Wireless HD on the Horizon?

Wires aren’t evil, but home networking technology is seeking to eradicate them anyway. For those of you who are eager to disconnect your TV, but unwilling to compromise with compressed video, companies Amimon and Belkin may have a solution for you by September.

What’s on offer is a wireless network based on the WHDI standard pushed by Amimon, a semiconductor startup. According to Noam Geri, the company’s co-founder and VP of marketing, the wireless hub from Belkin should be out later this year with Amimon’s chip inside. The plan is to get TV manufacturers to eventually integrate Amimon’s chip directly into their products.

The hub contains six ports and a wireless dongle that can be plugged into HDI and composite video ports on a TV. Plug any device into the hub and transmit HD video from a camcorder, PC, DVD player, etc., wirelessly to the TV. But before you get too excited, it’s worth understanding how these guys are sending uncompressed video over the same unlicensed band on which your Wi-Fi network runs.

Geri calls the technology a video modem, which can send content throughout a home, even without the line-of-sight requirements between transmitters used by current ultra-wideband efforts or the nascent WirelessHD movement. To call the data stream uncompressed is accurate, but to call it lossless really isn’t. Geri says the chip looks at a variety of factors in the HD video stream and assigns levels of importance to the bits and bytes making up the image. If the wireless signal doesn’t have the capacity, the least important bits aren’t sent.

Imagine the millions of bits and bytes making up an HD movie as people on an airplane — if the flight’s overbooked, some people will be bumped off. What will be key is how well the Amimon chip does this. Review kits weren’t available yet, although the company showed demos at CES this year and the year before. As soon as we get our hands on the technology, and more information about its release, we’ll update you.