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CES 2008: Belkin FlyWire Unleashes Wireless HD Streamin

Andy Vandervell


CES 2008: Belkin FlyWire Unleashes Wireless HD Streaming

Wireless HDMI or HD has been the perennial wet dream of the home cinema fanatic for a while now. And, while last year's CES saw some demonstrations of its potential, this year sees some more tangible evidence of progress. One such piece of evidence is Belkin's FlyWire, which uses the Wireless High-Definition Interface (WHDI) to transmit high definition signals to a TV.

This method uses the 5GHz band with this model capable of transmitting 1080p uncompressed, using two chipsets to double up the bandwidth. Along with the central box you get a receiver (to connect to the TV) and a transmitter to connect to a Blu-ray, HD DVD or any other player. Currently the Flywire can only deal with a single transmitter, ruling out the possibility of broadcasting to more than one TV. However, Belkin engineers are reputedly working on a solution to allow the use or more than one transmitter and receiver.

In addition, on the back of the FlyWire there are options to connect up to six different devices, with two HDMI ports, two sets of component connections, composite and even SCART as well. If anything, though, we'd sooner see at least one more HDMI port added to the mix, especially since only the enthusiasts among us are likely to opt for such a device.

This isn't the only potential problem either. Since WHDI uses the unlicensed 5GHz band it is possible that the FlyWire would be vulnerable to interference as people migrate from 2.4GHz wireless products - a problem high definition streaming would be more sensitive too than regular wireless traffic. Despite this it's good to see products now emerging in this area, with the FlyWire penned in for this Summer, retailing for between $499 and $599. Until then, we'll just have to wait and see how things pan out.

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