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First, for wireless high-def, there are lots of answers, but not really a problem.
Sure, I didn't know that I needed Wi-Fi back when I was still tethered to an Ethernet cable, but I'd be hard-pressed to give it up now.
We believed that we'd created the first viable solution for cutting the cord on the set-top box, enabling the creation of an entire class of devices and accessories freed from the tether of the audio/video cable.
Plus, not only is Wi-Fi easy, it's becoming more and more ubiquitous.
I wouldn't say we've reached the era of Wi-Fi as utility; however, as consumers purchase more connected devices, Wi-Fi has become the lowest common denominator for high-speed connectivity.
Roughly 103 weeks ago, I was quoted in the Chicago Tribune that 2007 would be the year of the wireless for HDMI dongle, an external adapter allowing consumers to connect their video sources to their displays sans wires.
I further predicted that 2008 would see such technology embedded inside televisions. I took a page out of Henny Youngman's book ("When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading") by eschewing predictions during CES 2008.
If this were easy, my 2007 predictions would've held true. Wi-Fi wasn't easy in the early days, when I spent a couple hundred bucks for an access point and another hundred bucks for an 802.11b card, only to learn that $300 bought me a solution dramatically less reliable and much slower than the 100-foot Ethernet cable I'd kept coiled under the desk. Well, kind of, depending on what you want out of your Wi-Fi.
If you want reasonably reliable data transmission at a bit-error rate which varies based on all kinds of external forces, and don't necessarily need to stream high bitrate, high quality, delay-sensitive traffic (and if you're a vendor who believes you can successfully perform that streaming, I'm happy to field test your gear in my home, where I can see as many as two dozen Wi-Fi access points at any given time), yeah, Wi-Fi is easy.
However, this really doesn't translate into the TV space. Unfortunately, HDMI cable prices have absolutely gone through the floor over the last two years. Two years ago, the math wasn't quite as disturbing.
Right now, a search on 10 meter HDMI cables on delivers a list where the top six results come in at prices ranging from to . All the hot new TVs introduced at CES 2007 had price tags that made a 0-00 wireless adapter look pricey, but not ridiculous.
) in messaging (pre-11n, draft 11n, 2.0 but not finished 11n, 11n--we mean it this time); and major reductions in power consumption, package size, and cost. Wireless high-def might only be a couple years old, but companies have been trying to deliver consumer wireless TV streaming for years, well pre-dating high-def.