Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wireless Plasma & LCD TV's come of age

Some of those unsightly wires dangling from the back of your wall mounted Plasma or LCD TV could soon be a thing of the past with a number of major manufacturers promising wireless enabled solutions by this summer.

One of the wireless technologies competing for consumer affections is 'WirelessHD' from a heavyweight consortium headed by Toshiba and Sony.

WirelessHD technology uses a previously unused part of the radio spectrum, at around 60 gigahertz. An important feature of the new technology is that it avoids interference from other networking kit - this new spectrum allows it to achieve this goal. Unlike other wireless technology, WirelessHD will maintain a very high quality stream, as it does not need to compress the signal.

Significant technical hurdles have been overcome with WirelessHD to make it practical in and around the home. While it can cover a large floor space (up to 30 feet) it employs techniques which prevent the signal 'leaking' into next door's living area, or even into an adjacent room.

Another solution will be showcased at this years Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The Korean electronics giant LG will be demonstrating LCD and plasma screens operating with Wi-Fi wireless links.

Wi-Fi is a proven technology although it has the disadvantage of having not being specifically designed for streaming video. It is slower than WirelessHD, and requires significantly more compression when used for High Definition video.

LG will be selling two Wi-Fi enabled LCD models early this year at 47in and 52in alongside 50in and 60in Plasmas. The LCD models are equipped with a wireless transmitter with a 15m range. The transmitter will be optional on LG's plasma models

If you are hoping to remove wires from the back of your flat panel TV's for purely aesthetic reasons, then remember that you are still going to have a power source ... Manufacturers are also working on this technology, but it won't be ready for a good while.

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