5.8. UWB in Consumer Electronics Devices
Because UWB is capable of handling multiple streams of digital video and multiple HDTV streams with a quality level equivalent to a wired system (at short ranges), many vendors are focusing on multimedia streaming applications of UWB. Potential applications include the transfer of digital content between devices in different entertainment and computing clusters in the home, such as DVRs, set-top boxes, televisions, and PC peripherals. Consumer wireless entertainment is viewed as the first large growth area for ultra-wideband technology, making up at least 75 percent of total UWB unit shipments by 2007.
UWB is the only wireless technology that is capable of handling multiple streams of digital video, such as HDTV streams, with a quality level equivalent to a wired system. This will become increasingly important as the industry shifts to HDTV and MPEG2-HD formats over the next four years when consumers demand wireless products to keep their home theater systems uncluttered and easily reconfigured/repositioned. Wireless displays will also be a key target market, especially as consumers continue to demand larger displays.
UWB will give consumers the freedom to move the display or hang it on a wall without large cables to connect it to the set-top box or DVD player; wireless displays will still require a power cable, however. So far, with HDTV and MPEG2-HD formats so large, there have not been any technologies available to wirelessly stream that much data. Now with UWB, large-screen wireless displays will become a reality and will likely drive adoption. Based on ON World's market projection, there will be 150 million chip sets shipped in 2009 for consumer electronics devices, up from 2.8 million in 2005, a 170 percent CAGR. About 60 percent of these, or 90 million chip sets, will be for mobile consumer electronics products such as digital cameras, camcorders, digital audio players, and game consoles. The remaining 40 percent will be for fixed consumer electronics devices such as digital TVs, DVD players/recorders, set-top boxes, and stereos.