The next step for wireless Internet access has less to do with your notebook PC than it does with your TV.
Now that Wi-Fi wireless networking technology is starting to speed up to 54 megabits per second and beyond, wireless connections will soon be suitably fast enough to carry high-quality video streams stored either locally on a home PC or server, or directly from the Internet itself.
Sony (nyse: SNE – news – people ) has been talking about its plans to bring network connections to its many home appliances for about a year, though it has thrown its lot in with IEEE 802.11a, a variant of wireless networking technology that isn’t compatible with Wi-Fi. An interesting new plasma TV screen from KiSS Technology may provide a hint of what to expect in the coming year.
KiSS Technology, a small Danish company focused on DVD products, has been showing its 42-inch PD342 plasma screen TV at a trade show in Germany.
The set has integrated support for wireless Internet access, which should allow it to connect to your home network as well as access video and music files and digital photos stored on your PC, or connect to the Internet itself for sound and video content.
It supports HDTV, has a built-in DVD player and is certified for DivX video. You may remember DivX as the name of an abandoned flavor of DVD that retailer Circuit City tried to push in the late ’90s: Rent the disc and it would expire after a certain date. It failed, but the name has been applied to an unrelated type of video compression technology that lets users store DVD movies on their hard drives and view them elsewhere.
KiSS hasn’t yet specified price and availability information. But the set certainly points the way of things to come. Within the next several months, you can expect many more consumer electronics manufacturers to start making more noise about wireless-ready TV sets in the high end of their product offerings, with services and PC client software to follow.