Advanced Television

Wireless links set to boom

June 3, 2010

The Consumer Electronics (CE) industry is entering a new era of ubiquitous connectivity, spurring a boom in shipments of video-oriented CE devices equipped with high-bandwidth wireless video interface solutions, according to iSuppli Corp.

iSuppli expects the market for video-enabled CE devices with high-bandwidth wireless video interfaces to grow to more than 85.2 million units by 2014, up from 606,000 units in 2009. By 2014, more than 53 million of these devices will be wireless-video-enabled digital TVs and consumer-oriented netbooks/laptops.

“With the transition to digital technology and HD largely a fait accompli, the CE market now is rapidly transitioning to an era when connectivity among consumer electronics devices and to the Internet will be the driving force behind many key innovations and new capabilities,” said Randy Lawson, principal analyst for consumer and display electronics at iSuppli.

iSuppli calls this new era the third generation of Consumer Electronics, or CE 3.0, a period defined by the paramount importance of connectivity. This era succeeds the CE 2.0 phase that saw widespread deployment of products designed to receive, store, play back, process and display digital high-definition content. CE 2.0, in turn, follows the CE 1.0 era, which was characterised by analogue media and device formats limited to linear playback modes and tethered by analogue connections to a much shorter list of content sources.

“As both CE devices and content have moved from the analogue to the digital domain, the need for connectivity to gain access to new sources of content, as well as to share existing content across multiple device platforms has moved to the forefront,” Lawson said. “This need now is playing a major role in product design requirements for many leading CE OEMs. One major factor that will help drive the connectivity boom is the coming widespread adoption of wireless video technologies that will allow CE devices to share content via live streaming of both compressed and uncompressed video.”

Wireless connectivity will allow traditional non-mobile devices such as DVD players and televisions to access local networks for broadband connection to online media, or to store or retrieve user-generated content on local home media servers or media PCs.

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