AV Technology Magazine recently asked Gefen’s president and CEO to drill down on the nitty gritty of wireless video.
Hagai Gefen, CEO
GefenQ. What steps or suggestions do you have for tech managers who want to transition to video over wireless in their facility?
A. Today it’s actually pretty easy to add wireless HDMI or DVI to a facility, especially if you are using high-definition sources. Various wireless technologies using 5GHz or 60GHz have come a long way in reliability, full bandwidth for maximum resolution performance, and stability in the past few years. These developments and improvements have also happened to offer lower pricing because next generation models are always relatively less expensive than your first, ground-breaking device. Gefen recently announced two new Wireless for HDMI Extenders, both priced under $500, which offer a couple different features. Both use a sender and receiver, but one requires no power supply on the sender dongle and can transmit 1080p full HD up to 80 feet in-room with no line of sight required. Another version comes with powered sender and receiver units but can transmit 1080p full HD up to 80 feet, even through walls. These are based on 5Ghz technology and are solid performers. Tech managers shouldn’t have any problems with installation because these systems are plug and play.
Q. What are the benefits of taking video wireless?
A. The biggest benefit is that you can eliminate unsightly wires in the viewing area. You don’t have to worry about running cables along the floorboards or in conduit. It can really streamline the installation. Also, the plug and play nature of installation can be a real asset to tech managers who don’t have the time to troubleshoot video over cable installations. The reliability of wireless is “neck and neck” with cable at this stage of development.
Q. What are the challenges as compared to wired networks (such as variable data rates, packet loss, multicast unreliability, security, lip sync)?
A. Most of the challenges such as lip-syncing, line of sight issues and variable data rates have all been worked out in these next generation wireless models. Each subsequent generation improves performance through a general improvement in chipset technologies and antenna efficiencies. Both of Gefen’s new Wireless for HDMI offer an uncompressed method of delivering 1080p HDMI with 3DTV and multi-channel audio with no latency.
Q. What are the potential cost savings? How are they optimized?
A. The immediate cost-savings include the elimination of extension cables. You can also potentially save money on installation costs if you have to run your cabling in conduit or in hard to reach places.
Q. In which types of facilities/rooms do you feel it is most beneficial to go wireless? Which are not beneficial?
A. Classrooms, conference rooms, presentation venues—all of these are ideal candidates for wireless audio/ video transmission. Bars/restaurants, small offices, and retail environments are also ideal. Basically, anywhere you have a hard to reach HDTV display can benefit from a simple wireless installation. Medical environments and applications that are sensitive to any wireless RF transmissions are examples of a more traditional, wired installation for transmitting high-definition video.
Q. Can you forecast noteworthy video codec trends or advancements that we should consider?
A. Yes, using Wi-Fi 802.11-type solutions using H.264 or JPEG 2000 codecs.