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Wireless high-def video coming very soon

Video demonstration on how WirelessHD works, and when we can actually expect the first consumer products using this technology.

Is the promised land of wireless high-definition video nigh?

Backers of the top two wireless video standards, WirelessHD and WHDI, say the first quarter of 2009 will see actual consumer electronics products using them.

After years of talking about different standards, there's been more movement in this industry of late, but we're still waiting for the floodgates to open where all the top-tier manufacturers have TVs with a wireless HD connectivity option.

Recently Mitsubishi said it would be using WHDI, which sends uncompressed, high-definition video signals over the unlicensed 5-Gigahertz band throughout an entire home, in a wireless TV it's making for the Japanese market this fall.

Sharp already has a wireless TV in Japan using WHDI, but here in the U.S., there are several products that have been previously promised to us this fall: wireless dongles from Belkin, Gefen, and Sony, and embedded wireless capability for HD video in an IDX camcorder. TVs from Mitsubishi, Sharp, and Sony should be next.

Competing standard WirelessHD transmits an HDMI signal over the air using the 60-Gigahertz spectrum up to 20 meters away, or basically within one room of a house. Samsung, Panasonic and Toshiba have promised products using WirelessHD. Expect to hear more about this at CES in January.

In the meantime, here's a video demonstration of WirelessHD from the chairman of the WirelessHD consortium, John Marshall. He stopped by the CNET office to give us a quick runthrough on how it works. Here he is showing a Blu-ray movie using a PlayStation 3, SiBeam chipset in an HDMI adapter, and Samsung monitor without any wires from the video source to the monitor.