The Wireless Home Theatre (and beyond)

A couple of weeks ago, I promised to write a blog on new wireless video technology, and here it is.

There are a few competing standards, but for the purpose of this article, I will ignore yet another possible format war (wish it was this simple), and just concentrate on how wireless can help transform the home theatre.

Wire MessAnybody who has a home theatre will know that cabling is the biggest headache. Every device these days seems to need a power cord (that’s a given), some video/audio cords (if you’re lucky, it’s just a single HDMI cable, if you’re not, it’s a 3 pronged component cable plus 6 pronged analogue audio cables), and possibly an Ethernet cable too. Then you will probably have a switch, hub or receiver to distribute all the connected equipment to your display, not to mention a few connections directly to the display. What all this means is just a bunch of cables, possibly very messy.

But imagine if all the video and audio cables are replaced by wireless – and technology is now ripe to allow high bandwidth short distance wireless transmission (see UWB). These new types of wireless technology is all about high bandwidth, offering more than a hundred times the bandwidth of current wireless networking technology, at the expense of range. One of the wireless formats, WirelessHD, allows for 2 Gbit/s up to 20 Gbit/s transfer rates, which is more than enough for today’s video applications (HDMI is 10.2 Gbit/s). The range is anywhere between 5 to 10 meters, which compares favourably to wired connections. WirelessHD is supported by LG, Matsushita (Panasonic), NEC, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba – so pretty much everybody.

WirelessHD Logo

There will be a time when new equipment will have WirelessHD or something similar built in. Hopefully, the standard will be backwards compatible with both DVI and HDMI. Older equipment can be wireless-enabled by simply plugging in a wireless dongle to the existing wired connection port (eg. connect two dongles to each older device’s HDMI port – instant wireless HDMI connection is made). And add 802.11n wireless network support in place of Ethernet, and you now only have a single power cable to deal with.

And it’s not just for home theatres, imagine not having to connect your PC monitor to your PC using wires. Many people already have wireless keyboards and mouse, so the next natural step is the wireless monitor (although you still need a power cable). And of course, your PC will be able to connect wirelessly to your home theatre display, as long as it’s not too far away.

I for one welcome high bandwidth wireless technology, especially in the HD arena. Look out for WirelessHD and other products to be released throughout the year.


4 Responses to “The Wireless Home Theatre (and beyond)”

  1. Weekly News Roundup (10 February 2008) « Blog Archive « DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Says:

    […] away from being ever able to achieve Profile 2.0 compatibility. For example, if the BDA decides WirelessHD has to be a mandatory part of 2.0, then the PS3, which I have recommended to everybody as the […]

  2. JC Says:

    Great Post. I have some similiar info on my Home theater website/magazine. I’m going to link to your blog from mine.


  3. Weekly News Roundup (31 August 2008) « Blog Archive « DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Says:

    […] servers have been turned off. DRM is dangerous, and it should be banned. But not before WirelessHD, a new wireless HD video/audio transmission format, introduces yet another form of DRM. […]

  4. Weekly News Roundup (22 February 2009) « Blog Archive « DVDGuy’s Blog @ Digital Digest Says:

    […] HD and other formats is basically to think of it as wireless HDMI/USB/DisplayPort. I’ve blogged about this before, but I’m still excited because I hate wires, and I manage them badly as it is. The […]

About Digital Digest | Help | Privacy | Submissions | Sitemap

© Copyright 1999-2012 Digital Digest. Duplication of links or content is strictly prohibited.