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Matsushita rolls HDMI control for flat TV sets

Posted: 17 Mar 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yoshiko Hara? Matsushita? HDMI-based control network?

Matsushita Electric will offer flat TV sets using high-definition multimedia interface technology in Tokyo next month, with an international introduction following shortly thereafter.

The company's Viera Link is intended to promote an HDMI-based control network. "It becomes too complicated for consumers to use digital audio and video devices," said Shunzo Ushimaru, executive marketing officer for Panasonic. "If an easy-to-use network becomes available with a TV set as the center, it would be convenient for consumers."

So far, the HDMI interface is being used only for video and audio transmission. Matsushita said it is implementing for the first time a consumer electronics control feature in the HDMI spec that defines control signals and protocols and is reserved for conveying control signals said.

Matsushita demonstrated the operation of devices connected by HDMI cables from a remote controller for a TV set, obviating a remote controller for each device. The controller sends conventional infrared signals to the TV, and the HDMI interface in the TV interprets them and sends out control signals to other devices connected by HDMI cables.

The HDMI interface used for Viera Link combines hardware and software, but details were not disclosed. The controlling capability is basically based on the HDMI CEC specification, but Matsushita expanded the spec to enable more complicated, detailed operation for each of the connected devices.

Ushimaru said that Viera Link can be used with a wide variety of Panasonic products, adding that Matsushita is preparing an extension of the link. "We welcome the situation that other brand products become compatible with ours," said a spokeswoman for Matsushita.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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