[opendtv] Re: Rivals embracing wireless hi-def video

  • From: dan.grimes@xxxxxxxx
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 08:44:50 -0700

"To get around the limitations of the limited bandwidth, Amimon uses a 
clever trick instead of compression.

"Before transmission, Amimon's chips separate the important components of 
the video signal, the ones that really make a difference to the viewer, 
from the less important ones, like tiny variations in color over a small 
area. It then gives priority to the important parts, while putting less 
effort into getting the fine nuances to the receiver."

Isn't that process another form of compression?  In fact, at least 
compression attempts to keep information by coding it through algorithms, 
placing the information in another domain that takes less information to 
convey.  This form of compression just throws away information that it 
deems not important.  I certainly would consider this a substitute for a 
wire.

Dan





Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx> 
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07/24/2008 05:52 AM
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[opendtv] Rivals embracing wireless hi-def video






So it turns out that the technology behind Belkin's Flywire is WHDI, 
built around a chip from Amimon Ltd.

I still don't get it. It seems like the Holy Grail for the CE guys is 
to move uncompressed HD around a home so that it can be viewed on any 
display. Apparently the idea that a display should have an 
intelligent interface with decoder support for common digital media 
formats And wireless network support for higher speed Wi-Fi (G), is 
considered to be too complex or costly. Yet the WHDI solution 
requires every device to have an adapter with a 5 GHz radio and a 
codec that can reduce delivered image quality, and the cost per 
adapter is more than an AppleTV box.

What am I missing here?

Do these legacy CE companies wish to commit Hari Kari?

Are they afraid to develop products like Apple TV or a properly 
designed Media Center equivalent, and compete with the IT industry?

The cable industry is getting ready to deploy cheap decoder dongles 
so they can eliminate the analog tier. Game players are now providing 
the ability to download TV shows and movies. And consumers are 
building libraries of digital media content (audio, video and photos) 
on their computers, from which they can be shared with devices like 
Apple TV, Media Center PCs, and mobility products like the iPod, 
Zune, and iPhone.

Guess NIH is a big issue with the traditional CE companies...

Regards
Craig



http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/ptech/07/22/electronics.signals.ap/index.html

updated 12:47 p.m. EDT, Wed July 23, 2008

Rivals embracing wireless hi-def video

* Technology could send hi-def video signals wirelessly to TVs around the 
home
* Announcement is an important step in the race to replace tangles of 
video cables
* But both Sony and Samsung also support a competing technology
* Wireless streaming of high-definition video is a tricky engineering 
problem

NEW YORK (AP) -- Sony, Samsung and other consumer-electronics 
heavyweights are uniting to support a technology that could send 
high-definition video signals wirelessly from a single set-top box to 
screens around the home.

Soon you may be able to send hi-def video signals to multiple TVs in 
your home -- without messy cables.

The consortium announced Wednesday is an important development in the 
race to create a definitive way to replace tangles of video cables, 
but doesn't end it -- both Sony and Samsung also are supporting a 
competing technology.

In the new consortium, Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., along 
with Motorola Inc., Sharp Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., will develop an 
industry standard around technology from Amimon Ltd. of Israel called 
WHDI, for Wireless Home Digital Interface.

"If you have a TV in the home, that TV will be able to access any 
source in the home, whether it's a set-top box in the living room, or 
the PlayStation in the bedroom, or a DVD player in another bedroom. 
That's the message of WHDI," said Noam Geri, co-founder of Amimon.

Amimon is already selling chips that fulfill part of that promise, 
but the creation of a broad industry group makes it more likely that 
consumers will be able to buy WHDI-enabled devices from different 
manufacturers and have them all work together.

Geri expects TVs with Amimon's chips to reach stores next year, 
costing about $100 more than equivalent, non-wireless TVs.

Wireless streaming of high-definition video is a relatively tricky 
engineering problem that many companies are trying to tackle. It can 
be done with the fastest versions of Wi-Fi, a technology already in 
many homes, but that requires "compression," or reduction of the data 
rate, with picture quality degrading as a result. There's also a 
delay in transmission as chips on both ends of the link work to 
compress, then decompress the image.

That's prompted much research into radio technologies that are 
faster, requiring less compression. A leading contender is 
WirelessHD, centered on technology from SiBEAM Inc. of Sunnyvale, 
California. It uses an open portion of the radio band, at 60 
gigahertz, for ultrafast transmission of uncompressed video, but it 
could be years away from commercialization. Its range is limited, 
meaning that it would be used for in-room links rather than 
whole-house networking, like WHDI.
Sony is part of the WirelessHD group as well, and is supporting WHDI 
to have "wider options," the company said in a statement.

Samsung, on the other hand, looks at WHDI as a stopgap technology 
until the higher-picture-quality WirelessHD takes over. JaeMoon Jo, 
Samsung's vice president of TV research, said the company believes 
WirelessHD will be the "ultimate solution in the long run."
Still another contending wireless technology is ultra-wideband, or 
UWB. It requires less compression than Wi-Fi, but its range is more 
limited, generally to in-room networking. Monster Cable Products Inc. 
plans to introduce a kit that produces a wireless video link using 
UWB.

WHDI is less exotic than either WirelessHD or UWB. It uses a radio 
band at 5 gigahertz that's used by some Wi-Fi devices, which means it 
can take advantage of research in that field. To get around the 
limitations of the limited bandwidth, Amimon uses a clever trick 
instead of compression.

Before transmission, Amimon's chips separate the important components 
of the video signal, the ones that really make a difference to the 
viewer, from the less important ones, like tiny variations in color 
over a small area. It then gives priority to the important parts, 
while putting less effort into getting the fine nuances to the 
receiver.

That means the transmission works over relatively long distances, 
albeit with lower image quality as the distance increases.

Motorola has looked at competing technologies, but WHDI is the only 
group it's joined because of Amimon's "extremely unique" approach, 
said Paul Moroney, a Motorola research fellow who works with WHDI.

Motorola plans to build the technology into its set-top boxes, which 
are used by many cable providers around the U.S. But the first 
product will likely be a pair of adapters that talk wirelessly to one 
another. One could be attached to a set-top box, the other to a TV 
set, Moroney said.
Belkin International Inc. already sells a pair of adapters based on 
Amimon's chips for $1,000, and Sony has announced a similar set for 
its TVs. Moroney said Motorola hopes to sell a kit for significantly 
less than Belkin's price next year, as the technology matures.

Kurt Scherf, an analyst at Parks Associates, noted that wireless 
video technologies have been talked up for years, but haven't lived 
up to their promises so far. Professional audio-video installers 
surveyed by his firm aren't excited about wireless, because they're 
afraid of reliability problems.

Still, he said, WHDI's range should give it an edge, since it allows 
the technology to do more than just replace a cable in the 
entertainment center. E-mail to a friend
 
 
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