For most of us, wireless delivery of multiple high-definition (HD) video streams lies somewhere in the future. For engineers at Metalink Ltd., however, that technology is decidedly in the present.
With its 2.4 and 5 GHz chipsets, the company plans to provide the solutions necessary for sending three MPEG2 HDTV streams at 60 Mbps throughout the home, with coverage as far as 60 ft. That's a scenario that others have attempted to create, but as yet Metalink's effort appears to be the only one to reach fruition in exactly that way.
"The uniqueness is in the fact that we do this over a wireless medium that is considered to be challenging and difficult to implement," says Barry Volinskey, vice president of marketing for Metalink. "We provide a wired-like solution over wireless."
Indeed, Metalink has reportedly made the technology work, even in the most challenging locales. Outside the U.S., where walls in single family homes may often be constructed of stone or reinforced concrete, the company's streaming technology is designed to work reliably.
"It's home-centric," Volinskey says. "It will work in 95 percent of the homes in the world."
The key to that success, he says, is that Metalink committed to use of the new IEEE 802.11n standard. The new standard, which boosts data throughput by employing multiple transmitter and receiver antennae, reportedly gives the company a leg up on competitors that have tried to implement similar technology using older versions of 802.11.
"The new standard gives us a bigger pipe and a better infrastructure," Volinskey says. "Using anything that preceded 802.11n would have been very challenging, if not impossible."
Ultimately, Metalink's use of 802.11n could set the stage for a wireless HDTV network in millions of homes. "Wireless is the incumbent home networking technology," says Volinskey. "It makes an HDTV network more cost-effective and easier to install."