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New Video Streaming Technology Being Developed

May 10, 2010

The Wi-Fi Alliance is adopting a new technology that should boost data speeds of over 10 times at short distances, which could replace video cables in the home entertainment center.

The industry group that supports Wi-Fi said it is joining with Wireless Gigabit Alliance, or WiGig, which has been developing ways to exploit the 60-gigahertz frequency band for extremely high data speeds between devices in the same room.

Wi-Fi Alliance marketing director Kelley Davis-Felner told the Associated Press (AP) the technology would probably take two years in order to show up in products.  The first ones might be Blu-Ray players that send their high-definition video signal wirelessly to compatible TV sets. Portable devices like video cameras could later have the ability to send video wirelessly.

WirelessHD Consortium, a separate group, has developed technology to exploit the same frequency band with the same goals.  Wireless HD is further along in the development.  It uses paired transmitters and receivers for HD video that came out last year.  The focus of the group was originally more narrow-minded, just looking at video and audio, but it has recently expanded to include data networking.

John Marshall, chairman of the WirelessHD Consortium, told AP that its technology is more suitable for high-quality video streaming, and less suitable for use in portable devices.

It is possible the technologies will coexist.  Several electronic industry leaders are members of both groups, including Intel Corp., Samsung Electronics Co, Panasonic Corp. and Toshiba Corp.

It is possible to carry video on today’s Wi-Fi bands, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.  That is a cheaper option with longer range, but the video quality is slightly degraded and there is a slight transmission delay.

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