Consortium Focuses on Wireless HD Video

Sometimes technology can make the strangest bedfellows: Samsung, LG, Matsushita, SiBEAM, Sony, and Toshiba have joined together to form the WirelessHD Consortium, an industry group devoted to developing and marketing wireless solutions which would enable electronic components to stream high-definition video to HD-capable TVs, without the mess of wires, cables, and connectors so often found smashed and crammed behind consumer’s entertainment gear.

“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,” said John Marshall, Chairman of WirelessHD, in a statement. “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.”

WirelessHD looks to develop solutions in the unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum, to enable fixed and portable video devices to receive and/or transmit uncompressed high-definition video. The “uncompressed” qualifier is important: if the WirelessHD Consortium can pull it off, that means high-definition video transmitted wirelessly will have all the fidelity of the original source material Target devices include high-definition televisions, HD disc players, digital video cameras, game consoles, and (of course!) PCs and portable media devices. WirelessHD technology shouldn’t require devices to have line-of-sight contact, and should offer Bluetooth-like ranges (e.g., about 30 feet). The consortium hopes to have a specification completed in the first quarter of 2007, with products starting to hit consumer markets at the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008.