There was a fair bit of noise at CES about wireless tech for networking HDTV around the home. On the retail side it looks like devices will come out this year, but expense and set-up complexity seem likely to keep the technology out of most households in the short term. So what about service providers? Will they step in to make wireless HDTV possible?
Not this year.
The real issue, which came out in a CES panel on next-gen entertainment, is that wired networking is much more cost-effective right now. And that’s okay. Very few people have networked HDTV at all right now, so the fact that operators (and content producers from a security perspective) have increased confidence in wired networking means that today’s lucky few should grow to significant numbers in 2008 and 2009. Verizon has been happy with its Multimedia-over-Coax (MoCA) deployments (albeit without HD networking yet), and the panel representative from BT I saw at CES acknowledged that Broadband-over-Powerline (BPL) technology has been very successful for his business.
As far as service providers go, the business model right now supports wired over wireless networking. As far as consumers go, does it make a difference? If someone comes into my house and sets it up so I can access live high-def TV and recorded HD content from any room in my home, I’m happy.