It seems that there is a move afoot to replace HDMI even though the HDMI standard continues to evolve. The AV industry has been paying royalties in order to use HDMI and now there are several royalty free alternatives.
Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) is a consumer electronic standard for a wireless HDTV connectivity throughout the home. WHDI enables delivery of uncompressed high-definition video over a wireless radio channel connecting any video source (computers, mobile phones, Blu-ray players etc.) to any compatible display devices. WHDI is supported and driven by AMIMON, Hitachi Ltd, LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung Group, Sharp Corporation and Sony. There are a number of products available today that will eliminate home wiring messes and allow you to share PC’s and Tablets to your home screens. The main page for the WHDI group is http://www.whdi.org.
Screencast from Belkin allows you to connect your home theater equipment to your HDTV—and keep all the devices out of sight. Connect 4 HMDI AV devices, your Blu-ray™ player, gaming consoles and others, all wirelessly. It’s ideal for Wall-Mounted HDTVs, and allows you to store your devices up to 100ft* away, even in another room. Retail price is $249.
The Galaxy WHDI stick and receiver provide a similar functionality allowing users to wirelessly connect to Large screens. Unfortunately there seems to be a 1:1 relationship between the stick and the receiver. If you want to use different devices you have to move the stick.
Galaxy also produces a high end video card for desktop PC’s that allows them to connect wirelessly to large screens. The video cards have standard and wireless connections making it possible to use the WHDI connection as an additional monitor.
WHDI is a technology that is available today and promises integration with tablets, PC’s and home electronics. With WHDI, any HD device will be able to connect to any HD display with no wires. For more information on available products, check out http://www.whdi.org/Products.
HDBaseT,supported by The HDBaseT Alliance, is a consumer electronics (CE) connectivity technology for long-distance transmission of uncompressed HD audio, Ethernet, high-power over cable and various controls, via a 100m Cat5/Cat6 wire using standard 8 pin Ethernet connectors.
The HDBaseT Alliance was incorporated on June 14, 2010 by Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment, LG Electronics and Valens Semiconductor. The HDBaseT 1.0 specification was finalized in June 2010.
The Digital Interface for Video and Audio (DIVA or DiiVA) is a bi-directional audio/video interface for transmitting both compressed and uncompressed digital streams. DIVA was demonstrated at the China Digital Living Forum & Showcase 2008 using a single Cat6 ethernet cable. The DIVA Promoters Group is made up of Changhong, Haier, Hisense, Konka, Panda, Skyworth, SVA, TCL and Synerchip.
I find it interesting that many of the same companies support both WHDI and HDBaseT. This is not that surprising as one is a cabled standard and the other is wireless. A quick Google search will take you to the home pages for each group which will provide further information for your reading pleasure. I would suggest to you however that HDBaseT makes the most sense. The following table provides a good comparison.
|Criterion||HDMI 1.4||DiiVA||DP 1.2||HDBaseT|
|Maximum Cable Length||Few Meters||26m||3 – 15m||100m|
So HDBaseT uses standard wiring, standard 100Mbps Ethernet, Standard Ethernet connectors and Supports standard Power Over Ethernet.
HDBaseT is still new enough that we are not seeing TV’s with it embedded just yet. What we are seeing however are a number of vendors producing adapter boxes that can be used to convert HDMI to HDBaseT. This is a reasonably good first step allowing networks to be engineered for the general deployment of HDBaseT.
Adapters range in price from $100 to $300 US providing transport for IR remotes, RS232 control channels and some even contain additional Ethernet ports for other network ready devices.When selecting an adapter make sure that the device supports connectivity into an existing LAN. Some of the early devices are simply cable extenders.
Given the number of emerging standards and the political pressures it is too soon to tell which will be the winner. Given the data available to date, HDBaseT looks like the front runner for the wired standard and WHDI for the wireless standard.