Chipmakers team to cut the cord on high-definition

Tzero Technologies and Analog Devices have teamed up for a new way to watch HD content at home. The companies announced on Tuesday that they have combined their signature technologies into the first standards-based wireless High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) that will eliminate the need for connector cables between HD media devices.

Tzero, a leader in ultrawideband (UWB) technology, and chipmaker Analog Devices seem to have recognized the demand for high-definition TVs, DVD players, set-top boxes and game consoles and the inevitable tangle of wires that comes with them.

Utilizing Tzero's UWB chipset and Analog Devices' JPEG2000 video codec, a transmitter plugged into a DVD player, game system, DVR or media PC compresses video data using JPEG 2000, combines it with audio, packetizes and encrypts it and sends it via the Tzero chips. The receiver attached to the HDTV decompresses the audio and video before it reaches the display. Tzero said it will announce the manufacturer that will produce the first adapters for purchase in approximately two weeks. The cost will be "similar to other Wi-Fi devices."

The most enticing feature of wireless HDMI is the power to eliminate all wires, except for the power source. Even better, the companies' wireless interface doesn't need a line of sight between any of the devices. That means you can squirrel away your media cabinet to one room and stream a TiVo, satellite, DVD player, Xbox and video iPod to three other TVs in the house up to 10 meters away. Tzero promises that Analog Devices' JPEG2000 codec has a high level of resilience, only dropping the wireless connection every two to three hours. That would theoretically enable you to get through a whole movie without any interruption at all. And, since it's standards-based, it will play nice with other WiMedia devices and is immune to interference from other wireless networks or household appliances, the companies said.

By the time the Consumer Electronics Show rolls around in January, Tzero says we can expect a top-tier TV manufacturer to announce an HDTV with this chipset integrated into the display.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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