A new generation of flat screen TVs with built in wireless is set to be rolled out at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. The move if successful could see the removal of device cords in and out of a TV.
At least three dueling wireless technologies for high-definition TVs will be on display. One of the key players will be WirelessHD, a consortium that includes Sony and Toshiba. It is also rumoured that Intel has also joined the group.
It’s an unusual group in that the home-entertainment industry hasn’t generally been a leader in wireless technologies, most of which have been pioneered by makers of cellphones or computer-networking gear.
According to the US Wall Street Journal consortium is set to announce next Monday that Intel is joining the group, which could broaden the reach of the technology from home-entertainment applications to computers. Intel has been a champion of wireless technologies including Wi-Fi, and more recently, WiMax, a longer-range technology.
The WirelessHD group is also announcing that it has completed the blueprints for chips that can beam HD audio and video from set-top boxes, DVD players and digital cameras to TV sets. The chips can be made small, and the intention is to have them built into devices rather than be supplied in add-on adapters.
The technology uses a band of the radio spectrum around 60 gigahertz that lets it avoid interference from other wireless-networking gear and allows for extremely high data-transfer rates, according to John Marshall, chairman of WirelessHD. Unlike other wireless TV solutions, WirelessHD won’t need to compress the signal, which can result in a loss of quality.
To satisfy concerns by the Motion Picture Association which is the organization of Hollywood studios, WirelessHD has intentionally limited the range of the technology.
“What WirelessHD has done is that we’ve made sure that the technology can cover a whole room, even a large room, up to 10 meters but we’ve used techniques that make sure that it can’t leak into the apartment next door,” Mr. Marshall said.