Wireless HDTV still vapour-ware

Most retailers’ shelves have yet to see any wireless HDTV and this is despite many consumer electronic vendors “putting their money where their mouths are” and supporting emerging standards – claims research by a consumer electronics analyst group.

Two industry groups have emerged to promote 5GHz and 60GHz solutions. Amimon, around whose technology the 5GHz platforms are based, formed the WHDI Special Interest Group, which has been joined by Hitachi, Motorola, Sharp, Samsung and Sony.

Samsung and Sony are also members of the competing industry body, WirelessHD, which promotes the 60GHz approach designed by SiBEAM. WirelessHD also includes Intel, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric, NEC, and Toshiba.

Amimon recently announced that it has now shipped 100,000 of its chipsets. Many of those are going into high-end TVs while Sony has a Bravia wireless adapter available online and in limited retail outlets. “Amimon is in fact making real progress in promoting its solution,” said Steve Wilson, principal research ABI Research.

“SiBEAM has recently completed a new round of fundraising, successfully securing the participation of two major backers, Panasonic and Samsung,” added Wilson. “Broadcom has also joined the consortium. Meanwhile Mitsubishi has announced its choice of the Amimon (5GHz WHDI) chipset. All these are positive signs from major stakeholders in this incipient market.”

Both Belkin and Monster were expected to have launched products before Christmas, but these are not expected to be launched until the end of the first quarter of 2009.

“Sharp and Hitachi are shipping high end consumer TVs with wireless connectivity in Japan,” said Wilson. “However, in the US, no one but Sony has yet been able to bring any of these technologies to the consumer market.”

The research appears in ‘Wireless Video Cable Replacement Market and Technologies’ available from www.abiresearch.com

For more consumer tech news and features visit www.theiet.org/consumer

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