iTV Delay = 802.11 delay?

In a recent article posted on Roughtly Drafted, it was argued that one of the major reasons for Apple to delay their up and coming iTV product was to wait for 802.11n to be finalized. While quite a number of the articles that have appeared on RD in the past have been excellently researched articles that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading, Apple is not waiting on 802.11n if they want to ship that thing even within the next year. You see, there’s been a lot of bickering going on with regards to 802.11n, and a recent EETimes article states:

The standard was supposed to be finalized by early next year, but the Alliance has reluctantly accepted that will not happen until probably 2008.

Yeah, there might be hardware out there right now, but there isn’t a guarantee of interoperability ways down the road. Combine with that that Apple isn’t currently shipping ANY 802.11n hardware (draft, pre-n, or whatever) at this point, and you find a device that won’t even work with their current crop of machines.Then there’s the argument about bit rates and bandwidth. Why would apple need 802.11n’s wireless capabilities? It isn’t going to be streaming raw video data across, because it doesn’t need to. The current 640xNNN content that’s popping up on iTunes isn’t that high of bitrate, it’s only 1.5mbit, which, with a little buffering would be perfectly fine over current wireless, even over 802.11b’s capabilities so long as things aren’t too far away. The only area where one might start running into a little trouble is with HD resolution content, but even if you quadruple resolution again you’re still only at 6mbit. So, I’d argue that the bandwidth argument is moot. Apple’s probably just waiting on making sure their product is compatible with as many sets as possible, working out techinical glitches, features, and the other standard set of product refinement issues that any number of companies go through on a rather regular basis. They’re just trying to embolden people’s vision of them as going somewhere with the video availability, and leveraging higher resolution content being sold through their store.

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