As if HDMI and Display Port didn't give us enough options.
If there’s one thing we don’t need in the market currently being vied over (at least in the opinions of some) by HDMI and DisplayPort is yet more contenders, but if a report by EETimes is on the money that’s exactly what we are getting. The parties in question are the USB Forum and a company called Kleer, the former concerning itself with the wired domain (for the moment) and the latter the wireless arena.
Starting with the USB crowd; the connection is designed to transmit compressed video between displays and mobile devices, presumably using a similar connection to Mini USB as already found on a large number of devices, including MP3 players, media players and phones. The USB Forum intends for its technology to exist alongside HDMI and is not a contender or replacement; however there is speculation about implementing HDMI’s HDCP encryption, although quite what that would entail hasn’t been discussed.
Kleer meanwhile is rolling out a progression of technology it licensed to Thomson earlier in the year designed to stream media from a portable player sans cables. The current iteration of the technology only allows standard definition content of bit rates up to 1.5Mbps over a short range; as the primary intended use was audio transmission such limited bandwidth is only to be expected. On balance Kleer’s biggest rival in this arena is the mighty Bluetooth standard, although no plans have been announced from that camp to do video streaming, again due to bandwidth restrictions.
HDMI’s developer, Silicon Image took a (predictable) swipe at the idea of wireless HD transmission, Director of Product Marketing Steve Eidson saying that “You will not be able to do video over wireless anytime in the near future beyond about 720p and probably a reduced frame rate version at that“. This is fair enough considering the format he’s trying to sell, but doesn’t take into account ever improving compression algorithms, such as used with Display Link over USB, which could (in theory at least) facilitate wireless high definition video streaming. Only time will tell with that one though, all we can be certain of is that we’ll see it eventually. Hopefully at some point we’ll see all parties concerned agreeing on one connection as well, but that might be beyond simple engineering.
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