Haier and Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) achieved a milestone for wireless home entertainment systems and showcased the first Ultra-Wideband (UWB)-enabled LCD, HDTV and digital media server at the Freescale Technology Forum in the United States this week.
Leveraging UWB, Freescale Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michel Mayer and Haier Executive Vice President Shariff Kan broadcasted high definition video and audio streams wirelessly from a digital media server to Haier's 37-inch HDTV located across the stage.
Haier will package the digital media server and HDTV in a complete wireless solution and make it available to Chinese consumers later this year and to US consumers by 2006.
Freescale's UWB technology is capable of transferring multiple high definition (HD) or MPEG2 movie streams — up to 110 megabits per second (Mbps) — at distances up to 20 meters, enabling significant freedom in the placement of home theater equipment. Current wireless video solutions do not have the bandwidth to accommodate HD or MPEG2 streams, which require a minimum of 20Mbps each. Indeed, current WiFi solutions are only capable of broadcasting standard definition (SD) video streams at 5-7Mbps.
The television and digital media server are expected to be available in retail outlets in Q4 2005 throughout China. Although approved for use in the United States, Haier is initially targeting this product for the Chinese market, leveraging a regulatory license granted by the Chinese government. Haier is currently developing UWB-enabled products for distribution in other regions, including the US, in 2006.
The Haier television is a 37-inch, liquid crystal display (LCD) HDTV with 1080i resolution. It supports both SD and HD video and uses a component/DVI interface. The Freescale UWB antenna is embedded inside the television and is not visible to the user. No additional equipment is required and consumers need only a power source for the actual television.
The digital media server is the size of a standard digital video device (DVD) player but includes personal video player (PVR) functionality, a DVD playback capability and a tuner, as well as the Freescale UWB solution to wirelessly stream media to the HDTV. The digital media server can be placed as far away as 20 meters from the actual HDTV, providing considerable freedom in home theater configuration.