802.11n To Win The Wireless HD Video Sweepstakes

FINAL FINAL WiFi next logoGiven that the wireless networking technology Ultrawideband (UWB) is on its deathbed and WirelessHD and WHDI are yet to gain any real momentum, it seems that the winner of wireless HD video sweepstakes is going to be 802.11n which can stream data at 100 Mbps. In a recent survey, Scottsdale, Ariz.,-based research group In-Stat comes to these conclusions:

  • UWB will not be a major factor in the consumer electronics market. Many chip companies are leaving the market in late 2008 and 2009.
  • Nearly 24 million digital TVs will ship with some type of Wireless HD video technology in 2013.
  • WHDI and WirelessHD are being promoted by startups, but they are new, expensive and power-hungry, which is generally not a recipe for quick market success.
  • WHDI and WirelessHD will see a slow start, with fewer than 8 million devices with those technologies shipped in 2013.

Given the ubiquitous nature of WiFi and the price advantages that come with it, we wouldn’t be surprised. Despite Stacey’s best efforts, I have often struggled to keep up with the growing number of Wireless HD standards. This confusion is to the advantage of WiFi, which is now part of the popular lexicon. The only downside is that you need to encode and decode the video on both ends of the stream, a distinct disadvantage to WHDI and WirelessHD.

One thing against 802.11n — despite the throughputs, the quality of the signal is almost always a game of chance. I constantly grapple with that in my apartment and have to switch to hardwired ethernet to transfer big files or watch video off my Buffalo Linkstation Mini.