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Thursday, October 26, 2006
HDMI Licensing Launches HDMI 1.3 World Tour

HDMI Licensing, LLC, the agent responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) specification, next week will kick off a series of briefings and technology demonstrations for media in Asia, the United States and Europe, previewing key technologies enabled by HDMI 1.3.

The demonstrations will preview high-definition (HD) video and audio technology that will begin hitting the consumer market in November and continue rolling out in 2007. According to announcements by manufacturers, among the first consumer products with HDMI 1.3 features to reach the market will be the PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. in November, the HD-XA2 HD DVD player from Toshiba America Consumer Products, LLC in December, and the EMP-TW1000, a 3LCD 1080p projector from Epson in December.

In June 2006, the HDMI Founders announced the HDMI 1.3 specification, the most significant upgrade yet in the interface that has become the de facto standard interface for high-definition devices. HDMI 1.3 more than doubles HDMI's bandwidth and adds support for Deep Color technology, a broader color space, new digital audio formats, automatic audio/video synching capability ("lip sync"), and an optional smaller connector for use with portable devices such as digital still cameras and camcorders.

HDMI specifications include both mandatory and optional components. As a result, HDMI Licensing encourages consumers to look for the functionality they want the device to support (Deep Color, specific audio formats, etc.), referring to the manufacturer's product information.

The HDMI 1.3 World Tour includes one of the first opportunities to see Deep Color. HDMI 1.3 supports 10-bit, 12-bit and 16-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 8-bit depths in previous versions of the HDMI specification. Silicon Image, Inc., the parent corporation of HDMI Licensing, LLC, will demonstrate new 10-bit color technology side-by-side with existing 8-bit color technology. Silicon Image is currently shipping the VastLane SiI9133 and VastLane SiI9134, the first HDMI 1.3 receiver and transmitter semiconductors used in HDTVs and DVD players.

The HDMI 1.3 World Tour will also offer an inside look at the most advanced audio technologies available for next-generation devices, including high-definition optical disc players, future streaming media devices and audio-video receivers. Extending beyond HDMI's current support for high-bandwidth uncompressed digital audio and lossy compressed formats (such as Dolby Digital and DTS), HDMI 1.3 adds support for new, lossless compressed digital audio formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Dolby Laboratories, Inc., will demonstrate Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus using an audio system during the HDMI 1.3 World Tour. Dolby TrueHD is 100% lossless audio and is claimed to deliver playback audio performance that is identical to uncompressed PCM at one-half to one-third the bit-rate. The technology offers support for eight channels of playback in HD DVD and Blu-ray formats as well as a data rate of up to 18 Mbps at 24 bit-rate 192kHz sampling frequency.

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