Sunday, January 06, 2008

Wireless free for all

Live from Vegas: My head is spinning from the “Death March” of pre-CES press conferences today. Among others things they confirm my suspicions that wireless video is not ready for prime time on digital TVs. Each major consumer electronics company trying out a different way forward and most are still in the stage of kicking the tires on the options. Here’s the quick-and-dirty rundown of who is doing what:

LG: Talking about wireless and “wireless ready” TVs generically. When asked they say it initially will be Wi-Fi but they are still exploring options.

Toshiba: Showing a demo their marketing VP thinks is based on 60 GHz radio, but he is not sure. Maybe the fall refresh will have a product commitment.

Philips: Working closely with Radiospire for wireless across all products. If all goes well products may flow in September.

Samsung: Demoing Wireless USB in TVs and digital cameras, but shipping Bluetooth on TVs (for MP3s?) and wired HDMI on HD cameras. They say next year they hope to have wireless USB on TVs, DVD recorders, printers, cameras—everything. They have selected multiple chip vendors, but will not say who they are.

Sharp: They are committing to wired powerline based on HomeNetAV (Intellon) in the US, though in Japan they have demoed some form of UWB.

Sony: Amimon just announced that Sony is demonstrating an HDTV using its proprietary variant of 802.11--no details yet on the nature of Sony's committment (or lack thereof) to the technology.

Panasonic: Perhaps the smartest of the group, they are touting sneaker net SD cards with slots on TVs, Blu-Ray players and cameras. Hey, it works and it’s here today. Their HD story is a 32 Gbyte SD HC card coming “soon” that can carry 5-8 hours of HD video.

If this is true, wireless video will probably ship in a bazillion products in 2009--and none of them will talk to each other. Oi vay!

1 comment:

Greeley's Ghost said...

Happy New Year, Rick! I'd be interested to see whether anyone's figured out a dummy-proof wireless printer for the home. We bought an HP wireless printer recently and i'm going to attempt to set it up tonight. I've heard nightmare stories (not about HP in particular) but about wireless printers.
Good luck in Sin City, my friend!