Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the WirelessHD™ Consortium and who are its members?
A: The WirelessHD Consortium is a special interest group that came together to create the industry’s first technical specification for multi-gigabit-per-second wireless transmission of high quality, lossless high-definition (HD) video, multi-channel audio, and data for consumer electronics, PC and portable products. LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Silicon Image, Sony, and Toshiba are the leaders, also known as Promoters, of the WirelessHD Consortium. In addition to these Promoters, many other companies have joined WirelessHD to make products, creating a vibrant ecosystem. You can see a complete list of members here.
Q: Why was the WirelessHD Consortium formed?
A: The Consortium was formed to develop a wireless HD digital interface in order to simplify HD audio and video (“A/V”) connectivity and content portability for consumers. With the proliferation of digital devices in the home and the increasing availability of HD content, consumers are seeking ways to conveniently stream, share and transfer content among these devices, playing it back at home and taking it with them on the go. WirelessHD enables this flexibility, enabling consumers to simply connect and control multiple devices.
Q: Why did these leading CE manufacturers and technology companies choose WirelessHD technology?
A: Manufacturers are ready to integrate wireless multimedia support into their products and the WirelessHD effort is the first to drive a specification that fully meets the consumer electronic and PC manufacturer requirements noted below:
- Employs 60 GHz millimeter wave technology, which has the available bandwidth for the multi-gigabit data rates required to wirelessly stream lossless HD video, audio and data
- Built from the ground up to handle complex A/V multimedia content but can also transmit data
- Provides low power options for portable devices
- Enables low-cost products for consumers
- Provides a high-quality viewing experience
- And is supported by global CE and PC manufacturers to ensure interoperability among many devices
Q: What are the key features of WirelessHD technology?
- Video Format Support
- Up to 1080p/60 at 10-9 pixel error rate
- All EIA-861 video formats
- Multiple video streams for picture-in-picture (PIP) and single source to multiple displays
- Audio Format Support
- 2 channels of 192 KHz 2 channel LPCM
- 5.1 channels of 24-bit 96 KHz multi-channel LPCM audio
- 13.1 channels of 24-bit 192 KHz compressed Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD audio
- Operates in the unlicensed 60 Ghz millimeter wave band to deliver massive wireless bandwidth
- Supports high data rates of up to 10 – 28 Gbps today, sufficient to transmit lossless HD video, multichannel audio, and data simultaneously, and has theoretical headroom to deliver up to 25 Gbps in future generations of the technology
- Delivers bandwidth over twenty times faster than today’s 802.11 Wi-Fi actual data rates.
- Provides the highest quality viewing experience and is the only wireless standard today capable of a wired-equivalent image quality experience
- Eliminates the need for extra encoding and decoding steps, which can add unnecessary cost, degrade image quality and introduce unwanted latency
- Simplifies home theater set-up – just turn on the power and the home theatre devices are connected
- Provides capability to control multiple WirelessHD-enabled devices in the living room with the standard TV remote control
- Supported by global CE and PC manufacturers to ensure interoperability among devices from multiple manufacturers
Q: What does WirelessHD technology offer consumers?
A: No more wires! Products using WirelessHD technology provide consumers with seamless, wireless connectivity between digital source devices such as Blu-ray players, portable games, digital cameras, digital A/V players, personal computers (PCs and notebook PCs), portable media players and digital video recorders, and their HDTVs or other display devices, allowing users to quickly and easily share content between devices without the confusion of cables.
For example, a simple scenario is the home entertainment center, which today typically includes an HDTV, a cable set-top box, Blu-ray player, DVR and possibly 1-2 other devices. In this example, a customer can place their devices within the room, turn them on, and they can all connect to each other. There are no new wires to route and connect, and no switches required in order to connect all of these devices. Customers will be able to enjoy their favorite TV shows, movies and videos wirelessly transmitted to the HDTV.
Q: Is the WirelessHD specification available now? What about the Compliance Test Specification?
A: Yes. The WirelessHD specification has been available for adoption since January 2008, and the WirelessHD Compliance Test Specification has been available since January 2009.
Q: Who can join the WirelessHD Consortium?
Q: Does WirelessHD technology support Hollywood-approved content protection?
A: WirelessHD employs an approved, standard content protection scheme in accordance with major motion picture studio requirements. After working with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Hollywood studios and considering their requirements, the WirelessHD Consortium has thoughtfully chosen Digital Transmission Content Protection Protocol (DTCP). Future revisions of the WirelessHD specification will also support HDCP2.0.
Q: What is Digital Transmission Content Protection?
A: Digital Transmission Content Protection (“DTCP”) technology protects high-value digital motion pictures, television programs and audio against unauthorized interception and copying in the home and personal environment (e.g., between a digital set top box and digital video recorder, or between a personal computer and a digital TV). The WirelessHD Consortium has worked closely with content providers, such as Hollywood movie studios, to select this standard form of content protection to be used in conjunction with the WirelessHD specification.
Q: What is HDCP 2.0?
A: HDCP 2.0 is the first major revision of the ubiquitous HDCP content protection specification that has been closely associated with HDMI. HDCP 2.0 has been adapted to the requirements of new wired interfaces. Information on HDCP 2.0, including a presentation and white paper, can be found at www.digital-cp.com.
Q: How far apart can WirelessHD components be placed in a room?
A: Because of advanced smart antenna technology, WirelessHD products can be placed almost anywhere within a room up to 10 meters (about 33 feet) apart with no line-of-sight restrictions.
Q: Can WirelessHD components be placed in different rooms and still work together?
A: Not at this time. The physical properties of the 60 GHz band make it almost impossible to penetrate through concrete, metal and thick wood. The expectation is that digital data will move around the house via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Once that content is in the room to be viewed, WirelessHD provides the optimum wireless medium to view, share and transfer that content.
Q: How is WirelessHD technology different from Wi-Fi?
A: WirelessHD employs the 60 GHz band, and was designed from the ground up to handle very complex HD A/V content, as well as data. Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is a general purpose technology for data communication, including Internet access. Wi-Fi uses either a 2.4 GHz (802.11a/b/g) or 5 GHz (802.11n) RF signal to transmit data resulting in typical bandwidth of 200 – 300 Mbps (megabits/sec) in the case of 802.11n, which is only 10% of the 3 Gbps (gigabits/sec) required to transmit Full HD (1080p/60) uncompressed video. Wi-Fi must therefore rely on video compression technology to transmit HD video. This can be problematic for HD video if not all devices in the Wi-Fi network share the exact same compression technology or if compression degrades image quality and introduces unacceptable latency. By contrast, WirelessHD uses 60 GHz RF technology which provides up to 10 – 28 Gbps of bandwidth – more than enough to transmit uncompressed 1080p FullHD video in pristine image quality with no compression – providing wired-equivalent image quality and latency.
Q: Why would my home theatre devices have both Wi-Fi and WirelessHD technology?
A: Many HDTVs, Blu-ray players and other home theatre devices today come with built-in Wi-Fi, which is typically used by these devices to connect to the Internet through the wireless router in your home. There is interest among consumers to use Wi-Fi to watch Internet video on their HDTVs using Wi-Fi, even though such video is almost never HD quality. WirelessHD, on the other hand, is specifically designed to wirelessly and conveniently connect your home theatre devices, such as a Blu-ray player, set-top box, game console, digital video recorder (DVR), etc. to your HDTV, providing a high-quality lossless HD signal.
This is an example when different wireless technologies are suitable for different applications. Much like many mobile phones today, which contain three: cell phone, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies, each technology is suited for a unique application. WirelessHD is ideal for sharing and transmitting bandwidth hungry HD quality A/V content while Wi-Fi is suited for Internet access, which does not require as much bandwidth.
Q: Is it possible to use Wi-Fi and WirelessHD technology in the same room?
A: Yes. Wi-Fi (802.11a, b, g & n) operates in a different RF spectrum (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) than the WirelessHD (60 GHz). Therefore the two technologies do not interfere with each other. WirelessHD technology is, in-fact, ideal to use in an environment with Wi-Fi for this reason. Other video technologies that operate in the 5 GHz spectrum directly interfere with Wi-Fi and cordless phones, and will result in signal disruption and image degradation for both technologies as they compete for spectrum.
Q: Are WirelessHD based products available now?
A: Yes. You may see a list of current WirelessHD capable products here.
Q: How will customers know that a product is WirelessHD compliant?
A: A formal compliance testing program along with rigorous interoperability testing is now in place for WirelessHD. Only products that pass the compliance test will be allowed to display the WiHD® logo on their products and/or their product literature. Detailed information regarding compliance testing is available to Adopters in the members-only section of the WirelessHD website, at this link.
Q: Who can access the WirelessHD specifications?
A: The WirelessHD specifications are available to WirelessHD Adopters who have executed the Adopter Agreement. However, you may download a detailed overview of the WirelessHD specification here.
Q: How much does it cost each year to be a WirelessHD Adopter?
A: The annual fee for Adopters is US$5,000.
Q: How can I join the Wireless HD Consortium or otherwise get more information?