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Pegasus Demos Wireless High-Def Streaming

8/07/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Pegasus Wireless revealed a new Wi-Fi-based technology that can stream HD audio and video from a computer to a television through a Wi-Fi network.

The proprietary technology is embedded in a device called the WiJET.e that was introduced in late July. The WiJET.e is a multipurpose device that connects to a display through its video port using a VGA, S-Video or composite video cable. It then picks up an audio or video signal from a home's Wi-Fi network and streams it in real time to the display.

In addition, the device reproduces the computer's screen on the display or TV so the user can control playback with a specially supplied infrared remote control. It is expected to ship in October with a $399 suggested price point.

No retail deals have been struck at this point, but Jasper Knabb, president/CEO, said Pegasus is holding talks with several retailers. He hopes the device eventually will be merchandised in the PC, networking and home theater section of a retailer.

Knabb said Pegasus was able to develop the ability to stream digital and HD signals in 1999, but refrained from rolling out a consumer product until it could be made user-friendly and for its potential market to develop.

He added that the technology enables even an HD signal, including surround sound, to be wirelessly transmitted using any 802.11g/a network. He said this technological leap was made possible because Pegasus owns the original 802.11 patent, giving the company extra insight into all of 802.11's capabilities beyond that of other vendors. Pegasus kept this advantage, which now enables this video streaming capability, Knabb said, by holding back certain aspects of the technology when it licensed 802.11 in the 1990s.

The WiJET.e will initially only sell under the Pegasus brand, but the company intends to eventually license it.

The WiJET.e will not directly compete with the pre-802.11n products now on the market, but is actually a step beyond what these will deliver, Knabb said. The WiJET.e can stream up to six signals to displays equipped with the WiJET.e box, which resembles a standard wireless router/access point and in fact has built-in router functionality. All the major networking vendors have rolled out pre-802.11n products in the past few months, but the specification is not expected to be finalized until mid-2007 at the earliest.

Pegasus is also developing a stripped down, modestly priced version that will be released at a later date. A set-top box model is also in the works, and the technology will eventually be integrated into displays. Knabb said he is working with Sony and Samsung on this project, but does not expect to see any integrated displays on the market for several years from third party vendors.

To expedite this situation Pegasus plans to show its own line of small LCD displays featuring WiJET.e at the 2007 International CES. These will range up to 19 inches in size, Knabb said.

Another Pegasus-branded product in the works for the next CES is a three-SKU line of what the company calls wireless cables. Knabb said the 802.11n device will plug into the back of an audio or video component and then transmit the content between components. For example, a home receiver would not need a cable to send a video signal to the TV, he said. The products are not expected to ship until after the 802.11n specification has been ratified, but no later than the 2007 holiday season. Pricing is expected to range from $49 to $129.

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