In what is still a young market, several technologies are vying for supremacy, but according to ABI Research the market will most likely favour hybrid solutions. In fact, many companies are already laying the foundation with standards such as P1905.1 and products featuring tri-band solutions in the works. ABI Research expects that just over 50 million wireless video devices (targeting wireless display applications) will ship into consumer markets in 2015.
According to industry analyst Michael Inouye, “Each of the wireless video technologies targeting this facet of the wireless market – Wi-Fi (802.11n and 802.11ac) + video compression, UWB + video compression, WHDI, and 60 GHz (WirelessHD and WiGig/WGA) – has strengths and weaknesses. Hybrid solutions can complement one technology’s weaknesses with another’s strengths.”
Hybrid solutions have been announced between Wilocity and Atheros (WiGig and 802.11n). WirelessHD has also shown a hybrid product with WiGig, both based on 60GHz. In terms of wired technologies, these wireless solutions could be paired with platforms such as MoCA and Powerline. Given Wi-Fi’s near ubiquity in many networked households Wi-Fi IC manufacturers such as Broadcom, Atheros/Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Intel, Ralink, and Marvell will also play pivotal roles.
One obstacle to market growth has been the lack of standardisation and interoperability. While standard products are starting to arrive, their benefits will take time to realize. Range is another problem: some of the technologies only perform optimally with “line of sight” between devices. Cost is always a factor, and with the growing numbers of connected (and Wi-Fi-enabled) devices there may be less need to stream content between devices.
But practice director Jason Blackwell adds, “Wireless is driving so many markets now that, with a push towards educating consumers and the arrival of truly seamless user-friendly systems, the longer-term prospects for wireless video may be good.”