Panasonic who today launched a new wireless TV in Australia is the first manufacturer to achieve full high definition wireless transmission of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels progressive) in a thin 24.7 mm plasma TV.
The Panasonic signal between a tuner and the TV can operate over 10 metres. The TV’s will be available later this year.
The concept of delivering wireless transmissions to a TV is not new, Sony already have a wireless TV however the image quality has been reduced to 720p in some incidences. Sony TVs, also use the 5GHz band for wireless transmission which will only transmit 1080i images and not HD 1080p images similar to what Panasonic can now deliver.
The new VIERA Z series plasma TV’s have given Panasonic an edge in the forthcoming race to deliver wireless TV which allows content to be delivered to the TV without the need for wires.
Panasonic is using the new WirelessHD technology for wireless transmission between the TV unit and their tuner unit.
WirelessHD is a standard established by the WirelessHD Consortium, which is made up of Panasonic, Sony Corp of Japan, and SiBEAM Inc of the US.
The new Panasonic Z series plasma TVs are the first products in the world to use WirelessHD.
A maximum data transfer rate of 3Gbps is achieved over the 60GHz millimetre wave band, allowing for the transmission of 1080p HDTV images without high-efficiency coding. The transmission range is approximately 10m.
In the past no wireless system has been able to handle wireless transmission of 1080p HDTV images without high-efficiency coding because the available wireless technology just wasn’t adequate.
An LCD TV produced by Hitachi which was 35mm thick at its slimmest point, uses ultra wideband (UWB), in the 4.2GHz to 4.8GHz band. The maximum data transfer rate is 480Mbps, and is barely enough to transmit 720p, 1080i or other images encoded in JPEG2000 format.
According to Techon a Japanese technology web site Sharp and Mitsubishi Electronics in 2008 used a technology developed by AMIMON Inc of Israel called wireless high-definition interface (WHDI), which is based on 5GHz band wireless local area network (LAN) technology.
WHDI can achieve a maximum data transfer rate of 1.5Gbps, which is high compared to UWB.
However, while it is capable of transmitting 720p, 1080i or other HDTV imagery without high-efficiency compression, in order to transmit 1080p images it must first convert the signal to 1080i.
The use of 60GHZ WirelessHD technology is not without its problems.
One issue is that with the 60GHz millimeter wave band, the signal is highly directional, which means that the signal can be interrupted by a person or obstacle in the transmission path.
To solve this problem Panasonic is using antenna control technology called beam steering, which was developed by SiBEAM, one of the principal WirelessHD companies. The signal’s angle of emission can be controlled by dynamically modifying the voltage applied to each of the approximately 36 antenna elements.
Panasonic says that the WirelessHD transceiver module built into the Z series wireless transmission system was “developed in-house using SiBEAM’s chipset.”