The Wi-Fi Alliance is keeping WiGig separate from its storied Wi-Fi moniker. Instead, it’s trying to build a brand around WiGig that it hopes will one day be as instantly recognizable as Wi-Fi.
Wireless chipmaker Quantenna announced today that it has added to its Series C round with new investor Swisscom, a Swiss telecom provider. The amount wasn’t officially disclosed, but it appears to be roughly $2 million, given that today’s press announcement says the company has raised $44 million to date and in April it was reported that the company had raised $42 million total at that time.
Fremont, Calif.-based Quantenna makes chips that allow for wireless transmission of HD video within the home. Quantenna’s pitch is that it uses Wi-Fi to beam that sweet HD video around your house. Quantenna competitor Amimon, which uses the WHDI protocol for wireless HD, recently announced that it had raised $10 million in a Series D round, bringing its total to $50 million. SiBEAM, another competitor that uses the WirelessHD protocol, has raised roughly $78 million.
Wireless HD chip maker Amimon announced today it has raised a $10 million Series D round of funding. The round was led by Stata Venture Partners, and included “all significant investors” from earlier rounds, including Argonaut Private Equity, Cedar Fund, Evergreen Venture Partners, Walden Israel and Motorola Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Motorola (s mot).
Amimon’s technology allows you to transmit wireless HD content like movies and games from devices to your TV, no wires needed. The company, which backs the WHDI wireless HD standard, has now raised $50 million in funding. Competitor SiBEAM, which uses the WirelessHD standard, has raised roughly $78 million. Quantenna, which uses WiFi for transmission, has raised $42 million. And if that wasn’t enough, Amimon faces big rivals in the WiGig Alliance, backed by heavyweights such as Intel (s intc), Dell (s dell) and Broadcom (s brcm).
Devices using the Amimon chipset are predominately in Europe and Japan. In April, the company released its second-generation chips, which Amimon says can wirelessly deliver full uncompressed 1080p/60Hz HD content around the home, with a range of 100 feet — even through walls — with a latency of less than 1 millisecond.
Quantenna Raises $14 Million; company provides chips for wireless HD transmission, Quantenna has raised more than $42 million to date. (VentureBeat) Elsewhere in the wireless HD world, Amimon rolled out its second-gen chips today.
Lost‘s Big DVR Audience Poses Advertiser Problem; one-third of the show’s viewers delay watching episodes, making it more difficult to sell advertising. (Variety) Robert Seidman doesn’t think advertisers will shy away from the show just because of its DVR viewership. (TV by the Numbers)
Cable Shows Getting Social; The Real Housewives of New York will have a viewing party online for its season finale on Tuesday (Multichannel News); Spike will have an online discussion show around Deadliest Warrior (Multichannel News); and Alexa Chung will host a new MTV TRL-style show that will incorporate Twitter and Facebook. (Guardian)
Industry Insiders Talk TV; At the OnHollywood Conference, media execs discussed what video content will work on TV and what will move to the web (Variety). Meanwhile, at Media Magazine’s 2009 Upfront Conference, advertisers debated whether the premium content market was oversaturated (MediaPost), and Canoe Ventures CEO David Verklin said web overtaking TV and the end of the 30-second TV spot are far from certain. (MediaPost)
RealNetworks’ Demos DVD Jukebox in Court; code-named “Facet,” the device allows users to copy DVDs onto a built-in hard drive with no PC necessary. (CNET)
NBC.com Rolls Out New Video Ad Units; new ad options from the peacock will let users choose a commercial, as well as offer advertisers pause units, a pop-out player, and push back units. (release)
Set-top Box Market to Decline After 2012; drop in demand from Chinese market after rapid growth will cause the retreat, according to Screen Digest. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Given that the wireless networking technology Ultrawideband (UWB) is on its deathbed and WirelessHD and WHDI are yet to gain any real momentum, it seems that the winner of wireless HD video sweepstakes is going to be 802.11n which can stream data at 100 Mbps. In a recent survey, Scottsdale, Ariz.,-based research group In-Stat comes to these conclusions:
- 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.
Given the ubiquitous nature of WiFi and the price advantages that come with it, we wouldn’t be surprised. Despite Stacey’s best efforts, I have often struggled to keep up with the growing number of Wireless HD standards. This confusion is to the advantage of WiFi, which is now part of the popular lexicon. The only downside is that you need to encode and decode the video on both ends of the stream, a distinct disadvantage to WHDI and WirelessHD.
One thing against 802.11n — despite the throughputs, the quality of the signal is almost always a game of chance. I constantly grapple with that in my apartment and have to switch to hardwired ethernet to transfer big files or watch video off my Buffalo Linkstation Mini.
WirelessHD, the standard that uses 60 GHz spectrum to do point-to-point wireless HD video transfer, is coming next spring. Good news for consumers: It’s will be much cheaper than the Amimon-backed WHDI standard.