Choosing the best wireless digital-video architecture - Embedded.com

Choosing the best wireless digital-video architecture

While most ofthe approaches are new to the market, their performance differs greatly.

A number of wireless digital-video technologies are beginningto appear on the market. It's interesting that, at this time last year,no satisfactory architectures were available. Because of the highbandwidth required, video has been difficult to support over wirelesscommunications. With the emergence of ultrawideband (UWB), users ofdigital video and other bandwidth-intensive applications can now enjoythe benefits of mobility without a fistful of cables.

Several architectures based on UWB technology have emergedthat use different approaches to wireless digital video. Each takesunique approaches that result in different performance, size, and cost.Some integrate directly with existing functions available on the wiredsystem, while others may require additional components, such as CPUs,encoders, and decoders, to complete the system.

In evaluating the various wireless architectures for digitalvideo, you should carefully analyze the architecture you choose to makesure it truly meets your system's requirements at the lowest cost andbest performance. The final goal is to enable the same user experienceas a wired connection.

Before you start analyzing the options, you'll need to defineyour digital-video application and know what devices will be sending(hosting) and accepting (receiving) wireless video. For instance, youwant to add wireless capability to a system that consists of a handheldportable video source and a monitor or between a home entertainmentsystem and a TV.

For the purposes of this article, I'll focus on a personalcomputer's wireless docking application that uses UWB. Within the PCspace, I'll compare three wireless architectures that transmit digitalvideo: Video over wireless USB; Video over UWB with light compression;and Video over Internet Protocol.

All three options are viable but the first two are moreapplicable to PCs and PC peripherals. Wireless Video over IP is a morecomplex and costly solution for PC graphics. We'll take a look at whythat is.

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