More wireless, please

WirelessHDWires are one of my biggest pet peeves and I dream of a life without them. Every year, the Consumer Electronic Association holds it’s International CES Convention and I follow it closely to see if any companies are unveiling wireless electronics. At the convention, consumer electronic companies trot out their new innovations and try to create some buzz for their products.

One new innovation that I have been reading quite a bit about is Wireless HD. Belkin is unveiling their FlyWire box that sends uncompressed 720p and 1080i or compressed 1080p signals up to 100 feet “with the same quality as HDMI cable.” Also, according to Engadget, Westinghouse will debut their Wireless HDMI HDTV at the convention.

From WirelessHD.org:

WirelessHD will serve as the first and only wireless digital interface to combine uncompressed high-definition video, multi-channel audio, intelligent format and control data, and Hollywood approved content protection. For end-users, elimination of cables for audio and video dramatically simplifies home theater system installation and eliminates the traditional need to locate source devices in the proximity of the display. Also, the technology will support the development of adapter solutions that will be capable of supporting legacy systems.

With the quick advances that have been made over the years in consumer electronics, it was only a matter of time before companies started to tackle the wire issue. Here’s to an uncluttered, wireless future in HD entertainment!

10 Comments for “More wireless, please”

  1. posted by Jason on

    I’m all for limiting the number of wires that clutter my life. Initially, I assumed that wireless technology in the realm of home entertainment was hopeless since the component-based nature of home theaters lends itself to a load of clutter, especially thanks to side- and rear-surround speakers.

    However, thinking about this more deeply has me dreaming of combining this wireless technology with some kind of single-speaker surround sound soundbar ( http://www.engadgethd.com/tag/soundbar/ ). This is where things start to get really interesting and uncluttered. Any news on such a device at this year’s CES?

  2. posted by Michael on

    Heh, this is funny, since essentially you aren’t reducing clutter at all! It just moves from wires to the free space around you. Most wireless stuff today is in the microwave frequency range, so that warm toasty feeling you get may not be entirely from a neat setup ;)

    I think a structured wiring approach is much better approach.

  3. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Michael — I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if something is invisible it’s not clutter.

  4. posted by Charles on

    I am all for wireless. Just got done hooking up a surround sound system, and the only way to hide the wires was to rip up the ceiling. Way frustrating.

  5. posted by Luis Fernando on

    Now, that’s a discussion!!! Could it be that spectrum clutter (which despite being invisible is very real) will matter to the normal person/consumer in a few years?

  6. posted by gumnos on

    Wireless can involve mental clutter/anguish. I’ve had to troubleshoot problematic wireless installations (WiFi, cell-phones, 2-way radios, regular radios, etc) and it’s always an order of magnitude (or two or three orders of magnitude) harder than diagnosing problems with a wired solution. With a wired solution, I test the sender, I test the receiver, and I test the wire. With a wireless solution, I need a specialized (read “expensive and unique to each problem domain”) device to sniff the air at random sampling points in the hopes that I’ve sampled enough to get a good picture as to what’s going on. Those specialized devices add up to clutter too :)

    There’s also the security/privacy of wired vs. wireless. I don’t want to have my nephew sit down to watch a children’s video on my wireless setup only to discover that my TV has mis-bonded with my neighbor’s player while they are watching a dirty movie.

    That said, I love the lack of clutter that wireless brings in theory (my spouse is itching for a wireless vacuum that is as powerful as the wired variety). I’m just waiting for it to be easier, more secure, more predictable, and standardized for easier interop.

  7. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @gumnos — Okay, you make a pretty good case for the invisible being possible clutter … especially the mental anguish part … I’ll need to think on this a little more … :)

  8. posted by Luis Fernando on

    Just to complement gumnos point: to me, the main reason to give up on something is to find it to hard to use/setup. Wireless definitely falls under this category. Try to set up a WiFi network mixing up Vista and XP PCs and we can talk about mental anguish.

    A gizmo is too hard to setup and there is a very good chance it will find its place at the back of one closet or some drawer. Hence, clutter.

  9. posted by Katherine on

    I reckon I’ll wait a few years and see how the brain cancer rates are doing… Worryingly the UK government is pressing ahead with installing wireless tech in schools here; the safety (or not!) of mobile phones and phone masts is still an issue, and this adds to it. Sorry to be the voice of doom, it’s not like I really dig wires or anything.

  10. posted by Jim on

    An innovation is the introduction of something new. A new innovation is the new introduction of something new?

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