CEDIA 08: Belkin Flywire vs JVC wireless HDMI

Belkin's wireless HD Flywire box
Belkin's wireless HD Flywire box

It's typical. You wait the entire span of human recorded history for a wireless transmission technology that can handle High Definition video, then two come along at once.

CEDIA 2008 saw the unveiling of rival wireless HD systems from Belkin and JVC. Belkin's FlyWire box is closest to launch, using the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) developed by Amimon, Motorola and Sony.

Engadget saw the FlyWire AV69003 beaming jaggie-free Blu-ray video across the show floor. The AV69003 can connect to up to six sources (three HDMI, two component, and one S-video) and should sell for around $1,500 (£860) when it launches in the US this October.

High wireless act

JVC's 'High Definition Wireless Transmission' system won't be decluttering living rooms until next year at the earliest. It claims to be able to handle a 3Gbps data connection, allowing for uncompressed 1080p transmission via a single HDMI socket. There was no suggestion of pricing yet.

Both seem to work fine but we're finding it difficult to get too excited about them. For wireless HD to really take off, three things need to happen. Firstly, the price needs to come down. Way down, if this 51p HDMI cable (plus shipping) on Amazon is any guide.

Secondly, the technology has to standardise – connectivity is no place for a format war. Finally, the technology needs to come built in to a critical mass of players, consoles and TVs. And all of those are long way off right now....

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.