Samsung, Mitsubishi, LG, Sanyo, Pace, MediaTek and Sunplus to Join Program Promoting Availability of Content-Ready Products
SUNNYVALE, California -- PanelLink Cinema, a leader in multi-gigabit semiconductor solutions for the secure transmission and storage of rich digital media, today announced Samsung Electronics, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics, LG Electronics, Sanyo Electric Co., LTD, Pace Micro Technology, MediaTek and Sunplus Technology have agreed to join its Hollywood-supported PanelLink Cinema Partners Program. The PanelLink Cinema Partners Program provides consumers with a simple means of identifying High-Definition Televisions (HDTVs) and other consumer electronics (CE) devices capable of receiving and playing the most valuable digital content. Consumers making home theater purchases can now be confident that High-Definition Multimedia Interface(TM) (HDMI(TM)) systems bearing the PanelLink Cinema Partners logo have been tested for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) functionality and content readiness-meaning they are interoperable and ready to receive and play premium digital content.
The PanelLink Cinema Partners Program is open to manufacturers of CE devices implementing HDMI/HDCP, including HDTVs, DTVs, Set-Top Boxes (STBs), DVD players, A/V Receivers, semiconductors and cables. The program also has broad industry support from content providers The Walt Disney Co., Fox, Universal and Warner Bros.
Major motion picture studios support HDMI/HDCP for the rendering of their premium digital content. While the HDMI specification supports HDCP, HDCP is not a requirement and is not currently tested by HDMI Authorized Testing Centers (ATCs) as part of the HDMI Compliance Test Specification. The PanelLink Cinema Partners Program addresses this critical need by testing HDCP functionality and interoperability between HDMI/HDCP devices from different manufacturers.
"PanelLink Cinema Partners is chartered with enabling the flow of premium digital content," stated Brett Gaines, president of PanelLink Cinema LLC, the administrator of the PanelLink Cinema Partners Program. "Consumers want to know that their CE devices-regardless of brand-are Content Ready and will interoperate so they can receive and view premium digital content, and the PanelLink Cinema Partners Program provides this functionality. The Program promotes a satisfying out-of-box connectivity experience for consumers and eliminates potential frustration associated with incompatible HDCP implementations and lack of system interoperability. Leveraging Silicon Image's position as co-founder of and underlying technology contributor to the HDMI specification, contributor to the HDCP specification, and leading manufacturer of HDMI/HDCP-enabled semiconductors, PanelLink Cinema LLC is uniquely positioned to deliver this valuable program to the industry."
The PanelLink Cinema Partners Program consists of testing, branding and education components to promote content compatibility between devices. The initial phase of the program provides a PanelLink Cinema Interoperability Test Specification (ITS) and a testing service for device manufacturers. Testing encompasses HDCP functionality in conjunction with HDMI, as well as interoperability between HDMI/HDCP devices from different manufacturers.
Products that have demonstrated adherence to the PanelLink Cinema ITS and passed testing by the PanelLink Cinema Test Center are identified with the PanelLink Cinema Partners logo, enabling consumers to make CE equipment purchases with the confidence that they will be able to receive and play the latest digital content. Leveraging the branding component, the PanelLink Cinema Partners Program will educate retail channels on the importance of content readiness and how to identify content-ready devices.
Andrew Setos, president of engineering, Fox Group, said, "Silicon Image's pioneering work in protected digital display links has paid off with the PanelLink Cinema Partners program, which promotes interoperability between HDMI/HDCP devices and makes it easy for consumers to identify the systems that will enable them to view broadly available digital content, as well as the most highly valued premium digital content. Consumers and content owners alike will come to be comforted by the PanelLink Cinema Partners logo, knowing that products bearing this logo will be totally compliant with the specification and will achieve the ultimate technological goal of plug and play. Thanks to PanelLink Cinema LLC, we look forward to the introduction of this consumer-friendly technology, which suffers no legacy or other confusing incompatibilities."
Chris Cookson, President, Warner Bros. Technical Operations Inc. and CTO, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., stated, "When consumers purchase innovative digital consumer electronics products that promise to deliver the pinnacle in home entertainment experiences, it is important that those products seamlessly interoperate and are capable of playing high-value digitally protected content. We applaud the PanelLink Cinema Partners and its participants for bridging the gap between content and consumers and providing a means to easily identify HDMI-enabled products with the content protection technology that will enable access to, delivery of and protection of our premium content."
Neil Gaydon, Worldwide Sales and Marketing Director, at Pace Micro Technology, commented, "HDMI/HDCP is fast becoming the digital A/V interface standard on high-definition set-top boxes, and our payTV customers need to be confident that their valuable high-definition content is properly protected. Through the PanelLink Cinema Partners program, payTV operators worldwide will know that the implementation of HDMI/HDCP on Pace's range of high-definition set-top boxes has been tested to the highest standards available today."
C. W. Hong, Vice President of R&D, Visual Display Division, Media Business for Samsung, noted, "Samsung is committed to delivering our customers the ultimate digital entertainment experience. We have introduced many HDMI products to date, and PanelLink Cinema Partners complements our aggressive efforts to implement HDMI/HDCP across our product lineup. Consumers want premium digital content, and HDMI/HDCP gives them access to this content. PanelLink Cinema Partners promotes the highest interoperability between HDMI devices and makes it easy for consumers to identify HDMI/HDCP products capable of delivering new digital content."
"HDCP is an important technology in enabling the Digital TV transition, having been widely embraced and adopted by content providers, system operators and consumer electronics manufacturers alike," said Stephen Balogh, President of Digital Content Protection, LLC, the licensor of HDCP. "Because of its broad deployment, it is important that companies implementing HDCP have access to a program to facilitate testing of HDCP functionality in their products to ensure interoperability. The PanelLink Cinema Partners Program is one such program, and Digital Content Protection, LLC would encourage any company deploying HDCP in their products to participate in such a program."
The PanelLink Cinema ITS 0.9 is currently available for review. Visit www.PanelLinkCinema.com for details. Testing at Silicon Image's PanelLink Cinema Test Center (PTC) will commence in Q4 of 2004. The PTC is located at Silicon Image's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., and is modeled after the company's successful HDMI Authorized Testing Center. The PTC will test members' products for conformance with the ITS using HDCP test equipment developed by PanelLink Cinema, LLC and Silicon Image to check for HDCP compatibility. The PTC will also perform interoperability testing to the ITS and maintain a suite of ITS-compatible products for ongoing interoperability testing. Consumer electronics and semiconductor manufacturers interested in joining the PanelLink Cinema Partners Program and submitting products for testing should visit www.PanelLinkCinema.com.
About PanelLink Cinema, LLC
PanelLink Cinema, LLC , a wholly-owned subsidiary of Silicon Image, Inc. based in Sunnyvale, CA, is administrator of the PanelLink Cinema Partners Program. The PanelLink Cinema (PLC) Partners Program is comprised of leading consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers and technology providers, all focused on delivering Content Ready products to their customers. Through this cooperative effort, consumers making home theater purchases are assured that systems bearing the PLC Partners Content Ready logo have been tested for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) functionality in conjunction with HDMI-ensuring they are interoperable and ready to receive and play premium digital content regardless of manufacturer. For more information on PanelLink Cinema, visit
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