Bandwidth alert: It's now possible to wirelessly stream 4K video

WiGig allows for highly directional connectivity at rates up to 7Gbps

With up to four times the resolution of today's 1080p high-definition television (HDTV), Ultra HDTV (or 4K) will require greater bandwidth for many applications.

This week, two companies teamed up to demonstrate that even with that additionl data, they were able to wirelessly stream 4K content from a laptop to a monitor.

Wilocity, a developer of 60 GHz multi-gigabit wireless chipsets, and DisplayLink, a provider of USB graphics technology, demonstrated Wireless Gigabit (WiGig)-enabled 4K graphics and video at Intel's Developers Forum in San Francisco.

The demonstration featured a Wilocity-powered WiGig integrated notebook and a WiGig docking station. The docking station also integrates the latest 4K-capable chipset from DisplayLink, which was connected to a 4K resolution monitor.

"As the industry's first WiGig-enabled products began shipping last February, new platforms launched this summer, and we are now showcasing new, cutting-edge use cases," Jorge Myszne, vice president of products and sales at Wilocity, said in a statement. "We look forward to more exciting firsts to come."

One caveat to Ultra HDTV has been that a miniscule amount of 4K content has been made available to stream to new televisions. That's not for lack of content. Most movies, sporting events and even television shows are being filmed in 4K, they're just not being presented at the higher resolution.

But the price of Ultra HDTV's is coming down, which could make for a retail market bonanza when the content is made available.

For example, the third largest television maker in the world, China-based TCL announced in July that it will sell a 4K resolution, 50-in. Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV starting this fall for $999.

Similarly, Samsung and Sony announced big price reductions for their 55-in-plus Ultra HDTVs. For 65-inch 4K TVs, Samsung's asking price recently fell from $7,500 to $6,000, while Sony cut its price from $7,000 to $5,500. For 55-inch models, Samsung dropped the price from $5,500 to $4,500, and Sony's prices fell from $5,000 to $4,000.

While Samsung's and Sony's products are significantly higher than TCLs $999 price tag, they're expected to drop even further over the next year. According to one British retailer, Ultra HDTV prices may be halved in the next year.

Wilocity's tri-band Wi-Fi technology enables users stream the 4K content to displays, networks and other peripherals, and allows for future upgradeability to the newest video innovations, without tying the WiGig specification to a specific video resolution.

WiGig also allows for highly directional connectivity, at rates up to 7Gbps in the 60 GHz band, avoiding the interference and congestion that exists in the legacy 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. The result is better wireless performance.

"This industry-first chipset enables business users to view and work on documents, charts and statistical data in stunning detail utilizing the full 4K resolution available with the latest monitors and televisions," John Cummins, vice president of sales and marketing at DisplayLink, said in a statement. "Combined with 802.11ad wireless solutions from Wilocity, connectivity is taken to a whole new level."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

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