How Can You Tell if HD Devices Will Work Together?


silicon image simplay hdBelow is an email we received that we felt was worthy of adding to the news archive. Chris Hamilton writes:

I wanted to contact you on behalf of Silicon Image, the leader in the secure distribution, presentation, and storage of high-definition content. Last month, Silicon Image made a very significant announcement with the launch of the Simplay HD Testing Program. I wanted to take a few moments to provide you the details of this very important announcement.

Numerous new HDTVs, DVD players, and A/V receivers are hitting the market promising to provide consumers with cutting-edge HD performance. Unfortunately not all these products work together and this problem only promises to become more pronounced in the future. So how do consumers ensure that their HD products are compatible with each other, thereby relieving themselves of any potential frustration from “the blank screen”?

The Simplay HD Testing program was created just for this reason. This program consists of device compatibility testing, branding and education for consumers in order to allow them to maximize their access to premium HD content – all the time, without any worry. I’ve pasted the press release announcing the details of this program below.

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like any more information or if you’d be interested in speaking with someone about the Simplay HD Testing Program.

Thanks,
Chris

PRESS RELEASE:

Silicon Image Launches Simplay Labs and the Simplay HD™ Testing Program, Providing Compatibility Testing for High Definition Components

Delivers Consumers a Consistent Plug and Play Experience, Maximizes Access to Premium HD Content

LAS VEGAS, January 3, 2006 — Silicon Image, Inc., a leader in the secure distribution, presentation and storage of high-definition content, today announced the launch of Simplay Labs, LLC and the Simplay HD™ Testing Program. The Simplay HD Testing Program provides compatibility testing for high definition (HD) consumer electronics devices such as HDTVs, set-top boxes, audio/video (A/V) receivers and DVD players, helping manufacturers to achieve compatibility and deliver the highest-quality HDTV experience to consumers.

As part of today’s news, Simplay Labs announced:

  • Simplay HD Testing Program and the Simplay HD™ logo
  • Testing service options and program participants
  • A cooperative marketing agreement with Monster Cable Products, Inc.
  • A retail marketing program with Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc.
  • Launch of the Simplay HD website for manufacturers and consumers including a listing of the first wave of Simplay HD verified devices

Bring It Home, Plug It In
The Simplay HD Testing Program consists of device compatibility testing, branding and education for consumers to provide them with a consistent “plug and play” user experience and to maximize their access to premium HD content. The program will also educate retail channels on how to identify devices that are compatible and content-ready.

Replacing the PanelLink Cinema (PLC) Partners Program, the Simplay HD Testing Program examines devices for compliance with the High-Definition Multimedia Interface™ (HDMI™) and High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) specifications, as well as for compatibility with a suite of other devices that have passed the Simplay HD Testing Program. Products that have demonstrated adherence to the Simplay HD Compatibility Test Specification (CTS) in testing by Simplay Labs are identified with the Simplay HD logo.

“Consumers will benefit from the Simplay HD Testing Program as it evolves to include an even broader suite of interoperability testing, especially as the digital links among devices continue to grow in complexity,” said Steve Tirado, president and CEO of Silicon Image. “Over time, Simplay HD verified products will represent the worry-free way for consumers to purchase HD components and create the ultimate home theater experience.”

Testing Service Options
Simplay HD participants have three testing service options:

  • Simplay Standard – No annual fee, standard testing fees, standard scheduling, and optional logo usage.
  • Simplay Preferred – No annual fee, 25 percent discount on testing fees, priority scheduling, logo usage, and website listing.
  • Simplay Elite – $10,000 annual participation fee, four free tests, 25 percent discount on subsequent tests, priority scheduling, logo usage, prominent website listing, and five hours of test support services per product.

Initial participants in the Simplay HD Testing Program include BenQ Corp., Hitachi Ltd., LG Electronics, MediaTek Inc., Mitsubishi Digital Electronics, Pace Micro Technology PLC, Renesas Technology Corp., Samsung Electronics, Sanyo Electric Company, Ltd., Scientific-Atlanta Inc., SerComm Corp., Silicon Image, Sony Corp., Sunplus Technology Co., and TTE Corp. The program also has broad industry support from content providers Fox, The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros.

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics, Sanyo Electric Company, Ltd., Sony Corp. and TTE Corp. (under the Thomson brand) have each submitted HDTVs for Simplay HD testing, ensuring that they are compatible and designed to access premium HD content. For a complete listing of Simplay HD verified products, please visit www.simplayhd.com.

Marketing and Retail Programs
Under the cooperative marketing agreement announced today by Simplay Labs, Monster Cable will use the Simplay HD Testing Program for its line of HDMI cables. Monster will incorporate the Simplay HD logo on cables that have passed testing and will detail the benefits of Simplay HD in its sales collateral.

“Since our products are at the center of connecting consumer electronics components, we want to make sure that when consumers plug their systems together, everything just works,” said Noel Lee, CEO of Monster Cable Products, Inc. “We are happy to be a Simplay marketing partner and will work together to ensure that consumers are getting both the highest quality experience as well as confidence that their components work well together.”

Simplay Labs and consumer electronics retailer Tweeter will be working together to develop joint training programs for Tweeter’s installers and sales associates, and will implement marketing programs to build consumer brand awareness for the Simplay HD logo.

“Tweeter’s new Systems Design and Engineering group was created to help simplify the process of buying and installing home theater systems for our customers,” said Steve Samson, vice president of system design and engineering at Tweeter. “The compatibility testing that Simplay Labs offers CE manufacturers gives us confidence that Simplay HD verified products will work seamlessly together. In working with Simplay Labs, our customers will feel more confident about their HD component purchases.”

The new Simplay HD website, www.simplayhd.com, is designed to serve as the consumer guide to the overall high-definition experience. In addition to listing Simplay HD verified devices, the website offers consumers research, a purchasing guide, and advice on to how to configure, optimize and enjoy the high-definition experience. Manufacturers can also download the Simplay HD Compatibility Test Specification and obtain instructions on how to submit products to the Simplay HD Testing Program by visiting www.simplayhd.com.

About Simplay Labs, LLC
Simplay Labs, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Silicon Image, Inc. based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is the administrator of the Simplay HD™ Testing Program. The Simplay HD Testing Program is comprised of leading consumer electronics manufacturers and technology providers focused on delivering fully compatible products for consumers. As a result, consumers making home theater component purchases can be confident that Simplay HD verified systems are compatible and ready to receive and play premium digital content, regardless of manufacturer.

About Silicon Image, Inc.
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Silicon Image, Inc. is a leader in the secure distribution, presentation and storage of high-definition content. Silicon Image creates and drives industry standards for digital content delivery such as DVI, HDMI and UDI, leveraging strategic partnerships with global leaders in consumer electronics and personal computing. Silicon Image offers robust, high-bandwidth semiconductors in the global PC/display, consumer electronics and storage arenas based on its innovative digital interconnect technology and has become one of the top ten IP licensing vendors in the world. For more information on Silicon Image, visit www.siliconimage.com.





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