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Wireless HDMI, BD HTiB On Way From Philips

Philips plans fourth-quarter shipment of its first wireless-HD transmitter/receiver system and late-June shipments of its first Blu-ray-equipped home theater in a box (HTiB) system, which will retail for a suggested $599.

The HTiB is from P&F, the Atlanta-based Funai Electric subsidiary that markets Philips-branded TVs and HTiBs in the U.S. under a licensing agreement with Philips. The wireless HDMI device is from Stamford, Conn.-based Philips Consumer Lifestyle (PCC), which markets MP3 players, iPod-docking speaker systems, digital media adapters, DECT cordless phones, remotes and other accessories.

At a press event here, PCC also unveiled multiple new MP3 players and portable media players (PMPs), including its first 16GB models.

For the $799-suggested Wireless HD Link, P&F is switching from previously planned ultrawideband (UWB) technology to Amimon’s 5GHz-band technology, which is the foundation of the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) standard. WHDI transmits uncompressed 1080p HD video through walls up to about 100 feet to stationary or portable devices, Amimon said. The technology uses the 5GHz spectrum also used by which IEEE 802.11a/n.

Philips marketing manager Scott McGlinchey called the Amimon solution “cleaner” than UWB. UWB’s promoters have said UWB uses compression, whereas Amimon’s solution is uncompressed.

The Wireless HD Link includes a transmitter that incorporates two HDMI inputs and two component-video inputs to connect such HD video sources as set-top boxes and Blu-ray players, which can be placed in inconspicuous locations or in a media closet. The sender transmits a single HD video stream at a time from a connected source to a receiving unit that can be attached to the back of a flat-screen TV.

In HTiBs, P&F revealed more details about its BD 5100, which has been upgraded to the 2.0 spec to stream Internet-connected BD-Live content. It comes with 5.1 wired speaker system, decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats, 1080p 24 fps video playback, DivX and DivX HD playback, Deep Color, SD card slot for use with the BD-Live capability, HDMI 1.3 CEC and picture-in-picture option for viewing BonusView content.

In portable devices, PCC added five new MP3 and PMP GoGear devices. They include:

  • the 16GB Muze PMP, due in June at a suggested $169 with noise-canceling headphones, RDS-FM tuner and compatibility with the Rhapsody subscription-download service and Audible spoken-word files.
  • the GoGear Aria PMP, just shipping in 8GB and 16GB capacities at a suggested $79.99 and $99.99, respectively. It features 2-inch wide screen, FM and Rhapsody/Audible compatibility.

Six iPod/iPhone-speaker docks shown at the event consisted mainly of previously announced models. Almost all are shipping. A previously announced model with HD Radio is on hold, the company said.