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Cutting The HDMI Cord

3912 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Chuck McKenney
Cutting The HDMI Cord

Wireless HDMI is something everyone wants. But how close are manufacturers to delivering uncompressed full-resolution at an affordable price?

A year ago, a few upstarts at CES were showing prototype systems for Wireless HDMI. These companies intended to remove that bulky and expensive wire between your cable box and your big-screen TV by providing a full-rate wireless connection. A year later, there is one shipping product, and a lot more promise that full rate technology will reach the shelves in 2008.

The problem hasn't become any easier. Uncompressed full-resolution (1080p) signals require a throughput of 3 gigabits per second (Gb/s). Compare that to the puny 54 megabits per second (Mb/s) for 802.11g, or even the 200Mb/s promised for 802.11n. Pushing gigabits of data through the air is quite a challenge, and I saw few implementations that even claimed to be up to it.

At the top of the pyramid are technologies from three small companies you've never heard of: Amimon, Radiospire, and SiBeam. All three had technology on display in suites, and some in booths on the floor. All claim to be sending full-resolution data, but in different ways.

Amimon claimed to send pictures up to 50 feet using multiple 802.11n channels and antennas. Five channels provides them with a maximum throughput of 1Gb/s, or 1/3 of what's required for 1080p. They promote their method as uncompressed, but admit to doing perceptual coding, sending over only the important data, and discarding the data that you won't see.

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