Wireless HDTV Vendors Back Their Choices with Cash, but Few Products Are Market-Ready in North America

Friday, December 12th, 2008
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NEW YORK — Although consumer electronics vendors continue to line up behind the two proposed standards for wireless high definition television connectivity, and some are “putting their money where their mouths are,” most retailers shelves have yet to see any products.

Two industry groups have emerged to promote 5 GHz and 60 GHz solutions. Amimon, around whose technology the 5 GHz platforms are based, formed the WHDI Special Interest Group, which has been joined by Hitachi, Motorola, Sharp, Samsung and Sony Corp. Hedging their bets, the latter two vendors are also members of the competing industry body, WirelessHD, which promotes the 60 GHz approach designed by SiBEAM, Inc. WirelessHD also includes Intel Corp., LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric, NEC Electronics, and Toshiba.

Amimon recently announced that it has now shipped 100,000 of its chipsets. Many of those are going into high end TVs while Sony has a Bravia wireless adapter available online and in limited retail outlets. “Amimon is in fact making real progress in promoting its solution,” says Wilson.

“SiBEAM has recently completed a new round of fundraising, successfully securing the participation of two major backers, Panasonic and Samsung,” notes ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson. “Broadcom has also joined the consortium. Meanwhile Mitsubishi has announced its choice of the Amimon (5 GHz WHDI) chipset. All these are positive signs from major stakeholders in this incipient market.”

“Incipient” is still largely the operative word, however. Despite earlier indications that some products would be shipping 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. “Sharp and Hitachi are shipping high end consumer TVs with wireless connectivity in Japan,” Wilson notes. “However, in the US, no one but Sony has yet been able to bring any of these technologies to the consumer market.”

A recent ABI Research study, “Wireless Video Cable Replacement Market and Technologies” provides an in-depth analysis of these competing technologies and companies as well as an outlook for the adoption of these devices in the marketplace.

It forms part of two ABI Research Services, Consumer Video Technologies, and Home Networking.