Paul Powers is the chief executive officer of Radiospire Networks. Prior to joining the company, he served as senior vice president of the Holmes Group, a leader in home comfort solutions acquired by Jarden Corp. in 2005. While at Holmes, he established the company’s market leading position through multiple retail channels, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. He has also served as divisional merchandise manager for Hills Stores and as a financial analyst at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Mr. Powers holds an M.B.A. from The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth and a B.A. in economics from Trinity College.
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1. What is AirHook™ technology and what does it do?
AirHook™ technology is the highest bandwidth wireless HD connectivity solution available to OEMs for integration into cable replacement dongles, HDTVs, DVD players, game consoles, and other consumer electronics products. AirHook uses ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to transmit pure, uncompressed HD audio and video with no latency, and is the core technology inside all Radiospire products.
2. What are the market drivers for in-home wireless connectivity?
The explosion of flat panel HDTVs and accompanying HD video sources has reinvented the digital home. According to In-Stat, a leading provider of market analysis and forecasts for end-user devices and semiconductors, HDTVs will grow from 68 million units in 2006 to 144 million in 2011, while 250 million HDMI-enabled devices are expected to ship in 2009. â€¢ 5% wireless penetration implies $600 million market in 2009 â€¢ Increased penetration easily pushes market size above $2B
As choice and quantity of devices proliferate, so does consumer irritation with the aesthetic intrusion of increasing wires. HDTVs are anchored to the cable jack on the wall and to the growing pile of source components like cable set top boxes, DVD players, game systems, and satellite receivers, whose tangled wires must connect to the HDTV and compromise the visual appeal of the space and system performance.
Wireless technologies have emerged as an attractive alternative to unsightly wires and offer consumers the ability to put their HDTV anywhere they choose.
3. What are the main requirements for enabling high-quality wireless HD?
The solution best suited for wireless HD connectivity is one that can deliver the highest amount of pure, uninhibited bandwidth. Harnessing the maximum amount of bandwidth possible allows HD content to be transmitted wirelessly in its purest form, without requiring manipulations, which often degrade picture quality and cause significant latency.
4. Why is your AirHook technology the best fit for these requirements?
By enabling the use of massive, previously unattainable bandwidth, AirHook technology allows display and other CE manufacturers to achieve the greatest wireless HD quality at the lowest possible cost.
AirHook technology is also uniquely positioned to scale to meet future industry requirements. The AirHook chipset is radio spectrum agnostic and designed to operate in any broadband radio channel (including UWB or the unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum), and to evolve to meet international application requirements for radio bands used throughout the world. Further, by starting with such a high data rate, AirHook chipsets can accommodate all data rates required for the next several generations of video sources.
5. Are there any DRM issues with the AirHook wireless solution?
No, AirHook technology has been certified as an approved retransmission technology by Digital Content Protection, L.L.C. (DCP), the administrator of the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) specification, which protects digital entertainment content across the DVI/HDMI interface and provides a robust, cost-effective and transparent method for transmitting and receiving digital entertainment content to DVI/HDMI-compliant digital displays.
6. How important is standardization for this market?
Interoperability will be crucial, but initially it won’t be a critical factor for Radiospire because our initial focus is on point-to-point solutions. Standardization will ultimately depend on who is first to market with a solution that is easy to integrate, delivers on its claims of delivering the best picture and is affordable to the consumer. These requirements will help determine which one is best positioned to have its technology become the industry standard.
7. How soon do you see AirHook products becoming widely available to integrators and consumers?
Radiospire has partnered with leading consumer electronics manufacturers, and is currently producing chipsets for inclusion in home entertainment products, including HDTVs, DVD players, game consoles, and other consumer electronics products. The first products using AirHook technology are expected to ship in the first part of 2008.
8. Will the average consumer be equipped to install AirHook in his home or will an integrator be required?
Yes, products using Airhook technology are designed to deliver superior picture quality in a convenient, plug and play package, so consumers will be able to easily and inexpensively connect the transmitter dongle to their set-top box and the receiver dongle to their HDTV and enjoy high-quality HD wirelessly. AirHook technology also eliminates messy cables, confusing configurations, holes in walls, and other installation headaches. Now anyone can install a home theater without wires.
9. How will the cost of AirHook compare with traditional wired solutions?
The AirHook solution is very competitive when you consider the savings that come from eliminating the costs and inconvenience factors associated with A/V cable installation â€“ especially with the growing opportunities for placing flat screens all around the home. Additionally, subsequent generations of AirHook technology will be even less expensive, enabling manufacturers to offer in-home wireless HD connectivity that is even more cost-effective than cable solutions.
About Radiospire Networks
Radiospire Networks, headquartered in Hudson, Massachusetts, is a venture-backed company that provides revolutionary, wireless HD connectivity solutions for the display, accessory and gaming markets. Radiospire’s AirHook™ technology is a chipset-based solution that enables the in-home transmission of high-definition (HD) video, without the hassle or mess of cables. Purpose-built to provide maximum bandwidth for the highest quality HD at the lowest cost, the AirHook chipset is available today for integration into cable replacement dongles, HDTVs, DVD players, game consoles and other consumer electronics products. For more information, visit www.radiospire.com.