Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wi-Fi to Dominate HD Video Home Networks

Digital home networks will be optimized to distribute video. Standards based 802.11n Wi-Fi technology will dominate the wireless High Definition (HD) video market, at least for the next several years, according to the latest study by In-Stat.

Three other connectivity technologies are competing in this space -- Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI), WirelessHD, and Ultrawideband (UWB). However, the ubiquity of Wi-Fi technology is proving unstoppable.

"802.11n is the next generation of the immensely popular Wi-Fi family. It promises data rates above 100Mbps and is backwards compatible," says Brian O'Rourke, In-Stat analyst.

The installed base of Wi-Fi is immense, and effectively includes all mobile PCs, many mobile phones and a wide variety of CE devices. The primary drawback to 802.11n is expense, since it requires codec technology on both ends to transmit HD video. Neither of its primary competitors, WHDI and WirelessHD, requires codecs.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- 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.