Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

WirelessHD Consortium

Some major players in consumer electronics have banded together to form the WirelessHD Consortium. Including such heavyweights as LG Electronics, Matsushita (Panasonic), NEC, and Samsung, the organization is looking at a 60 GHz wireless solution that can transmit uncompressed high-definition video up to 32 feet. The organization views its role as developing a cable replacement for HDMI, FireWire, and S-Video.

It sure would be nice to not have to create a rat's nest of cabling behind the entertainment center, and this vision is very aggressive, since PC and peripheral makers are just now starting to develop commercial ultra-wideband solutions (UWB) that have the same goal of cable replacement in the IT and mobile/portable space (among most of the first-generation products). The ability to transmit the uncompressed HD video is also going to be a key, since the CE industry looks to be moving to more widely embrace HDMI as the interface between a variety of products, including the high-definition displays that should sell quite well over the last quarter of this year.

Our view? WirelessHD will take some time to deploy, particularly since supporters indicate that products won't be available until 2008 at the earliest. Also, we would expect that cost considerations are going to keep volumes of the wireless solutions low as the cabled interfaces will continue to dominate the market. Also, we would expect there to be plenty of questions about the need for yet one more wireless spec in an industry where 802.11n, UWB, and a host of proprietary solutions are in the mix.

Beyond this, we're still waiting for the truly reliable (and affordable) wireless home theater system to be available so we can quit running speaker wire along our living room floors!

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