JVC shows 1G bps optical wireless video system

Victor Company of Japan Ltd. (JVC) has developed a high-speed optical wireless transmission system for the home and unveiled a prototype here Tuesday at the Ceatec 2002 exhibition.

The system is capable of transmission rates up to 1.25G bps (bits per second), which is enough for uncompressed digital video. This allowed JVC, in its demonstration, to use it in place of a cable to connect a TV tuner with a wall-hanging Plasma Display Panel (PDP).

Such screens are slowing penetrating into Japanese homes and typically are simple monitors with no built-in tuner. An external tuner is employed and usually sits near the owner's other video devices, such as a DVD player or satellite receiver, requiring a cable to run either across a floor or along a wall -- something that detracts from the styling of a 40-inch flat screen TV.

The new system is designed to do away with the cable at no loss to picture quality. The top speed of 1.25G bps is enough to handle uncompressed high-definition digital video, which has a data rate of around 800M bps to 900M bps, according to Katsuo Okukai, a researcher at JVC's system network unit.

It has a range of around 10 meters and is also easy to set up. The optical transmitter in the base unit, which sends the signal to the display, is mounted on motors and automatically searches for the display when it is switched on, said Okukai.

In a demonstration Tuesday, the search process took a few seconds to find the display. This is likely little problem when the system is set up, but might mean a few vital seconds of a sports match or movie are missed should a family member, or pet, happen to block the light beam.

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Martyn Williams

PC World
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