The battle between various wireless HD video transfer standards has not started yet, but analysts from In-Stat market research firm believe that there already is a winner: Wi-Fi 802.11n standard. Unlike WHDI, Wireless HD and UWB, the 802.11n is here and can be implemented without risks that it will never take off.
“802.11n is the next generation of the immensely popular Wi-Fi family. It promises data rates above 100Mbps and is backwards compatible. The installed base of Wi-Fi is immense, and effectively includes all mobile PCs, many mobile phones and a wide variety of CE devices,” said Brian O’Rourke, an In-Stat analyst.
According to the research firm, 802.11n Wi-Fi technology will dominate the wireless HD video market, at least for the next several years. Three other technologies are competing in this space – Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI), WirelessHD (WiHD), and Ultrawideband (UWB) – have not been implemented into any significant amount of devices and will not become mainstream until the “standard war” is resolved.
In-Stat believes that UWB will not be a major factor in the consumer electronics market as many chip companies are leaving the market in late 2008 and 2009. Meanwhile, WHDI and WirelessHD are being promoted by various consumer electronics manufactures via special interest groups, but they are new, expensive, and power-hungry, which is generally not a recipe for quick market success.
In fact, the market for wireless HDTVs is not projected to become large, only 24 million digital TVs will ship with some type of wireless HD video transfer technology in 2013. The research firm believes that WHDI and WirelessHD will see a slow start, with fewer than eight million devices with those technologies shipped in 2013.
Nevertheless, Wi-Fi 802.11n also has several drawbacks that may become significant roadblocks for the technology on the market of consumer electronics.
“The primary drawback to 802.11n is expense, since it requires codec technology on both ends to transmit HD video. Neither of its primary competitors, WHDI and WirelessHD, requires codecs,” said Mr. O’Rourke.