Wireless: Two Sides Battle for HD Home Standard

This may sound hauntingly familiar to industry observers.
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This may sound hauntingly familiar to industry observers: As more and more HD homes add a second and third HD set, a behind-the-scenes battle is underway among proponents of two competing and incompatible proposed standards to become the wireless HD connectivity solution. As usual, there’s a lot of potential money at stake for the eventual winner (not to mention bragging rights).

Two industry groups have emerged to promote both 5 GHz and 60 GHz systems, according to some new analysis from ABI Research. Amimon, chief proponent for 5 GHz platforms, has formed the WHDI Special Interest Group—whose members currently include such brand names as Sony, Samsung, Hitachi, Motorola and Sharp.

But Sony and Samsung are also members of a competing industry movement, WirelessHD, which promotes the 60 Hz wireless mode. This second system was created by SiBeam, and the group promoting it (along with hedge-bettors Sony and Samsung) includes Panasonic, Toshiba, Intel, LG Electronics, Mitsubishi and NEC.

Neither wireless scheme has put much product on the shelf yet, however, although Amimon recently shipped 100,000 chipsets for inclusion in higher-priced HD models.

According to ABI Research, “incipient” (embryonic) is still the operative word when it comes to home wireless HD solutions. “Despite earlier indications that some products would be shipping [in the U.S.] by now, the promised offerings from Belkin and Monster are still conspicuous by their absence and appear to have slipped into 1Q 2009 or later,” ABI said.

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