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Will WHDI make it into mobile by 2012?

Posted: 13 Oct 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless? HD? interface?

One of the things I absolutely love about my job is meeting engineers who are convinced of their own technologies, committed to their cause, and hopeful of their eventual success. Nothing can beat people with eyes uplifted and minds unfettered.

One such engineer is Yoav Nissan-Cohen, chairman and CEO of Amimon, a developer of Wireless High-definition Interface (WHDI) technology running at 5GHz frequency band.

Yoav Nissan-Cohen, chairman and CEO of Amimo

Known in the company as the "Energizer Bunny," Nissan-Cohen has an infectious smile and lots of energy. He always seems to have a new trick up his sleeve, and an insatiable urge to surprise. He plots tirelessly for new angles to push his company's wireless HDTV technology in new use-case scenarios.

Throughout his career, he hasn't stopped thinking, hasn't stopped promoting, and most important, he just keeps on innovating.

Amimon has launched the WHDI Stick which showcases PC-to-TV connectivity, which Amimon says CE manufacturers will bring to market in 2011. The stick is about the size of a large USB thumb drive, has one HDMI male port that goes into an HDMI computer port. The stick also features a USB cable.

On the receiving end of the HDTV, there's a dongle that connects to the TV's HDMI port. These two parts are paired, and work as though they are two ends of an HDMI cablebut without the cable.

The WHDI Stick lets users wirelessly view their netbook PC content on TV, with less than one millisecond latency. With it, users can play PC games and interactive content on the "big screen," says Amimon. WHDI security and HDCP 2.0 copy protection also enable the WHDI Stick to bring Blu-Ray movies and other copy-protected content to the HDTV, the company added.

Hewlett-Packard and ASUS already introduced to the market a pair of dongles for WHDI-based Wireless PC-to-TV streaming. The WHDI Stick, scheduled for 2011 launch by OEMs according to Amimon, will be a big improvement to the current dongle design, as its compact USB-based WHDI stick device can draw power from USB socket on a notebook PC.

Question of relevance
But with all due respect to Nissan-Cohen, I couldn't help but ask him the 64-million-dollar question: "Is wireless 'HD video' home networking still relevant?"

Many of us already enjoy the Wi-Fi connected home. While most of us may not be able to wirelessly stream genuine HDTV from PC to TV, we can already see what's up on the Web on our Ethernet-equipped TV using a home router. Besides, we all know about the coming of IPTV, Apple TV and Google TV. So, who still wants to wirelessly transmit Web content from a laptop in the den upstairs to a PC down in the living room?

In the face of my doubts, Jon Zierk, VP of marketing, Amimon, explained, "It's perfect for us. IPTV is still a walled garden. It only lets you see what it wants you to see."

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