Wireless Multiroom WHDI To Add 3D

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WHDI

(Wireless Home Digital Interface) standard for streaming uncompressed 1080p video around the house will enter the 3D era in the fourth quarter when the WHDI Consortium promises an update that adds wireless 3D streaming.

 The update to the 1.0 standard will support all of the 3D formats supported by the wired HDMI 1.4a standard, and products incorporating the update could appear as soon as January's CES, consortium president Les Chard told TWICE.

The 3D update will be followed in the second quarter of 2011 by WHDI 2.0, which will add support for 2Kx4K HD resolution with up to four times the resolution of standard Blu-ray 1080p at 2,160x4,096 pixels, the consortium said. The 2.0 spec will also reduce power consumption to make WHDI more suitable than before for use in battery-operated portable devices, and it will make it easier to combine WiFi 802.11n and WHDI on a single chip, Chard added.

Products incorporating WHDI 2.0 could hit the market by the third quarter of 2011, he continued.

WHDI 1.0 was

finalized

late last year, though pre-standard WHDI was already appearing in Sony and Philips TV products, Zinwell and Gefen wireless dongles, and an IDX professional video camera, the consortium said. LG recently switched to 5GHz-band WHDI from a competing 60GHz in-room wireless HD technology, Chard noted, because of the competing technology's line-of-sight limitations.

With WHDI 1.0, a settop box or other video source is able to transmit a 1080p/60Hz Deep Color video stream more than 100 feet through walls to multiple TVs around the house. Likewise, because the technology supports low-power consumption modes for portable devices, battery-operated laptops and cellphones could stream 1080p video to a display or receive 1080p video from a source within the home.

The addition of 3D support and 2.0 improvements will not reduce WHDI's range nor reduce the number of simultaneous streams of different sources (13 or more) that could occur in a house, Chard said, because "a lot of packets in 1.0 are unused."

The 2.0 standard will also enhance WHDI's benefits in portable battery-operated devices, the consortium noted. With 2.0, power consumption will be reduced to less than 1 watt from less than 2 watts. Combined with the greater ease of combining WiFi and WHDI on a single chip, Chard said, WHDI will migrate faster to such mobile devices as cellphones to stream stored HD video to a compatible TV or to play cellphone-stored games on a TV with no latency. "You can turn your cellphone into a Wii," he said.

The 2.0 spec will leverage many of the shared attributes of 802.11n and WHDI to facilitate WiFi/WHDI integration, he said. Both technologies, for example, use OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) and MIMO (multiple input multiple output) transmission technologies, and both operate in the 5GHz unlicensed band (though 802.11n is also permitted to operate in the 2.4GHz band). HHDI 2.0 and 802.11n could operate simulatenously in the same channel

Also to facilitate cellphone adoption, the 2.0 spec will permit WHDI processing on a cellphone's DSP chip, and with "small hardware modifications" to the cellphone, cellphone makers will need only load WHDI software onto their DSP chips to deliver WHDI at a "very reduced cost," Chard said.

WHDI 1.0 solutions for portable solutions have already appeared in the form of a USB dongle for laptops and companion adapter for TVs. Brightview offers one such solution in the U.S., and Asus has one in the works, Chard said. In the fourth quarter of this year, he said he expects top-tier PC suppliers to offer 1.0 dongles for laptops, notebooks and netbooks, with such devices arriving with embedded WHDI 1.0 in the first quarter of 2011.

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