CES 2007: Wireless HDMI cuts cables

No need for cables if wireless HDMI catches on.

Cutting out cables is a key theme at CES this year, and Philips is leading the way by announcing the SWW1800 Wireless HDMI adaptor at CES.

With a range of up to 25 feet, Philips claims that it is the first and only device that can transfer an uncompressed HD signal over the air.

This means that set-top boxes are going to have to start finding a new name for themselves, as they'll be hidden away from view rather than stuck in the middle of the lounge. Any adoption of wireless HDMI would also mean that wall mounted TVs would no longer need cables hanging below them, ruining any semblance of living room chic.

The wireless signal from the SWW1800 is compatible with HDCP and, because it's uncompressed, it's also completely lossless and fast, with no processor overhead at either end. What's more, the Ultra Wide Band (UWB) frequency that it operates on means there's no danger of signal interference from anything in the 2.4GHz frequency - like WiFi, cordless phones, Bluetooth or microwave ovens.

"HDMI is an established cornerstone for the HDTV industry, and Philips is extremely pleased to see such significant advancements for picture and sound quality," said Glen McIlmail, CEO of Philips Accessories, North America.

"Wireless HDMI presents an entire new category. For consumers who want the most advanced technology with the simplest connectivity, this is the only way to go."

The SWW1800 is due to go on sale in the US in May, with a suggested retail price of $299, and in Europe shortly after. Although there may yet be issues with the use of ultrawideband technologies in the UK, where the technology has been approved by the EU , but is waiting for formal legalisation. Adam Oxford

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