Info & Answers
Consortium Formed for Wireless HD Standard
Several manufacturers are backing a new initiative to promote and develop WHDI.
July 23, 2008 by Dennis P. Barker

Amimon, Hitachi, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are announcing the formation of a special interest group to promote and develop the WHDI (Wireless High Definition Interface) Protocol as a comprehensive new industry standard for multi-room audio, video and control connectivity that allows the streaming of secure, encrypted HD video. Other smaller companies like Belkin may join later. The group’s objective is to enhance the current WHDI technology. The consortium’s primary focus right now is to complete the new worldwide standard this year, and launch WHDI-enabled products in 2009 that will offer secure wireless streaming of uncompressed HD video and audio.

Developed by Amimon, WHDI is capable of sending uncompressed HD signals with a maximum resolution of 1080p/24 frame rate @ 120Hz refresh at a frequency range of 5.1 – 5.8GHz. This technology reportedly offers a range of up to 100-feet, and is capable of passing through walls. Reportedly, the WHDI Protocol maintains superb image quality and robustness of sights and sounds with less than 1 millisecond latency. Pre-standard products have been announced by Belkin in their new FlyWire products as well as Sony with their BRAVIA Wireless HD Link.  A key ingredient of WHDI technology is a seemingly revolutionary video-modem that operates in the 5GHz unlicensed band that helps to enable wireless delivery of uncompressed HD video (including signals up to1080p).
The WHDI Protocol will offer complete interoperability between all brands of CE products such as LCD and plasma HDTVs, multimedia projectors, A/V receivers, DVD & BD players, set-top boxes (STBs), and game consoles. A spokesman for Amimon also indicated that the WHDI Protocol would also offer interoperability between PCs and TVs. This new interoperable ‘Plug and Play’ standard aims to ensure that CE devices manufactured by different companies will simply and directly connect to one another wirelessly.

Two member of the consortium – Hitachi and Samsung—previously supported other wireless HD technologies. Noam Garin, Vice President and Co-founder of Amimon indicated that he felt that “these companies found the other technologies unsuitable for wireless applications as 802.11n has latency problems, and UWB (Ultra Wide Band) is limited in quality and range. As well, these technologies are strictly in-room solutions whereas WHDI offers multi-room capabilities.”

David Lee, the founder of the HDMI standard and a member of Amimon’s board of directors has been quoted as saying, “WHDI technology complements other wireless and wired standards with a new class of connectivity within the home.  WHDI’s connectivity matrix introduces to consumers new possibilities to enjoy their high-definition entertainment network.”

Dr. Paul Moroney of Motorola, further adds that “WHDI delivers the robust performance that wireless connections must have to meet and exceed consumer demands. This new standard will help ensure optimal video delivery in the home.” Reportedly, Motorola will be adding the WHDI Protocol to its line of cable set-top boxes next year.

Yoav Nissan-Cohen, chairman and CEO of Amimon, believes he development of the new standard will ensure that consumers will enjoy a fast, easy and hassle-free wireless connection that delivers the highest quality of audio and video. He hopes that the WHDI standard objective will be able to enrich the user’s experience with multi-company interoperability.

Companies utilizing the WHDI Protocol will be demonstrating their products at the upcoming C.E.D.I.A. show, which will be held in Denver, CO in September and at CES in January 2009 in Las Vegas, NV.

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Dennis P. Barker - Contributing Writer
Dennis has been involved with Consumer Electronics forever it seems. His 25+-year career includes a 12-year tour of duty at Consumer Reports magazine, as well as stints as a product reviewer, market analyst, technical editor, and consultant for the electronics industry. He lives in Ossining, NY with his two children, one demanding cat and piles of A/V equipment.

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