What is WHDI - Wireless Home Digital Interface

- the Wireless Home Digital Interface, WHDI is a standard that has been developed to enable wireless connectivity for media-centric devices like video and audio recorders, televisions, etc.

The Wireless Home Digital Interface has been set up to provide wireless connectivity for a wide selection of media centric devices like home televisions, recorders and audio devices including home cinemas and the like.

With home multimedia devices becoming more sophisticated and many items like cameras requiring to connect easily, combined with the large level of unsightly wiring required for many home television systems, the concept of WHDI, Wireless Home Digital Interface is very attractive.

WHDI, Wireless Home Digital Interface is able to deliver high quality video and audio content within a multimedia network. The WHDI standard covers three main areas including the physical layer and all the RF elements of the system; the MAC or Medium Access Control Layer and also an Audio/Video Control Layer, AVCL.

WHDI Consortium

The WHDI standard has been developed by a group of industry leaders. Companies in the audio visual sector sought to work together to develop a common standard that could be accepted across the industry.

Accordingly the WHDI Consortium was founded in 2008 by Amimon, Hitachi, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and LG Electronics.

The WHDI Consortium set its aims to be responsible for developing the WHDI standards, public education and promotion as well as the certification and compliance programmes required to ensure interoperability is maintained between all equipment whatever the manufacturer.

Since its launch the WHDI Consortium has grown, containing members from around the Globe.

What is WHDI? - the basics

WHDI is aimed at providing easy interchange of data when connecting a whole variety of audio visual devices from television to set top boxes and laptops to Blu-ray/DVD recorders, cameras and the like.

WHDI supports a variety of video formats including EIA/CEA-861-E and other formats within the same bandwidth including those used over HDMI, High-definition Multimedia Interface. The standard also supports several audio formats including Linear Pulse Code Modulation, LPCM, Direct Stream Transfer, DST, 1-bit audio Direct Stream Digital, DSD.

WHDI delivers uncompressed HDTV up to 1080 pixels with a maximum 60 Hz refresh rate using the unlicensed 5 GHz ISM - Industrial, Scientific and Medical frequency band. This band is also shared with a number of other standards including IEEE 802.11a, 802.11n and 802.11ac.

The aim of WHDI is that it forms a natural extension to the wired HDMI standard.

WHDI standards

In order to keep up with the pace of developments in the multimedia sector of the industry, several versions of WHDI, Wireless Home Digital interface have been developed and launched. These are reflected in the different specifications.

  • WHDI 1.0: This was the first release of the WHDI standard and it was finalised in December 2009. Sharp Corporation was one of the first companies to launch WHDI products.
  • WHDI 2.0 : This new release of the WHDI standard provided support for stereoscopic 3D images
  • WHDI 3D: This a way in which WHDI compatible devices can be identified to show they support the 3D formats. These formats are defined in the HDMI 1.4a specification which provides wired support for 3D.

By Ian Poole

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