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Wi-Fi Alliance unveils media streaming quality tech

WMM to 'kick start' wireless consumer electronics

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The Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) today introduced its Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) brand, as anticipated, and announced the first nine products that support it.

But despite touting the new technology as central to bringing the wireless networking technology into the consumer electronics world, the list of certified products comprises the usual list of access points and PC add-in card adaptors.

To be fair, the WFA admits that WMM is really just a first step toward greater use of Wi-Fi in CE products, and we can look forward the arrival of more wireless consumer kit as we get nearer the holiday sales period.

"We see this action jumpstarting the coming mainstream adoption of Wi-Fi in the consumer electronics market segment," said WFA managing director Frank Hanzlik in a statement.

WMM provides the packet prioritisation component from the upcoming 802.11e quality of service standard, allowing packets containing time-dependent data such as audio or video to be sent ahead of data that can safely wait a few microseconds.

Such technology will play a key role in home entertainment networks set up to pump multiple TV, video and audio streams around the house. The WFA wants to get in early, not only to make sure such products are available as soon as, but to provide CE vendors with a guarantee of interoperability.

The first certified products include kit from Atheros, Intel, Broadcom, Cisco, Instant802, Conexant and Philips. ®

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