: no more wires!
By therealnickdanger on 11/1/2006 10:05:26 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
...it's these great companies that put 500% markups on their accessories...

8ft Monster DVI-HDMI cable: $150 @ Best Buy
7ft Generic DVI-HDMI cable: $15 @ Newegg

1,000% markup. Thanks for the savings, Monster! Monster really is that bad. Their cables are nothing but snake-oil. The only condition where I think any of these "premium cable" companies can get away with their higher price is in extreme situations of EMI... like living inside a nuclear reactor. I'll tell ya, if the cable company is going to use a half-mile of generic 75-Ohm to get up my driveway... not sure why I need anything better.


Wireless future
By InternetGeek on 10/31/2006 4:06:11 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't there the chance that by using WirelessHD DRM schemes might be broken easier than with a wired solution?

In other hand, I'm making a reminder to buy stock on Rayovac...




RE: Wireless future
By pepsimax2k on 10/31/2006 6:55:59 PM , Rating: 2
surely a wireless signal is more likely to incorporate some kind of extra encryption than a wired one? that's how it seems to go with regular networking anyway - encrypt the wireless signals but don't bother with the wired ones...


RE: Wireless future
By Xenoterranos on 11/1/2006 11:35:41 AM , Rating: 2
AirSnortHD anyone?


Sure...
By Hydrofirex on 10/31/2006 3:54:36 PM , Rating: 1
We don't even have gigabyte wireless net yet, and you want me to believe they're going to stream HD around - I think I'll wait until they get all the kinks worked out of regular high-bandwidth wireless internet.

Even going to MIMO was a nightmare when I did it a year ago.

HfX




RE: Sure...
By jp7189 on 10/31/2006 4:56:10 PM , Rating: 2
Signaling at 60GHz will surely give the needed bandwidth.. it's just that at 60GHz the signal won't penetrate a piece of tissue paper. Which makes it useless for traditional WiFi or WiMAX applications.


RE: Sure...
By PhantomKnight on 11/1/2006 3:51:02 AM , Rating: 2
Its actually due to the fact that the signal can't refract, not so much penetrate the walls, the signal would actually be going around the walls.


60 mil units in 2006?
By Moishe on 10/31/2006 3:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
Where are these units? If there is no standard, how can there be 60 mil units in 2006?

I think wireless video/audio would be quite sweet and save a lot of trouble for post-construction home theater installs. I can't imagine that the wireless would be as good as wired installs for a long time, but this is a good idea.

They need to just setup one wireless technology that works for networking and has bandwidth capable of handing uncompressed HD video and then use that technology to integrate a wireless network in every home. It would cover internet, phone, TV, etc.




RE: 60 mil units in 2006?
By clayclws on 10/31/2006 3:32:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the article was very misleading...or did I read it wrongly?


60 GHZ?
By Korvon on 10/31/2006 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
They have a hard enough time with 5GHZ when it doesnt have a clear line of sight. Most wireless is still in the 2.4GHZ and lower because it has better range. I wonder if this is going to be a short range 30-60ft wireless standard. I guess if you have the player right next to your TV it wouldnt be that big of a deal.




RE: 60 GHZ?
By kkwst2 on 10/31/2006 5:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
I would guess at that frequency the range would be even less. 10-20 feet might be optimistic. But for 95% of people, that kind of range would be fine. For people (like me) who have their A/V equipment in the basement and the TV upstairs, I'll bet I would still have to run a trasmitter through the walls into the same room.

We'll see. Wouldn't hold your breath...


By UserDoesNotExist on 10/31/2006 3:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
Man, I hope the next-next-gen consoles incorporate this technology. I dread having to go into that tangled mess behind my TV and disconnect random cords every time I want to take my 360 to a friend's apartment.

Anyone else get the feeling that HD is becoming the new nano or .com, namely that companies will slap HD onto their company name just to be hip and trendy?




Who killed UWB?
By MobileZone on 10/31/2006 9:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
No more UWB?




Pah! Hate wireless...
By JNo on 11/1/2006 11:37:38 AM , Rating: 2
"With high-definition wireless links, media streaming and transmission from any source to any display or recorder is dramatically simplified"

I agree that wires are a mess but not nearly as much of a mess as wireless solutions that you can't get to work. When something doesn't work (and that's often in my experience!), eliminating the wireless factor always just means getting the wires back out again to check/rule out the possibility...




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