Monster Cable combo coax & wireless 1080p streaming

Monster Cables might be a contentious brand among those who pay a lot of attention to cables, but so far they're the first I've heard to be planning a combination wireless HDAV and UWB-over-Coax system [pdf link].  Developed using Sigma Designs' UWB technology, the so-called Monster Wireless Digital Express HD system will stream high-definition media from your DVD or Blu-ray player, DVR or cable tuner, and is capable of simultaneously upscaling the signal en-route.  Wirelessly the signal will reach up to 30 feet, while over existing coax cabling it will stretch to 330 feet.

It consists, as might be expected, of two boxes, a transmitter and a receiver.  The transmitter is certainly not short of inputs: it carries two HDMI ports, two component, one composite video/S-video with audio, coax digital, optical digital with outputs of coax digital, optical digital F-connector for coax, 3 IR emitters and a serial port.  Meanwhile, the receiver has an HDMI port to output to a high-definition screen, and firmware updates can be carried out via the USB port.

Full 1080p video can be transmitted, with infra-red signals sent back to control the sources.  Alternatively, the serial port allows the Wireless Digital Express HD to be slaved to a home automation system.  Monster expect it to launch in October, with each box priced at $299.95.

Press Release:

Monster Teams with Sigma Designs to "Go Wireless" in HD Home Entertainment with Exciting New Wireless HDAV and UWB-over-Coax Combination Solution

Monster, the world's leading manufacturer of audio and video connectivity solutions, and Sigma Designs, a leader in digital media processing system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for consumer electronics, today announced a collaboration to create advanced wireless solutions for HDMI™ home entertainment distribution.

The first fruit of the Monster/Sigma Designs partnership will be the new "Monster® Wireless Digital Express HD" system, which will use Sigma's Wireless HDAV™ for High-Definition (HD) A/V cable replacement as well as its UWB-over-Coax technology to offer consumers an elegant "wireless and no new wires" combination solution for enjoying HD content throughout the home. In addition to letting users stream HD video content with full 1080p resolution between their HDTV displays, DVD players (including Blu-ray), and/or set-top boxes within a room (or to an adjacent room), Monster's Wireless Digital Express HD system will allow room-to-room HD entertainment streaming, transmitting A/V contents up to 330 ft. over a home's existing coaxial cables. Monster's Wireless Digital Express HD line of products was officially announced at Digital Downtown 2008, a CES showcase running June 12-14 in New York City. Monster® Wireless Digital Express HD products are scheduled to reach the market by October 2008.

"After evaluating other wireless solutions for A/V cable replacement, we chose Sigma as a partner for our entry into the wireless distribution arena simply because the company's solutions proved to be the most reliable and because they meet Monster's strict quality parameters," said Noel Lee, The Head Monster. "In addition, Sigma's UWB allows us to continue offering our customers the quality service levels they've come to expect. Together, we are achieving a "virtual wireless" solution for the whole home by combining wireless for in-room HD content streaming and UWB-over-Coax for room-to-room streaming."

Monster's Wireless Digital Express HD is powered by Sigma's Wireless HDAV™ which features Sigma's UWB Windeo® chipset and its Intelligent Array Radio™ (IAR) technology. Sigma's IAR technology incorporates three antennas to deliver the industry's most reliable wireless link that is uninhibited by walls, objects or people, also referred to as non-line-of-sight activity. Sigma's Wireless HDAV solution will ultimately enable Monster's customers to mount their HDTVs on walls without the need for multiple HDMI and A/V cables spread throughout the room or hanging across the walls. Meanwhile, users will experience the same advanced high definition signal quality they have come to expect via traditional wires.

Sigma's Wireless HDAV and UWB-over-Coax combination solution also powers the Monster Wireless Digital Express HD product with long range capability to cover the whole home with wireless connectivity that achieves mobility and flexibility for in-room video streaming. At the same time, the solution maintains the highest quality of service that is required for HD content that travels from room-to-room. Finally, Sigma's UWB technology is based on the most preferred WiMedia™ Alliance standard supported by many of the world's leading technology companies. The WiMedia standard-based architecture and interoperability enables economies of scale and rapid market adoption.

"We are excited that Monster has chosen Sigma's wireless HDAV and "no new wires" UWB-over-Coax solutions to power the new Wireless Digital Express HD product," said Hung Nguyen, vice president and general manager at Sigma's Wireless Products Division. "Monster's selection of Sigma's UWB technology further validates that advanced wireless home connectivity is here now, ready for our home high def products. We are delighted to offer Monster customers a simple way to set up and experience broadband wireless connectivity between their home entertainment products, and once and for all eliminate the need for any new complex wiring."

More about Monster Wireless Digital Express HD

Monster's Wireless Digital Express HD product includes transmitter and receiver elements inside box equipment that encodes older video formats to 1080P HDMI, can upscale all inputs to 1080p format, and offers in-room and adjacent room wireless connectivity, and 330 ft. plus range of coax connectivity room-to-room. In addition, the product offers a fully integrated Infrared (IR) distribution solution as well as inputs for two HDMI ports, two component, one composite video/S-video with audio, coax digital, optical digital with outputs of coax digital, optical digital F-connector for coax, 3 IR emitters and a serial communication input. The input switching is IR controlled for advanced whole home control capability. The Wireless Digital Express HD can be software updated through its included USB port.

More about Sigma's Wireless HDAV Solutions

Sigma's Wireless HDAV streaming is a technology for transporting HD multimedia using standard-based encoding technologies over Ultrawideband (UWB) to replace high definition audio/video cables. Sigma enables developers of home networking systems to eliminate cables between a television and set-top box or High-Definition DVD player using wireless HDAV, the first technology solution to support both the H.264 format and UWB based on the WiMedia® standard. Wireless HDAV streams high-definition content from device to device at distances up to 330 feet.

Sigma's wireless solution combines the Fujitsu H.264-compliant MB86H52CODEC with Sigma Designs' SMP8634 Secure Media Processor decoder and UWB Windeo® chipset, the only UWB chipset that uses Intelligent Array Radio (IAR) technology. IAR ensures the highest reliability in wireless connections between devices and also delivers through-wall and range extension capabilities. Using the MB86H52 to compress raw video allows wireless HD video streaming without compromising visual quality.

About Monster

Monster, under its Monster Cable® brand, is the world's leading manufacturer of connectivity solutions for high-performance audio, video, computer, mobile audio, iPod, iPhone and MP3 as well as console and computer gaming, professional audio and sound reinforcement. The company also offers a variety of innovative accessory products designed to enhance the enjoyment of portable electronics devices. Monster, under its Monster Power® brand, is also the leading manufacturer of high performance power line conditioning and protection products for audio/video systems. Explore the world of Monster at

About Sigma Designs, Inc.

Sigma Designs (NASDAQ:SIGM) is a leading fabless semiconductor provider of highly integrated system-on-chip (SoC) solutions that are used to deliver multimedia entertainment throughout the home. Sigma's SoC solutions include media processing, wireless communications, and video image processing along with system software to form the critical components of consumer electronic products that include Internet protocol TV (IPTV) set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, high definition televisions (HDTV), and media communication devices. Headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., Sigma Designs has direct sales representatives in the United States, Europe (Belgium), China, Japan, Taiwan and a third-party distributor in Korea. For more information, please visit Sigma Designs' web site at