Monday, January 26, 2009

HD-PLC Follow Up Interview regarding Connected Consumer Electronics

Thank you Chenyi Chiu, Technical Engineering Manager of Panasonic Communications Liaison Office America (PCLA) of Panasonic R&D Company of America for participating on the "Connected Consumer Electronics: Linking Premium Applications and Content across Devices" at the CONNECTIONS Summit at CES held on January 8-9, 2009.

With IEEE P1901 and ITU 9960, is their backward compatibility built-in with existing standards? How will this work?

Currently, both IEEE 1901 and ITU 9960 are still under discussion and development. In IEEE P1901, Panasonic is working hard in the working group to address this backward compatibility issue. The positive sign of the progress is that the recently approved IEEE P1901 base line specification has Panasonic HD-PLC’s core technology, Wavelet OFDM, in it. Our goal is to contribute as much as we can to ensure the IEEE P1901 final specification to be backward compatible with the current HD-PLC products. For ITU 9960, Panasonic is also contributing to this group to ensure the compatibility with current HD-PLC products and also future IEEE P1901 products.

Do you see a one-chip solution emerging to handle both high-speed and low-speed (control) signaling? How soon?

In CES 2009, HD-PLC Alliance demonstrated the capability of HD-PLC being used in the home control and energy management applications. It’s proven that HD-PLC (high-speed) can fully support these low-speed applications. However, due to the cost issue, it’s not realistic to use high-speed PLC in the low-speed applications. At this moment, it is not that clear to us if Panasonic is going to put both high-speed PLC and low-speed PLC into one chip. However, we are surveying the feasibility of this approach.

Is it really accurate to call your solution HDMI capable?

HDMI’s bandwidth is much higher than the bandwidth that HD-PLC can offer. Passing the original HDMI signal on the power line is theoretically impossible. However, in CES 2009, HD-PLC Alliance demonstrated two designs which incorporated with video compression technologies to pass the High Definition content over the power line seamlessly. Accurately speaking, HD-PLC is HDMI capable when the video processing technologies are incorporated.

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