The WHDI Consortium has completed its specification for wireless video over a 5 GHz variant of Wi-Fi based on technology from startup chip designer Amimon. The technology is one of at least four major approaches to delivering wireless video in the digital home.
WHDI promises to carry high definition video at 1080-progressive resolution, 60 Hz refresh rates and 12-bit color depth up to 100 feet and through multiple walls. It offers maximum data rates up to 3 Gbits/second using a 40 MHz channel.
The technical spec is so far available only to consortium members LG Electronics, Hitachi, Sharp, Motorola, Samsung and Sony.
“That’s how HDMI started out for the first couple years because you are trying to build a community and this is proprietary information,” said Leslie Chard, president of WHDI LLC and former head of the licensing group for the HDMI wired video interconnect.
The group aims to have an interoperability test suite and certification lab in place by next fall. “We’re not expecting first products using the technology until the third quarter or so, and by then will have all that sorted out,” said Chard.
Backers said the technology is more robust for video than 802.11n. They add that it has greater range, penetration and flexibility than the 60 GHz technology defined by the competing WirelessHD group backed by chip designer SiBeam.
Chard said the WirelessHD approach uses DTCP content protection which requires locked key pairs, making it difficult for separate vendors to develop interoperable products. By contrast, WHDI’s uses of HDCP 2.0 enables the spec to support products from multiple vendors that can be added to an ad hoc WHDI network.
Another 60 GHz competitor, the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, debuted in May and aims to release its spec by the end of the year.