Print 21 comment(s) - last by masher2.. on Jan 11 at 10:56 AM

Philips SWW1800
Now all we need is wireless power, and we're mobile!

At CES 2007 Philips introduced a device that can transfer an uncompressed HD signal over the air. Aside from being the first of its kind, Philips’ wireless HDMI “cable” is designed to replace conventional home theater wiring. Any home that currently uses an HDMI cable to transfer signals between their components and TV can use this unique device.

"HDMI is an established cornerstone for the HDTV industry, and Philips is extremely pleased to see such significant advancements for picture and sound quality,” said Glen McIlmail, CEO of Philips Accessories, North America. “Wireless HDMI presents an entire new category. For consumers who want the most advanced technology with the simplest connectivity, this is the only way to go.”

Wireless HDMI is an in-room solution that can transfer a 1080p signal without any signal loss. The signal is never compressed and retains all the attributes as if it were transmitted through a standard HDMI cable. By operating in the ultra wideband (UWB) range, the wireless cable experiences no interference from traditional devices (it functions free from obstruction of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cordless phones, microwaves and cell phones). Additionally, the wireless HDMI can be placed anywhere within a 25-foot range – in an entertainment center, in a closet, on the other side of the room. The cable also is compatible with HDCP.

The wireless HDMI device (SWW1800) will be available in May with a suggested retail price of $299.99.

Philips’ solution claims to be the first to offer an uncompressed, lossless signal, but it is not the first to move HDMI signals through the air. Last September, Tzero Technologies and Analog Devices announced their own wireless HDMI solution, which also makes use of UWB technology.

While Philips has not yet detailed exactly how its device operates, the Tzero and Analog HDMI Devices work by using a complex set of chips. On the transmit side, video data is compressed using Analog Devices’ ADV202 JPEG2000 video codec, combined with audio, then packetized and encrypted, and transmitted via the Tzero MAC and PHY chip. The RF chip transmits over the air to the receiver where the audio/video data with HDMI is decompressed and presented to the display device via the HDMI port.

The compression introduced by the Tzero and Analog Devices product is not a lossless one, and thus there is a drop in fidelity. Their design supports only up to 480 Mbps, though the bandwidth requirement for an uncompressed 1080i image is 2.2Gbps.

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Wireless or wired? Which is better?
By archcommus on 1/9/2007 8:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
Should everything just be wireless? Seems possible. Do we really need cables anymore? Or are there downsides to all this (besides cost, of course).

RE: Wireless or wired? Which is better?
By surt on 1/9/2007 9:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
Packetizing + DePacketizing (and transmit and retransmit for air packets) = Latency (at least: and maybe also lossy). Wires are better for some things.

By bisoy on 1/10/2007 8:09:37 AM , Rating: 4
Also, if you're watching porn you may not be too comfortable if your kids taps into the signal.

RE: Wireless or wired? Which is better?
By masher2 on 1/9/2007 9:27:06 PM , Rating: 3
Latency, noise, interference, security issues, etc, etc. Wired is *always* better than wireless, on every front except for convenience and installation cost.

By rushfan2006 on 1/10/2007 12:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
That and I wouldn't be surprised, should we eventually go to a completely wireless everything situation, 10-20 years from now we'll read from some university study how all the various wireless signals and what have you are the suspected cause for increased cancer rates or something like that.

Kinda like what they say about living near high tension lines..... ;)

By ajfink on 1/10/2007 12:31:01 AM , Rating: 2
Latency issues aren't a problem with this sort of one-way transmission of data. Having to wait a few more milliseconds isn't a big deal when watching a movie or a TV show. As long as these things truly do retain the picture quality as if it were being transmitted over a cable, it's gold. I await side-by-side comparisons.

PS. Oooops! Something went wrong, we've sent the details to the webmaster.


RE: Neat-o
By masher2 on 1/10/2007 10:46:14 AM , Rating: 1
> "Latency issues aren't a problem with this sort of one-way transmission of data. Having to wait a few more milliseconds isn't a big deal when watching a movie or a TV show..."

Latency issues ARE a problem when your TV is wired, but your speakers are wireless. A slightly lag between video and sound can cause every show to appear to be badly dubbed or lip-synched.

RE: Neat-o
By ceefka on 1/11/2007 4:10:42 AM , Rating: 2
As long as the latency stays within 5ms or so, you won't be able to tell. If it's more there should be some device to delay the audio. It will be after 10ms before it starts to look like you describe.

RE: Neat-o
By masher2 on 1/11/2007 10:56:38 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I'd put it at closer to the 40-50ms range before the average person would notice anything. 10ms is far too short. But I've seen some wireless signals add 100ms or more to a signal.

Wireless power
By Schadenfroh on 1/9/2007 10:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Wireless power
By Phlargo on 1/9/2007 10:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
I hate you so much - I've never looked at that site and I just spent like 20 minutes looking through the products. I'm really embarrassed to say that I wish the "I'm looking for a Japanese Girlfriend" shirt was in stock.

Thanks for making me feel like even more of a loser ;-)

RE: Wireless power
By HueyD on 1/10/2007 9:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
No way this could even be worth it. At 7.2 GHz you would have 90dB of loss 300 ft away (ideal conditions). How much power can the satellite unit possibly provide.

Impressive bandwidth
By ATWindsor on 1/10/2007 2:02:41 AM , Rating: 2
HDMi has pretty high bandwidth, I'm pretty impressed by the fact that they are able to transfer that bandwidth wireless.

It says that it doesn't get hampered by other wireless devices, I wonder if its the same the other way around, with a high bandwidth like taht, it could affect other devices. (I guess signal strength must be pretty high).

RE: Impressive bandwidth
By Brand0 on 1/10/2007 5:48:37 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the bandwidth is a lot less .

HDMI 1.3 has a bandwidth of 10.2 Gbps. This wireless HDMI has 480 Mbps, a drastic reduction from 10.2 Gbps.

I've heard of some wireless HDMI projects (on this site in fact; can't find link) that are in the Gbps range and much closer to 10.2 Gbps.

RE: Impressive bandwidth
By ATWindsor on 1/10/2007 6:26:54 AM , Rating: 2
How can it be uncompressed and lossless with only 1/20 of the bandwidth?

I could use this
By tk109 on 1/10/2007 2:26:27 AM , Rating: 2
This is awesome. I can stick my PC in the closet or somewhere where I'll never hear it again. Or see it. This will be great for HTPC's. Doesn't have to be close to the TV. (are there HDMI adapters or video cards that have HDMI yet?)

RE: I could use this
By phusg on 1/10/2007 6:25:35 AM , Rating: 2
> are there HDMI adapters or video cards that have HDMI yet?

Yes plenty, try google ;-)

Make sure they support HDCP though as the earlier ones with HDMI didn't have the right licencing/chip in them to support it.

By mendocinosummit on 1/9/2007 8:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
When the price drops this will be unbelievably sweet! Combined with wireless speakers this will be one clean setup.

Pet owners' new best friend.
By vdig on 1/10/2007 9:04:59 AM , Rating: 2
I prefer wires myself, but lately, with the addition of a wire chewing dog into the family household that is not my own to get rid of, I find myself demanding more and more wireless devices. I've tried to dissuade the darn pet by putting hot sauce on the wires, but no luck.

Convenience is the name of the game that wireless brings to us end users in spades. Not having to route any wiring of any sort would be a awesome, and not having any signal problems will be the ultimate miracle. Eventually, I hope wireless devices become developed enough to be consistently high performing, so as to make wires unnecessary for all but the most difficult environments.

Wireless HDCP. If this exists, should there not also be wireless component and composite devices? I'm still trying to wrap my head fully around how this device does it. Does this mean that there is a device out there to eliminate the need to struggle with limited composite cable length? I hope so. There is the potential for a huge market for this.

By hellokeith on 1/10/2007 9:50:20 AM , Rating: 2
Unsure why Philips is "selling" that their wireless HDMI implementation is uncompressed. Lossless compression can give up to 40% bandwidth savings, at the cost of a little more processing power on the receiving end.

But really
By MadAd on 1/11/2007 5:30:56 AM , Rating: 2
What a great idea - the more wireless the better, Im a 'downstairs user' with silent PC in a cupboard and monitor on the coffee table and the dvi cable is always a major problem.

So what we really waiting for now is for some chinese sweat shop to reproduce a unit that sends hdmi/dvi/vga and costs about $50.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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