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MoCA, 60 GHz gains traction at CES

Posted: 14 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:60GHz wireless  MoCA  UWB  wireless video 

Limited UWB market
New product plans were less apparent for UWB. Hitachi showed transmit and receive boxes it shipped for TVs in Japan last year using UWB chips from TZero Technologies and JPEG2000 chips from Analog Devices. It has no plans to sell the systems in the United States.

Because UWB requires compression to handle high def video, it creates unacceptable latencies for gamers. Both UWB and 60GHz versions of the wired HDMI spec face interoperability problems, said a Hitachi spokesman.

"It would be great if we could all agree on a single solution that would interoperate but were still having problems handshaking with wired HDMI," he said.

Samsung repeated its CES 2008 demos of the wireless USB version of UWB sending personal video from camcorders, cell phones and PCs to flat-panel TVs. With the exception of one networked hard drive slated to ship in the fall, all the products were still only prototypes for demos.

"There are still power consumption issues for [getting UWB into] mobile devices," said Matsumura of Toshiba who has also worked on UWB.

A representative of Taiwan's AboCom said the initial version of Staccato Communications' Ripcord, an integrated UWB chip, got up to temperatures as high as 100°C. Its current UWB module for PCs uses a TZero chip consuming about 5 W and delivering up to 136Mbps of user data, but it is less stable than the SiBeam chips, he said.

Stephen Palm, technical director of Broadcom's home networking efforts, said wireless USB will be a PC data connection because it lacks support for the device discovery and management software defined by the DLNA. Broadcom showed demos of moving video between TVs, cell phones and set top boxes, using DLNA software over MoCA and Wi-Fi.

The UWB proponents "thought they could beat Wi-Fi speeds, but with 802.lln it's hard to see how they will," Palm said.

Among top consumer companies, only Sony showed a product using any of the Wi-Fi-based variants from start-ups such as Amimon and Celano. Sony's new Bravia Link DMX-WL1 uses Amimon's 5GHz chips to handle wireless HDMI for Sony's TVs. A pair of converter boxes costs Rs.39,979.08 ($799) and supports 1080-interlaced, but not 1080-progreessive video resolutions at distances up to 65 feet.

Matsumura of Toshiba said the Wi-Fi variants generate interference when used for whole-home video, unlike the multi-gigabit SiBeam chips whose signals don't pass through walls. In addition, the Wi-Fi variants cannot scale to the 4,000-pixel resolutions planned for future TVs, but the SiBeam chips can, he added.

A survey of more than 2,000 users worldwide commissioned by the WirelessHD group said 75 per cent of users are more interested in wireless video in the living room than throughout the home.

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