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Adapters bring wireless displays home

Posted: 09 Jul 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless display? adapter? USB? HDTV? UWB?

Wireless display technology enables the modern "wireless home" to exist with one less cable strung across the living room. The utility of this application is obvious, with slide shows, gaming and video sharing all begging for temporary access to a bigger monitor. Even the biggest modern-day Luddite might admit that streaming TV calls out for, well, a TV set. Of particular interest are two competing wireless display implementations: one with limited (for now) availability and requiring minimal retrofitting, the other accommodating a broad range of laptop and display configurations, at the cost of a more complicated setup. Perhaps even more interesting is the implicit showdown between two enabling wireless technologies

The Guwavkit includes USB host/transmitter and separate STB adapters. Click on image to view teardown.

Two compelling solutions are available for turning the living room HDTV set into a big HD monitor

First to market was the Iogear's Guwavkit, a three-piece set that includes a USB host/transmitter for the laptop or desktop computer and separate STB adapters for audio and video. In this implementation, UWB technology is employed to achieve high data rates over short distances, enabling up to 720p HDTV output. Both "Mirror Mode" and "Extended Mode" are supported; the default "Extended" configuration treats the TV as a secondary monitor for multitasking, while "Mirror Mode" displays a large real-time copy of the primary display for applications such as gaming.

UWB technology has fallen in and out of favor over the years as a prospect for home applications but appears to be back in at the moment, as evidenced by the streamlined chipset found in the Guwavkit and an apparent convergence of standards within the WiMedia Alliance. Realtek emerges as the key enabler, supplying the WiMedia and WiMedia LLC Protocol (WLP)-compliant components for the transmitter and both receivers.

Specifically, the WiMedia PHY (RTU7010) and USB and WLP controller (RTU7300) reside in the GUWA200 USB host transmitter, while GUW101A audio adapter and GUW2015V VGA adapter each house an RTU7105 single-chip wireless USB and WLP controller. Supporting components include the DisplayLink DL-160G display processor and Chrontel CH7301C display controller (in the VGA adapter), C-Media Electronics USB audio controller and stereo DAC (in the audio adapter, not shown), along with a handful of memory, RF power amplifier and antenna switching packages. Taken together, the Guwavkit might best be thought of as a wireless USB setup optimized for audio and video and running on the slice of radio spectrum spanning 3.1GHz and 4.8GHz.

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