According to research firm In-Stat, 802.11n Wi-Fi technology will dominate the wireless HD video market, at least for the next several years. Three other technologies are competing in this space: Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI), WirelessHD, and Ultrawideband (UWB). However, the ubiquity of Wi-Fi technology is proving unstoppable.
According to In-Stat analyst Brian O’Rourke, 802.11n is the next generation of the Wi-Fi family. It is backward compatible and promises data rates above 100 Mbps. The installed base of Wi-Fi 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, requires codecs.
Recent research by In-Stat indicates the following:
• UWB will not be a major factor in the consumer electronics market. Many chip companies are leaving the market in late 2008 and 2009.
• Nearly 24 million digital TVs will ship with some type of wireless HD video technology in 2013.
• 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.
• WHDI and WirelessHD will see a slow start, with fewer than 8 million devices with those technologies shipped in 2013.