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Should you wait for this TV tech of the future?

Should You Wait For This TV Tech of the Future?
If you're in the market for a new HDTV and wondering if there is some new technology about to appear that could make your purchase obsolete, here's a roundup of some new tech we're following along with an educated guess about whether or not to wait for it.
WiGig
WiGig (Wireless Gigabit), like WirelessHD is built on 60GHz technology and could be a wireless networking standard of the future. The Wireless Gigabit Alliance includes companies like Samsung, Panasonic, Microsoft and others who should be offering WiGig products that can support data transfer rates from 1 – 6Gbps. They say we might see WiGig in consumer products in 2012. One problem with these high frequency standards is the limited range and need for line of sight connection however, this standard can fall back to lower frequency Wi-Fi standards.

Bottom Line: Keep an eye on WiGig but don't wait for a TV with it


Quad HDTV

For the last two years we have seen 4K TV sets at CES. The pictures looked impressive but so far no reasonably priced UHDTVs have emerged. "Quad” TVs have twice as many lines as 1080p TVs or 2160p which results in 4 times the total number of pixels. There is no question in our minds that HDTVs with higher resolutions will be the TVs of the future but we don't expect to see anything in place for quite a few years.

Bottom Line: Although some day you may own one, don’t wait for Quad TV

WiDi
WiDi is short for “wireless display” and is being promoted by Intel. It uses Wi-Fi to stream video from a device like a laptop to a TV. Streaming at around 9 Mbps it’s a quite a bit slower than other wireless technologies but it is already included in many laptops. If your TV doesn’t have WiDi built in (we're not aware of any that do) you’ll need an adapter for your TV like Netgear’s Push2TV (around $100) . Intel was able to convince many laptop vendors like Toshiba (Satellite M645-S4047), HP (Pavilion DV6-3159us), Asus (U33JC-A1), and others to implement WiDi but so far TV manufacturers haven’t bought into it yet and with all the faster standards on the scene it looks doubtful that WiDi will be the one.

Bottom Line: Don't wait to buy a TV for WiDi

AllVid
Lots of bickering between the AllVid Tech Company Alliance (which includes companies like Best Buy and Google) and the NCTA National Cable &Telecommunications Assoociation which represents the companies that want to rent you cable boxes and DVRs is contributing to delays in the FCC proposed standard that would replace Cable Cards and allow devices to access premium programming like HBO through a set of standards.

Bottom Line: Don’t wait for an AllVid-enabled TV

WHDI
Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) is a low latency wireless HDMI technology which should work as well for games as high def TV programs. WHDI uses an unlicensed 5GHz band and can stream at speeds up to 3Gbps. In contrast to Intel, the WHDI consortium may have more clout with TV manufacturers than laptop vendors. Sharp and LG’s have indicated plans to build WHDI into their TVs but so far no laptops that we're aware of have WHDI.

Bottom Line: Don't wait to buy a TV for WHDI

HDBaseT
A new Ethernet cabling standard coming out of an alliance that includes TV industry heavyweights LG, Samsung and Sony (Pictures) promises to support high speed networking and high resolution audio and video over Cat5e/6 cables with RJ45 connectors that can run up to 100 meters. It can even supply up to 100 watts of power for devices like Blu-ray players. Valens Semiconductor, the Israeli company that makes HDBaseT chips was recently in the news for securing $14M in funding but so far no consumer products that we're aware of have emerged.

Bottom Line: We'll be watching this technology but don't wait for HDbaseT

WirelessHD
WirelessHD is yet another standard vying to be the technology that provides consumers with wireless HD video. WirelessHD is based on IEE 802.15.3c and uses the 60GHz band. It can deliver speeds up to 15Gbps and possibly as high as 28Gbps and is one of the faster standards in the mix. With the ability to move data this fast WirelessHD is being marketed as a possible vehicle for moving 3D video around the house. WirelessHD will also be fast enough to handle some UHD 2K or 4K programming when it becomes available. We’ve read that manufacturers including LG, Panasonic and Vizio have said they plan on bringing out WirelessHD-enabled sets.

Bottom Line: Looks promising but will take awhile to become adopted – don't wait for a TV with WirelessHD

Quantum Dots Will
Light the Way
We're not sure if this technology will start to show up in commercial TVs this year but these nano-crystals could help LCD TVs and even OLED TVs look even better with more accurate colors and “whiter” whites. They save energy too. Expect to see them turn up in LED backlights first but who knows exactly when.
You Don’t Have to Wait for Retrevo
You can get info on all the latest gadgets and gear on Retrevo right now where you’ll find reviews and manuals for consumer electronics including digital cameras, laptops, HDTV and more.


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