Wireless TVs

I first saw a wireless TV panel a few years ago when my former employer had one that was shown on its trade show booths (they had provided the OS for the product). That was a first generation Sony Air Board, and they were available only in Japan, and had a user interface that was entirely Japanese.

Sony now has a newer version of that product, the Air Board LF-X1.

According to Akibalive, this panel uses a proprietary extension to Wi-Fi to boost performance, although they also quote a maximum of 15Mbps, which would be slow even for regular 802.11a or 802.11g connections (my SMC 802.11g access point will do over 20Mbps, and I have seen 802.11g systems go as high as 29Mbps in TCP throughput tests).

TechTV is showing a splash proof equivalent from Casio, the Xfer. They comment on the problems of range (basically, get too far from the thing’s base station and the video becomes choppy). The same was apparent on the Sony device I played with, and probably won’t be something that will get much better with current generation 802.11 technologies – at 60 feet 802.11 will still have a connection, but not at the full data rate. As an example, I am averaging 24Mbps to my PowerBook through an access point I am testing today when in the same room; walking to the other side of my 1 bedroom apartment though, the data rate was slashed in half, and also suffered from occasional dips below 10Mbps. If the video stream was expecting to use more than 12Mbps, that will translate to dropped frames.

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