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Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Epson to Deliver First HDMI 1.3 Home Theater Projector

Silicon Image has supplied the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) receiver chip for the first home theatre projector to be equipped with HDMI 1.3.

Epson has selected the VastLane SiI9133 HDMI receiver chip for its new Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080. This is the first HDMI 1.3 home theater projector on the market supporting Deep Color capability. The PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080 features Epson's C2Fine 1080p 3LCD chips, which are capable of displaying 12-bit Deep Color images with a contrast ratio up to 12,000:1.

Epson will begin shipping the PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080 in January 2007. Announced in June, the HDMI 1.3 specification is the most significant upgrade yet to the interface that has become the de facto standard interface for high-definition devices. The Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080 projector is designed to display up to 1920 x 1080p resolution, the highest-resolution HD signal currently available, via HDMI 1.3 input.

The VastLane SiI9133, a dual-input HDMI receiver chip, enables HDTVs and home theater projectors to display Deep Color content transmitted by a new generation of consumer products with HDMI 1.3 outputs, such as the Sony PlayStation 3 or Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player. The SiI9133 supports video formats of up to 1080p resolution with 12-bit color depth at a 60Hz refresh rate. The SiI9133 also supports higher refresh rates such as 120Hz when displaying either 720p or 1080i at 12 bits. With 12-bit resolution, billions of colors can be rendered, eliminating color banding seen with 8-bit displays.

The HDMI 1.3 specification more than doubles HDMI's bandwidth and adds support for Deep Color technology, a broader color space, new digital lossless audio formats and automatic audio/video synching capability ("lip sync"). 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. (Note 10-bit, 12-bit and 16-bit color is also referred to as 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit color, reflecting the bit depth of all three colors (RGB or YCbCr) combined.)

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