Wireless HD Standard Approved

The Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) group announced the release of the WHDI specification earlier this week. This is designed to let HDTV equipment makers create wireless connections between devices, up to 100 feet apart and through walls. It relies on a 40 MHz channel in the 5 GHz unlicensed band, rated at less than a millisecond latency. The interface supports 1080p resolution and HDCP, and unlike some competing approaches, provides an uncompressed signal. (In other words, it doesn’t add any additional compression over what may have been applied to the stream already.)

A number of companies have already released products based on pre-standard versions of this technology (much like what happened before the 802.11n WiFi standards were finalized), including Sharp. Other companies backing the standard include Hitachi, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony.

This is not the only wireless HDTV approach, however. The WirelessHD is a competing technology that is supported by Intel, LG Electronics, Panasonic, NEC, Toshiba, Samsung and Sony. (Yes, some of the companies are on both lists, presumably hedging their bets.)

Getting rid of all but the AC power wire to your HDTV is a great idea. Having it be able to talk to your settop box and DVD player and other devices is even better. It will take some time to sort out which wireless connection will win out, but the WHDI seems to have made a good start.