October 23, 2008 by Richard M. Sherwin
Belkin, the audio-video-PC accessory giant has joined Monster Cable and several other smaller cable manufacturers in delaying wireless HDMI. The long anticipated way of untangling the many A/V wires and cables necessary to connect HDTV to home entertainment systems was promising to be one of the biggest revolutions in technology accessories.
Belkin’s Flywire system uses a transmitter/receiver combo to let users toggle as many as six A/V sources and wirelessly transmit the audio and video - up to full 1080p - from one side of the room to the other. Or even one floor to another.
“We won’t be able to make our anticipated deadline of the winter CES show,” says Melody Chalaban, a marketing executive and spokeswoman for Belkin. The company has had several very successful demonstrations of their proprietary wireless HDMI over the summer and was anticipating beating their bigger rival Monster Cable by a few months in the race to win market share in this prized area of audio-video accessories. Chalaban insists the product will be ready by late January of 2009, but a major distributor tells Electronic House, it’s expecting a spring launch at the earliest.
Electronic House has learned Monster will unveil its Wireless Digital Express in the 2Q of 2009.
Sony’s version (the DMX-WL1), which was shown a few weeks ago and only works with their own Blu-ray player (although the company disputes this claim), is now available for $799. Monster’s Wireless Digital Express uses the much touted UWB system and supports numerous devices.
Industry experts say there are still many obstacles to overcome for all the wireless HDMI systems. “HDMI is not perfected yet,” says one lower-Manhattan A/V store owner who wished not to be identified. “I was eagerly awaiting shipments from both Monster and Belkin but I understand there have been more difficulties in getting various products to talk to each other in this fashion.”
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Richard Sherwin is a former syndicated technology columnist and TV/Radio analyst, who has also been a marketing executive with IBM, Philips, NBC and a chief advisor to several manufacturers and service providers.
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