802.11n ‘to dominate HD market’

While four technologies duke it out for control of the HD video market, industry watcher In-Stat reckons 802.11n is set to dominate for ‘several years’.

Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI), WirelessHD, and Ultrawideband (UWB) are also vying for control of the lucrative market, but ‘the ubiquity of Wi-Fi technology is proving unstoppable,’ says In-Stat.

“802.11n is the next generation of the immensely popular Wi-Fi family. It promises data rates above 100Mbps and is backwards compatible,” reckons In-Stat analyst Brian O’Rourke.

“The installed base of Wi-Fi is immense, and effectively includes all mobile PCs, many mobile phones and a wide variety of CE devices. The primary drawback to 802.11n is expense, since it requires codec technology on both ends to transmit HD video. Neither of its primary competitors, WHDI and WirelessHD, require codecs,” adds O’Rourke.

The research outfit states that nearly 24 million digital TVs will ship with some type of Wireless HD video technology by 2013, but that UWB will not be a major player in consumer electronics and many chip companies will quit the market this year.
WHDI and WirelessHD are being promoted by startups, but they are new, expensive, and power-hungry, which is generally not a recipe for quick market success. The result will be that WHDI and WirelessHD will max out with fewer than eight million devices shipped in the same timeframe.

In-Stat’s report on the worldwide market for wireless HD video technology is due out soon at $3,495.