By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Amimon, Hitachi, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony have formed a special interest group to develop a new industry standard for multiroom audio, video and control connectivity utilizing Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) technology.
The members said they hope to complete the standard by the end of the year.
The new group will look to "enhance the current WHDI technology to enable wireless streaming of uncompressed HD video and audio between CE devices such as LCD and plasma HDTVs, multimedia projectors, A/V receivers, DVD & BD players, set-top boxes (STBs), game consoles and PCs," according to a joint statement.
The new interoperable standard will "ensure that CE devices manufactured by different vendors will simply and directly connect to one another."
The core component of the standard will be based on Israel-based Amimon's WHDI video-modem technology that operates in the 5GHz unlicensed band to deliver wireless uncompressed HD video (including full 1080p signals).
The WHDI technology allows secure, encrypted HD video delivery through multiple rooms and other potential signal obstructions, while maintaining high-quality picture and sound with less than 1 millisecond latency, Amimon said.
The range of WHDI signals is said to be over 100 feet. Among its many benefits, will be the ability to connect flat-panel TV sets hanging on walls with source components (which can be placed in different rooms from the TV) without the need to run wires.
The technology is said to be complementary to the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard, but allows uncompressed video streams, so it will enable connectivity to all video sources and links, whereas DLNA is limited to compressed streams. The difference could be compared with the difference between Ethernet and HDMI, according to Amimon.
From a technology perspective Amimon is described as "the enabler of WHDI technology, because it invented the way to deliver uncompressed video in the 5GHz unlicensed band," according to a company spokesman.
Amimon said it expects to derive a small license fee from an IP package needed to create the standard, but it will be offered "on exceptionally reasonable terms, comparable to HDMI," Amimon said.
"WHDI has the ability to change the way people connect their devices in the home," Noam Geri, Amimon marketing and business development VP, told TWICE.
The first certified WHDI standard-based products are expected to arrive in 2009, according to Amimon, although some manufacturers may implement pre-standard WHDI-enabled products before then using Amimon chipsets.
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