Monday, January 19, 2009

Wireless Networking Follow Up Interview with Celeno's Lior Weiss

Thank you Lior Weiss, VP of Marketing of Celeno for your responses!

For purposes of our blog, can you please reiterate the range at which your solution is most likely going to be used?
Celeno targets multi-room or whole-home applications. We quote 40m (120ft), 4 brick walls, 3+ floors, but granted this is a statistical factor depending on the actual home where the set up is. These particular numbers have been tested multiple times in European-style built homes which are even “harder” then north American home, as they are built with thicker interior walls from tougher materials such as bricks, ceramics, etc.

Can you explain “lossless compression”? How would you answer the criticism that you’re compromising the quality of the video with expensive and proprietary solutions?

Well, for one our solution is not proprietary and this is important. We believe we have the only solution which is fully standards based: WiFi radio technology and H.264 compression technology. Expensive is also a relative term, but suffice to say that as a standards based solution it has the ability to enjoy the aggressive price curve of the 802.11n mass market for example. As far as “lossless compression”: First, I would say that other than 60GHz technology all other technologies use some kind of lossy compression. And even 60GHz technology will need to use compression in the future as video quality scales up and adds higher resolutions, deeper color depths and higher frame rates. All digital media is lossy compressed, otherwise it would have been impossible to get HD video to the consumer. In fact even IPTV and Blu-Ray normally use H.264 lossy compression. Now, when combining radio technologies to send the video over the air, compression becomes even more important. Lossy compression is the only efficient-enough technique to send over the air video over distances while mitigating the fluctuations of the radio channel capacity. The trick is to build a solution that will work this out with “Perceived lossless” quality to the human eye and even more so – doing it in a standard way. It is a fact that WiFi+H.264 built correctly (with high enough throughputs and zero packet error rate) achieves “Perceived lossless” video quality over distances and robustly enough while being standards-based and achieving the right price points. The importance of standards-based is clear when one watches WiFi technology embedded into TV’s anyway for Widgets and over the top video delivery.

As a follow-up, is “wireless HDMI” really a term that can and should be used to describe these solutions?

We sometime use also Wireless HD. But typically we use Wireless HDMI to differentiate and stress that real-time compression is required vs. Wireless HD where video comes in already compressed in the home network (for example in an IPTV deployment)

What are we realistically looking at for BoM costs to implement your solutions? What is your expectation going forward for where we’ll see the BoM costs?

BoM is really a question of volume and timing. But with 802.11n chipsets solutions hitting already the sub-$10 mark, suffice to say we believe the combination of WiFi and H.264 is a winner in the long run. Also, when one considers BoM , one needs to take into calculation the bigger picture. With WiFi radio technology there are greater efficiencies as on the TV receiving side – WiFi is already mandatory as well as H.264 decoders for over-the-top services as well as widgets. So BoM is shared over applications !

How does your solution play internationally in light of regulatory or other restrictions?

With WiFi being standards-based we don’t have any regulatory issues.

For more information about Celeno, click here.

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