Wireless HDMI Solutions on the Horizon

Tzero Technologies last week announced a partnership with Analog Devices to create the industry’s first standards-based wireless HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) solution for wireless video and audio connections between products like HDTVs, DVD players, set-top boxes and game systems. The solution, the companies say, delivers a quality of service virtually identical to that of wired products.

Also this week, at CEDIA, Gefen Inc. launched its Wireless HDMI Extender, which is based on Tzero’s and Analog’s design. “We believe wireless HDMI will revolutionize the way people connect their high definition displays, and are fully prepared to harness this technology to enable a reliable extension of high definition video without cables,” says Hagai Gefen, the company’s president and CEO.

In addition to the convenience of wireless rather than wired connectivity, Tzero president and CEO Mike Gulett says, the solution enables significant cost savings for consumers as well – the Gefen product has a retail price of $499. “The wireless HDMI solution lets consumers eliminate the cost and complexity of hard-wired HDMI connections, for which even short cable can cost hundreds of dollars,” he says.

Bill Bucklen, director of Analog Devices’ advanced television segment, says Tzero’s solution is a perfect fit for high definition video. “We explored several UWB technologies that work with our JPEG2000 video compression technology to enable wireless distribution of DVD-quality HD video,” he says. “The ultrawideband chipset developed by Tzero delivers the lowest error rates and latency to consistently produce the highest quality picture and multi-channel sound. We expect to see ultrawideband become the standard for high-definition wireless video.”

Matt Keowen, Tzero’s senior director of corporate marketing, says the companies’ solution delivers speeds of up to 480 Mbps and a packet error rate of 10-8.

“That’s really the rate that is demanded by the service providers and consumer electronics manufacturers for the quality of service that they want to deliver,” Keowen says. “And we’re the only manufacturer that’s able to deliver that quality of service.”

The launch of Tzero’s TZ 7000 chipset three months ago was a major step forward for the company. “This is an exciting time,” Keowen says. “We’ve gotten an incredible amount of interest in ultrawideband and in our solution for video in particular since we launched the product in June of this year, and with this new announcement, we’re seeing even greater interest from companies all over the world.”

Keowen, speaking from a hotel room in Taipei, told Ultrawideband Planet, “The reason that we’re in Korea and Taiwan and Japan this week is to meet with customers and talk to people about this solution – and it’s pretty overwhelming, the kind of response that we’re getting from the major consumer electronics manufacturers throughout Asia, their desire to take this solution and build consumer products using it.”

The Asian manufacturers, Keowen says, are looking at a very quick turnaround in delivering those products, initially as dongles and eventually embedded into the A/V components themselves. “Several of them are talking about time lines for delivering consumer products and demoing those products at CES [the Consumer Electronics Show in January] and delivering them into the market in the first or second quarter of next year.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and a contributor to TechnologyAdvice websites since 1999. He's covered security, networking, storage, mobile technologies and more during his time with TechnologyAdvice.

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