After years in development, Gefen has finally released their wireless HDMI solution and it's not cheap at $999. The range is 30 feet, effectively doubling the maximum distance you can run an HDMI cable without a booster. The cost doesn't seem to be a problem, since the product is already backordered.
IOGEAR’s Wireless USB Audio / Video Kit creates a wire-free solution for streaming audio and video content to an in-room TV up to 30 feet away. The product consists of three adapters: audio for speaker connectivity, VGA for a TV or monitor and Wireless USB for the hosting PC. It provides HD streaming at resolutions up to 720p and supports stereo sound. It is compatible with
Windows XP 32-bit (Service Pack 2) or Vista (32-/64-bit) operating systems and will be available in March 2009 at an MSRP of $349.95.
Among the four or five contenders showing wireless HD transmission systems is the WirelessHD Consortium, which includes 30 companies such as LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. The system transmits up to 1080p/60 in the 60GHz range, which is relatively free from interference, and it has a maximum latency of 1-2ms. RF signals at this frequency can be blocked by obstacles such as people, so the technology automatically redirects the beam to reflect off walls, ceiling, or floor as needed, and it's designed to transmit its full bandwidth up to 10 meters as long as there's some line-of-sight path to be found. Pictured here is a WirelessHD transmitter (bottom) and receiver (top) by LG Innotek, a subsidiary of LG that makes components for various products from LG and other manufacturers.
Right in front, next to Dolby, in the South Hall was a new kid on the block, called XStreamHD. While they were making a big splash at the show, the service won't go live until later this year, sometime in the summer.
XStreamHD is a high definition media via satellite delivery service provider that's been gearing up for the last year. We've followed their progress, and now it looks like XStreamHD will be launching at the end of April. The XStreamHD hardware will let you rent HD movies (with Blu-ray bit-for-bit HD quality) with many other media-centric service to come, including game downloads. There's a $10/month subscription fee - after that, you simply pay for the movies/games/etc. that you want to rent or buy. Everything gets stored on the XStreamHD HD Media Server that comes standard with a 1TB drive (but is upgradeable to 2TB and 4TB). Movies can be streamed to HDTVs throughout your house using the basic HD Media Receiver or the more advanced PRO Media Receiver, which includes high-end DACs and 8-channel analog audio out for use with pre/pros that lack HDMI inputs. The basic package (1 Media Server + 1 HD Media Receiver) is scheduled to sell for $399. A Server and PRO Receiver package will be $499.
Both Samsung and Sony announced partnerships with Yahoo. Integrated into their top line TVs customers will have access to the Yahoo Widget Engine, to expand and personalize their TV experience. It adds on-screen applications that provide real-time information such as weather reports, stock ticker updates, financial news, Yahoo! Video, Flickr images, and much more content to come.
With an ad campaign and slogan like this, you'd never guess that one of the products this company makes is a Touch Pad Digital Bible Reader. No, seriously. (They also make digital media players, digital video recorders, and digital picture frames.)
Hannspree brought several of their unusual TVs to one of the giant press soirees that are filled with cheery PR people, good food, open bars, and every now and then an interesting product. I feel safe predicting that this set won't become the official TV of the Colbert Nation. I didn't see the remote control, but someone please tell me that it's not shaped like a baby seal...