Analysts: Wireless HDTV slated for CES 2009 still 'incipient'

At CES 2009, companies will talk up at least four different standards aimed at transmitting HDTV wirelessly over home networks. But a lot of this technology isn't yet ready for prime time, some analysts say.

Vendors are already out there pitching their plans to demo products at CES aimed at sending HDTV wirelessly throughout the home. According to some industry analysts, however, at least some of the four competing wireless approaches are still "incipient."

The Parks Associates analyst firm will host a panel discussion at CES with companies advocating each of the specifications: SiBEAM, a backer of Wireless HD; AMIMON, a supporter of WHDI; Pulse-LINK, representing HDMI; and ProVision, an 802.11n advocate.

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The IEEE's 802.11n is currently "the only standard capable of cost effectively transmitting interactive HD video signals across all rooms in a home," contended Professor Andrew Nix, co-founder of UK-based ProVision, in a statement today.

Meanwhile, WHDI and Wireless HD are both gaining considerable support among major vendors, noted Steve Wilson, an analyst at ABI Research, in a separate statement issued this week. Hitachi, Broadcom, Motorola, Sharp, Samsung, and Sony have all joined the WHDI Special Interest Group (SIG), which is supporting a 5 GHz wireless platform.

Samsung and Sony are also backing the 60 Hz approach adopted by WirelessHD, together with Intel, Panasonic, LG Electronics, NEC, and Toshiba.

Yet despite the collaboration in each of these two camps, few products have actually made it to the retail shelves, Wilson said.

"Sharp and Hitachi are shipping high-end consumer TVs with wireless connectivity in Japan," according to the analyst. "However, in the US, no one but Sony has yet been able to bring any of these technologies to the consumer market."

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