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Electronic companies agree on home wireless HD standard

A new wireless HD video standard for multiroom audio, video and control connectivity using Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) technology has been agreed to by a group of major consumer electronics companies including Sony, Sharp, Hitachi, Samsung and Motorola.

A key ingredient of WHDI technology is a video modem that operates in the 5GHz unlicensed band to enable wireless delivery of uncompressed HD video (including 1080p). WHDI allows secure, encrypted HD video delivery through multiple rooms and other potential signal obstructions, including people and furniture.

The objective of the consortium is to enhance the current WHDI technology to enable wireless streaming of uncompressed HD video and audio between consumer electronics devices such as LCD and plasma HDTVs, multimedia projectors, A/V receivers, DVD players, set-top boxes, game consoles and PCs. The new interoperable standard aims to ensure that devices manufactured by different vendors will simply and directly connect to one another.

WHDI is owned by Amimom, a manufacturer of semiconductor technology for HD video. The company has demonstrated its wireless modem technology, with a 100ft range and a latency of less than 1ms, at various trade shows over the past year. Amimom is headquartered in Herzkia, Israel.

Missing from the list of major electronic company supporters is Panasonic. This led to speculation there may be a format war with other wireless technologies before a single home format is adopted. The WHDI spec is set for finalization at the end of the year, with new products to be shown at CES 2009.