Wireless high-def starts integrating

New HDTVs from Sharp

Sharp will start selling the X-series of 37-, 42-, and 46-inch HDTV sets in Japan next month that include a paired set of wireless transmitters for high-definition video using technology from Amimon. Amimon uses unlicensed frequency in the 4.9 to 5.9 GHz range, varying by country, to pass uncompressed 1080i or 1080p signals (both video and audio) over as far as 30 meters or 100 feet indoors. These are the same ranges used by 802.11a and 802.11n Wi-Fi flavors worldwide. (A double-wide channel, or 40 MHz, is required for 1080p; 20 MHz for 1080i.)

Wireless high-def is currently in development in many forms, that includes using Draft N- Wi-Fi-like technology as Amimon is deploying; 60 GHz millimeter-wave micro-antenna arrays with SiBeam; and several firms working on incompatible overlays to the WiMedia ultrawideband (UWB) wireless technology.

Sharp's announcement marks the first time that an electronics company is offering a line of products with built-in hardware paired with an external transceiver, however. Most of the work to date has focused on cable-replacement paired transmitters that cost as much as US$700 and eliminate the need for an HDMI cable. Sharp is offering the wireless transmitter that connects to the source as an optional accessory, but it's still a big step forward in reducing the clutter of home-entertainment cables.

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