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WirelessHD Consortium to Enter Digital Home

AP reports that the world's leading consumer electronics makers have teamed up to develop a wireless technology to carry high-definition video and eliminate the cables that links televisions with set-top boxes and other equipment.

Seven companies announced that they formed the WirelessHD Consortium to free high-definition TVs from the tangle of cables connected to cable or satellite boxes, gaming consoles, DVD players, or even camcorders and other portable multimedia gadgets.

The companies are LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric Industrial, known for its Panasonic brand, NEC, Samsung Electronics, Sony, and Toshiba, as well as SiBEAM Inc. a wireless technology start-up. Industry analysts predicted the first products to carry the WirelessHD technology won't hit the market until at least 2008.

The format is designed to work within ranges of up to 32 feet -- and within the same room -- using the 60-gigahertz radio frequency band, said John Marshall, chairman of WirelessHD. This standard proposal appears similar to Ultra Wideband technology.

It will transmit high-definition video that has not been compressed digitally so users should experience the same image quality they currently get with wired HD-capable video connectors.

The WirelessHD group has been working quietly for more than a year and aims to have the technical specifications completed next spring. It intends to integrate the technology into HDTVs and a range of other audio-video equipment, as well as make it compatible with other wireless and wired video formats, Marshall said.

The consortium also expects adapters will be made so consumers with older model DVD players or set-top boxes can have the option of wireless connectivity with their HDTV sets, he said.

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