Introduction to WirelessHD™ Technology
The WirelessHD Consortium, consisting of leading technology and consumer electronics (CE) companies, has developed and is now promoting the first industry-standard next-generation wireless digital interface specification for consumer electronics, PC and portable products. Specifically, WirelessHD enables wireless streaming of High-Definition (HD) audio, video and data between source devices (e.g., DVRs and gaming consoles) and displays (e.g., HDTVs and monitors).
WirelessHD’s Promoter companies have historically been responsible for creating the world’s most successful consumer electronics standards. Based on that experience, this group is promoting rapid adoption, standardization and multi-vendor interoperability of WirelessHD technology worldwide.
The WirelessHD specification is the first and only wireless digital interface to successfully combine lossless HD video, multi-channel audio, intelligent format and control data, and Hollywood-approved content protection. For end-users, elimination of audio and video cables dramatically simplifies home theater system installation and eliminates the traditional need to locate source devices like Blu-ray players, set-top boxes or game consoles near the TV. Now, the TV can be hung on the wall without drilling holes or worrying about running audio and video cables to it. WirelessHD adapter products are available today to bridge existing non-wireless systems into this new WirelessHD world.
The WirelessHD specification has been architected and optimized for wireless display connectivity, achieving high-speed data rates of 10 – 28 gigabits/sec (“Gbps”) for the consumer electronics, personal computing and portable device segments permitting it to scale to higher resolutions, color depths, color gamut ranges, and refresh rates.
The development of several new technologies in the 60 GHz RF band has made it possible to bring low cost and higher performance wireless multimedia systems with superior image quality to consumers. The key characteristics and focal technologies include:
- Superior interoperability supported by major CE device manufacturers
- Lossless HD video, audio and data transmission, scalable to future high-definition A/V formats
- Multi-gigabit wireless audio, video and data streaming in the unlicensed 60 GHz millimeter wave band
- Smart antenna technology to allow for flexible placement of WirelessHD components within a room
- Hollywood approved content protection with DTCP and HDCP2.0 over WirelessHD technology, meaning WirelessHD systems will have full access to the most important premium digital content
- Device control for simple operation of a network of WirelessHD-enabled products from the TV remote control
- Error protection, framing and timing control techniques for a quality consumer viewing experience
WirelessHD Architecture Overview
The WirelessHD specification defines a wireless video area network (WVAN) for the connection of CE, PCs and portable devices. A key attribute of the WirelessHD system is its ability to support the wireless transport of a lossless FullHD 1080p/60 A/V stream with a high quality of service (QoS) within a room at distances of up to ten meters.
Multi-gigabit wireless data throughput at distances of up to 10 meters requires a large allocation of frequency spectrum. A large amount of unrestricted spectrum is available in many countries around the 60 GHz band. In North America and Japan, a total of 7 GHz is allocated for use, 5 GHz of which is overlapping. The band 57~64 GHz is allocated in North America while 59~66 GHz is allocated in Japan and 57~66 GHz is allocated in the European Union. In addition, Korea, Brazil, Russia, India and China have also allowed similar allocations. The regulatory agencies in these countries allow effective transmit power (i.e., the combination of transmitter power and antenna gain) known as effective isotropic radiated power, or EIRP, of greater than 10 Watts. The combination of this high EIRP allowance and wide bandwidth allocation allows for very high data throughput wireless connections. A side effect of such a high-throughput connection, however, is that it would normally be highly directional, requiring clear line-of-sight between devices.
WirelessHD has overcome this limitation by defining a breakthrough protocol for directional connections that adapt very rapidly in response to changes in the environment. This is accomplished by employing smart antenna technology that dynamically steers the transmitting antenna beam while at the same time focusing the receiver antenna in the direction of the incoming power from the transmitter. This breakthrough dynamic beam forming and beam steering technology uses not only the direct path between transmitter and receiver, but also allows the use of reflections and other indirect paths when the line-of-sight is obstructed. This dynamic adjustment of the antenna energy is completed in less than one millisecond, meaning it is completely transparent to the end-user.
Referring to the diagram below, the Wireless Video Area Network (“WVAN”) consists of one Coordinator and zero or more Stations. The Coordinator uses a Low Rate Phy (LRP) signal to schedule time in the channel to ensure that the wireless resources are prioritized for the support of A/V and data streams. The other devices that are a part of the WVAN are referred to as Stations. A station may be the source and/or sink of data in the network. The device that is the Coordinator also acts as a Station in the WVAN and may act as a source and/or sink of data. The Coordinator and Stations use a High Rate PHY (HRP) signal to deliver lossless HD video, audio and data between Stations (e.g., for recording/storage) or from Station to Coordinator for display.
WirelessHD Wireless Video Area Network (“WVAN”) Example