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Live Intel WiDi Demonstration At CES 2010

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the look-ma-no-wires dept.

Displays 45

MojoKid writes "As we saw earlier this week, Intel's new WiDi (Wireless Display Interface) technology will start to be bundled with various Core i5 and Core i3 notebooks later this month, promising to address the Home Theater and Multimedia PC markets with a solution that enables wireless connectivity of your notebook over HDMI to an HDTV using standard 802.11n wireless technologies for transmission of the data. Intel was also demonstrating this technology live at CES 2010 and HotHardware captured video of the technology in action, with Intel Product Manager Joshua Newman. This new technology is obviously fairly mature at this point with retail products waiting in the wings, just a few weeks away."

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so what? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714092)

no, really. why is this news?

Re:so what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714178)

Because WiDi will solve the nigger problem once and for all. It is the final solution.

Intel hates niggers.


Very responsible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714134)

Considering that the massive tendency towards over-subscription of the wireless spectrum in urban areas is already causing networks to grind to a halt I don't think it is necessarily wise or responsible to push N spec wireless as a convenient replacement for a few feet of HDMI lead.

Re:Very responsible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714430)

Is anyone in your area using the 5Mhz band? Sounds like the ideal band to use for this kind of short range appliances.

Re:Very responsible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715274)

I think you mean 5Ghz, and yes I am using it. I don't know about the local luddites but then again you could have asked me the same question about 2.4Ghz 5 years ago and I'd have said no.

Re:Very responsible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715376)

Or in other words, it's a form of EM pollution. Perhaps not meant for everyone, but maybe in certain situations it would be useful.

Not good enough (4, Interesting)

faragon (789704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714170)

This solution is simple transcoding, using a lot of CPU. They are probably picking the framebuffer from the display driver, providing it to a userland application that does the encoding and sending.

I expected a true lossless wifi link to the DVI/HDMI connector, this is a vendor-specific dirty hack.

Re:Not good enough (1)

Sohexmetphospha (1713624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714258)

I agree until Intel implements a solution that will only use a considerably smaller potion of the CPU this isn't going to be a viable option for many scenarios in which this technology could have been implemented. A prime example of this is any game that is CPU intensive, this would be absolutely unusable by anyone in that situation. I also believe that this should be implemented as an external component allowing for after-market application of this technology to systems. This would allow for the use of this technology in already purchased computers, not just a select few laptops that will be in stores in a week or so.

Re:Not good enough (2, Insightful)

dnwq (910646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714300)

Then it isn't meant for gamers, any more than wireless mice and keyboards are meant for gamers. For all that, wireless mice and keyboards still sell well to general consumers. Presumably Intel bets that the wireless monitor will, too.

I'm not sure who moves their monitor often, though, and it'll still need AC power anyway...

Re:Not good enough (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714636)

The idea is that you can convert any display into a WiDi. The monitor isn't wireless. At least not yet anyway. Right now you hook up a box which looks like a wireless router to your TV or display device. It snags the WiDi signal and pipes it out to your display via HDMI.

Re:Not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714264)

Not to mention the lag. This certainly won't be replacing wired monitors any time soon for anything except movie playback. Imagine trying to play a FPS with this.

Re:Not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716172)

Never mind games with that lag, just imagine typing something into Google and it lagging by about 1-2 seconds which the video showed.

I presume this might be due to the inherent nature of the codecs; they require a good number of frames queued up before they can start encoding.

Re:Not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714266)

So the answer to this question [] is SSE4.2?

Re:Not good enough (3, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714278)

802.11n doesn't have the bandwidth for lossless video of a decent resolution. Uncompressed 1080p is something like 3Gbps, right?

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have wireless connections pushing 3Gbps. We just aren't there yet. You can get decent video quality at 802.11n rates, though. More than anything, I'm just a little surprised by the idea that they're able to do real-time high quality transcoding.

Re:Not good enough (2, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714290)

802.11n is more than enough bandwidth for 1080i, though. An uncompressed broadcast TV at 1080i is under 20 mbit. Outside of enthusiasts, most people really can't tell the difference between 1080p and 1080i.

Re:Not good enough (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714372)

1080i is actually VBR MPEG-2 at somewhere between 5 and 40mbit/s depending on if you are OTA or using a cable/sattelite provider and how much they re-compress their streams.

uncompressed video at the 1080i resolution is HUGE: 1920widthx1080heightx30fpsx24bpp = 1,492 mbit/s

Re:Not good enough (1)

mr_flea (776124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715846)

You've calculated 1080p, not 1080i. 1080i uses half the vertical resolution.

Re:Not good enough (1)

ogl_codemonkey (706920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717686)

And twice the temporal resolution - so it works out the same.

Re:Not good enough (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714388)

That doesn't sound quite right to me. 1080i is the same resolution as 1080p but interlaced, which would lead me to guess that it would require half the bandwidth of 1080p.

I mean, I think the 3Ghz number is for 1080p/60, completely uncompressed. So I figure 1080i/24 is about 600Mbps, and you may be able to run that through some kind of lossless compression and bring that down a bit. However, I suspect that your 20Mbps number is based on a lossy compression (high-quality though it may be).

Re:Not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714516)

I don't think you save any bitrate. In progressive video you have for instance 24 frames (1920x1080) per second and with interlaced video you have 48 fields (1920x540) per second. In both cases you need about 600Mbps, as you said, for the uncompressed (YV12) stream.

Re:Not good enough (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715228)

1080i 1080p
1080i = 1920x540
1080p = 1920x1080

typically 1080i has twice the framerate of 1080p.

this may sound strange, but 'some' viewers will actually find 1080i video of sports better on low end 1080p plasma TVs. 1080i in this circumstance actually reduces the perception of motion blur because it provides twice as many images for the brain to process. The image will break down under close scrutiny but from the couch at 10' away the NFL looks better at 1080i on a crappy plasma TV.

I archive videos digitally and am a big fan of 720p. looks great on 42" sets and takes up much less space in h.264. For my 52" samsung I do like some 1080p action though.

Re:Not good enough (1)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30718860)

1080i is 1920x1080!
Sure every frame only updates every second pixel but the actual display is 1920x1080 pixels.

The idea is to make the transitions between frames appear smoother, update every second pixel but have twice the framerate.

Re:Not good enough (1)

xonicx (1009245) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715712)

They are using 720p instead of 1080p. 720p uncompressed should be within reach of .N spec(600Mpbs).

Re:Not good enough (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716034)

Do you know of a wireless router that can get a throughput of 600Mbps? I thought the 802.11n topped out at 300Mbps, but I've never actually gotten anything close to that in reality.

Re:Not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30733786)

802.11n is 600 Mb/s it the on-air data rate of a 4x4 with highest modulation. Throughput may be 300 Mb/s for that setup, but that is not what the Netgear adapter is uses (you have to stream to a specific end point). I was at the show, according to the engineer at the display, it is 720p compressed (lossy) to about 20 Mb/s from a 2.4 GHz 2x2 laptop to a 1x1 adapater, max on air rate of 54 Mb/s with typical throughput (without any inteference from other 802.11 devices) of about 20-30 Mb/s. He also said the latency was 500 ms, which is way too much for regular computing, let alone gaming.

While it may be an 802.11n laptop, it is connecting to an 802.11g endpoint. This is a low quality solution that requires you to buy one of a few specific laptops (with Intel CPU, graphics and WiFi) and an adapter (extra $100) to get it to work. Not that impressive.

Re:Not good enough (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715180)

This is not true.

1080i is very noticeably different for the majority of the population. The 'WIN' that 1080i got was that is looks much better than standard broadcast. 1080i is only half the resolution and uses a perception trick to emulate 1080p. Most people, after watching a 1080p set for a couple of days, would see a drastic loss in fidelity moving to a 1080i set.

720p on the other hand looks outstanding. Though the perceived resolution is lower than 1080p(or "i"), the framerates are still excellent and in some cases the decrease in resolution allows a small bump in bitrate and a cleaner image.

You might make the argument that people will notice the resolution difference but I suggest you test that theory at 10' not at 10". Smooth framerate and less blocking are more important than raw resolution.

Re:Not good enough (1)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30718836)

No 1080i is not half the resolution!
1080i and 1080op displays have the exact same number of pixels. Sure, 1080i updates only half the pixels per frame but it has the same number of pixels on the display.

There's so much disinformation about 1080i vs. 1080p. Guess what format requires more bandwidth and processing on Blu-ray? 1080i does.
1080i Blu-ray plays at 60 frames per second, where each frame updates every second pixel on the 1920x1080 display, a total of 1920x1080x30 full frames per second.
1080p Blu-ray plays 24 full frames per second, where each frame updates every pixel, giving a total of 1920x1080x25 full frames per second.

The same goes for 1080i broadcasts. It actually takes more bandwidth to do a 1080i 60fps broadcast over a 1080p 24fps broadcast. You also need a more somewhat rare 1080i TV to be able to view it correctly. But the end result is you get all the same pixels someone on a 1080p set sees but you also get more frames and the transition between frames appears smoother.

Re:Not good enough (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715222)

Just a little research:

For live broadcast applications, a high-definition progressive scan format operating at 1080p at 50 or 60 frames per second is currently being evaluated as a future standard for moving picture acquisition. This format will require a whole new range of studio equipment including cameras, storage, edit and contribution links (such as Dual-link HD-SDI and 3G-SDI) as it has doubled the data rate of current 50 or 60 fields interlaced 1920 × 1080 from 1.485 Gbit/s to nominally 3 Gbit/s. It will improve final pictures because of the benefits of "oversampling" and removal of interlacing artifacts.

source []

As 802.11n max speed is 600Mbit/s (according to wiki [] ), there is no way that it can handle the necessary raw data stream for high-defintion input. Surely at lower resolution rates it would be fine though, for average users that don't require such high resolution, as long as you don't mind maxing out on your graphics capabilities.

Maybe in a few years when the bandwidth is available. We're not there yet

Re:Not good enough (1)

quetwo (1203948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714434)

Uncompressed 1080p video using MPEG2 is 38.0 mbps. This is a speed that is theoritically available to most wireless networks, but as soon as you have other wireless devices in the mix, it is very improbable. Even with 802.11n, when you mix in that you are most likely talking to a WAP with both devices, plus distance limitations, and other bandwidth contention (oh, you wanted to stream that YouTube video from the net, and display it wirelessly from your laptop?), you are in a world of hurt.

The other issue you will run into is lag and jitter. Realtime video, in general is effected very greatly by jitter. Wireless, just by its nature introduces LOTS of jitter into the stream.

Re:Not good enough (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714710)

Uncompressed 1080p video using MPEG2 is 38.0 mbps

That may be lossless, but I'm quite sure that's not uncompressed.

I've read that 3Gbps number elsewhere, but it makes sense if you do a quick calculation. 1920(width)x1080(height)x24(bits per pixel)=50Mb per frame. So if it's 24 frames per second, that's just over 1Gb per second. 1080p/60 would then be 2.986 Gbps.

I'm sure you can do quite a lot with lossless compression, but I don't know how much. 38Mbps sounds like amazing compression, though, for it to be completely lossless, and I was under the impression (perhaps mistaken) that MPEG2 wasn't lossless. But anyway, clearly you can compress video quite a lot without hurting video dramatically. If you encode 1080p at 20Mbps, it still looks good.

Re:Not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716314)

Actually, AMIMON already has uncompressed 1080p wireless streams in WHDI, with a weird 5GHz band protocol, also doing HDCP for it.
And it's very much commercial already.

Re:Not good enough (1)

nikanth (1066242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721140)

And the lag makes it impossible to use it to connect to larger display as a Computer monitor. No chance of gaming with this technology. If you had seen the movie "Next", this technology would help you to experience something called, "previous"

More electrosmog... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714244)

for everybody to enjoy.
What can be more pleasing than living in a huge microwave oven which we call a city ?

Re:More electrosmog... (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714288)

People who think they an detect WiFi and so on generally cannot identify it in double-blind tests, and get betting simply by being somewhere they think is probably fairly free from technology.

And in any case, cities are already full of mobile phones using pretty similar frequencies.

Re:More electrosmog... (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714334)


Definitely more WiFi congestion (1)

Mr Pippin (659094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714624)

Hmmm, bigger immediate issue if this becomes a common technology is the congestion it will cause on wifi in multi-station environments that are closely located (apartments, track homes, etc). Even single stations will have issue if more than one user is sending traffic.

In general, I think the best use of this kind of technology is business, mainly all those "consultants" that come on site to do their powerpoint presentations. Having it easier to access a projector has it's benefits, and the lag is not a big deal in that case.

In any case, I don't find Intel's solution that awe inspiring, other than getting manufactures to include it natively.

cool, but what about sound (3, Interesting)

dan_in_dublin (833271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714314)

it's cool that I no longer need to drag cables across a room just to use a projector, but it would be even nicer if i could play back any media on my pc and have the images and sound on my tv.. does anyone know if this includes the sound? i owuld expect not as I dont see how it could capture and correclty sync the sound without being part of media framework and that would necessitate a particular playback applicatio. it seems from the article this is application independent. shame as that youtube video and sound redirected from pc to tv would have been cool

Re:cool, but what about sound (2, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714758)

Given that the intent here seems to be for media streaming, it would seem silly to not include sound. From what people are saying, it sounds like it's just doing something like this:

Your wireless router has an HDMI port that you wire to your TV. Your computer then encodes its output in real-time to a streaming video format and sends that to your router. Your router has enough processing power to decode the stream, and pipes the output to your TV.

If this description is accurate, then it's not really new amazing technology. Your router is already a computer, so it would just need enough processing power to decode video. It's not hard these days to put good H264 decoding into a small package; you'd just have to be willing to incur the expense of the chipset capable of doing it. Really, you're just talking about standard video streaming over an 802.11n network.

I don't say that to bash the idea. If the setup is useful to people, then it seems like a good use of existing and well-tested technology. If you build wireless networking and video decoding into TVs directly, I could definitely see that having some fine uses, provided it's standardized and implemented well.

Oh boy that was laggy! (4, Informative)

dannycim (442761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714316)

Watch the video demo. There's a good 200+ms delay from the laptop to the HDTV. Reminds me of [Remote Play] on PSP+PS3. It's nice to watch movies but unusable for anything interactive.

You'll be cursing a lot if you ever try to use a mouse with this setup.

Not good enough, sorry, try again.

Re:Oh boy that was laggy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714534)

Yeah I was excited about this until I saw the insane lag. Completely useless for gaming, which is what I was hoping to use it for. They make it pretty clear in the video that the only purpose for this is watching YouTube and Hulu videos on your TV, which I can already do with a $35 piece of software (PlayOn) and my pre-existing PS3, XBOX, or Wii.

Re:Oh boy that was laggy! (2, Interesting)

j_166 (1178463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715522)

Or a 99 cent hdmi cable and a netbook.

Video of it in Action (3, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714324)

So instead of getting a crisp clean video feed from my PC, I can make it look like a youtube video? How exciting!

WirelessHD is already here (5, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714436)

I know this is news because Intel has said its got a new product to launch for laptops, but full-definition HD is already being streamed wirelessly. Check out the top-end Panasonic Z1 plasma [] .

See a review [] (pdf) of the TV, which does mention the wireless aspects:

Streaming Full HD video and high-res audio is no mean feat. It takes considerable bandwidth to ensure a constant and clean feed of 1080p24 footage over 10 metres, yet the gizmos here perform that task admirably. Not once during testing was the signal interrupted or hampered by additional artefacts. Admittedly, I remained within the recommended catchment area, but it is highly unlikely that, with a set like this, you'll set the separate media box more than 32 feet away. And anywhere within that area offers as clean an image as a normal HDMI cable is capable. That's it.
There's no more to it than that. To be honest, it's weird being so impressed by something actually doing what's it's meant to, but I am. And you will be too.

It uses WirelessHD [] which is (I guess) designed for home theatre, but it should work with any HDMI port - so your laptop could send out wireless signals using this too, it doesn't need any fancy processing from the CPU or OS (as if my cheapass DVD player works with it, my $2000 laptop should be able to!)

It doesn't have super range (32 feet), but it does 10Gbps by all accounts, and 4k support (that's 4x the resolution of 1080p) in the next version.

Re:WirelessHD is already here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30714550)

And then, until we have wireless power supply, we could always piggy-back the video signal on it.

WiDi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715058)

Wireless Dilelify

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