US NEWS: Monster Cable to go 'no cable'

One of the world's best-known cable companies, Monster Cable, is all set to go wireless. That was the message from company founder and 'Head Monster' Noel Lee (left), speaking at a major consumer electronics/custom installation show held this week in Dubai.

Lee said that the company is working on a wireless audio/video distribution system, due in shops in the States late in the Summer, and confirmed that it will have sufficient bandwidth to send 1080p video wirelessly. That should give it obvious appeal for users of wall-mounted flatscreen TVs.

He joked to his audience at the Hometech show that his recent quote in Time magazine that he wasn't afraid of wireless "was a lie", and told US trade magazine TWICE that developing the Monster wireless system has "been a long road."

The system, to be launched in New York in a couple of weeks, uses an ultra wideband (UWB) solution, and will upconvert lower-resolution video to 1080p. “We believe any wireless system has to be 1080p,” Lee says, “Otherwise the wireless solution will be behind the technology. People expect from Monster that when we come out with something it will be right.”

“We’ll upscale all different sources. There are two HDMI, an S-Video and a composite input. Everything coming out of the box will be 1080p.”

Compression is used, but it's said to be low-level, and while the system uses wireless transmission in-room, doing away with long interconnect runs for example from AV receiver to a projector or screen, room-to-room connections will still use cable.

The reason? Longer distance wireless is just too prone to interference from existing data networks and the like, even though the UWB system should take the signal out of the range of such devices.

Lee says the wireless solution will be available in retail outlets as well as to custom installers, "but it won't be inexpensive. We estimate $600 for one pair of boxes and $200 for each additional room.”

Technorati Tags: 1080p, Monster Cable, multiroom, upscaling, wireless, Wireless HD

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.