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Technology Showcase: HDMI Extenders

May 26, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Products to extend HDMI's reach without sacrificing signal quality.

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When connecting more than one source, STB, DVD, game console, or camcorder to a single display, switching solutions that do not add jitter to the signal are very important. Within Pericom's Active HDMI Switch family, the PI3HDMI101 not only contains the company's proprietary ActiveEye equalization circuit, but it also offers pre-emphasis circuitry. With multiple levels of output emphasis settings, PI3HDMI101 can be fine-tuned to match any custom application and still pass HDMI ATC compliance test 7-10 — the eye-pattern test. In addition, Pericom's PI3HDMI101-A and PI3HDMI101-B products are designed specifically for receiver applications. The PI3HDMI101-A and PI3HDMI101-B can provide a fixed gain for the TMDS clock channel, while supporting full equalization circuitry for the high-speed data channels to provide better jitter tolerance and Rx sensitivity margin in relation to ATC sink tests.

Radiospire Networks is the first to successfully implement the consumer electronics control (CEC) functionality into its AirHook wireless HDMI technology. With AirHook, users can command and control multiple CEC-enabled boxes and peripherals with only one remote, and boxes can command and control each other without user intervention at all. The AirHook chipset uses the 1.7GHz unlicensed spectrum to deliver 1.6Gbps throughput to allow for the transmission of pure, uncompressed audio and video with maximum picture quality and no latency. Radiospire Networks claims to have a roadmap that will top 5Gbps in future-generation development. AirHook is designed to replace HDMI cables with a better, more cost-effective, and attractive alternative.

The HDOC Series HDMI fiber-optic cable from RTcom USA allows your digital display to extend up to 328ft. away from the video and audio source based on HDMI compliance. RTcom USA's patented optical conversion technology enables noise-free and high resolution up to 1080 at 60Hz. RGB and clock signals are transmitted via fiber-optic cables, and HDCP/DDC2B signal and 5V power is transmitted via copper cables all integrated into a single cable wrapped in a PVC jacket. In addition, the company's EDM-1818M expandable digital matrix router conforms to DVI 1.0, HDMI version 1.3a, and DisplayPort V1.1 specifications. Its back panel has slots for various port cards so users can expand or exchange the slot cards easily and simply.

The world's first WirelessHD chipsets in the 60GHz band, SiBeam's SB9120 network processor and its SB9110 RF transceiver act as the transmitter for devices such as DVD players, set-top boxes, and media center PCs. The SB9121 network processor and the SB9111 transceiver chipset can be used as the receiver for digital televisions and front projectors. These chipsets are the first to deliver true, lossless uncompressed AV at 1080p with a bandwidth of 4Gbps. SiBeam's transmitter and receiver chipsets employ SiBeam's Omnilink60 advanced adaptive beam-forming systems that dynamically steer content to the specific receiving station, maintaining stable connectivity regardless of any obstacles that may obstruct its path.

SiBeam's design breakthrough draws upon the multiple antenna capabilities of 802.11n and the simple wideband modulations of Ultra Wideband (UWB), along with the capability of manufacturing using standard CMOS technology. Each embedded processor handles the WirelessHD protocol that is capable of joining, leaving, and creating an intelligent Wireless Video Area Network (WVAN), which can consist of a variety of WirelessHD-enabled devices. At CES 2008, both Panasonic and Toshiba demonstrated WirelessHD-equipped displays.

The VastLane SiI9135 from Silicon Image is an advanced, dual-input HDMI 1.3 receiver designed for high-definition digital AV receivers. The SiI9135 supports the latest HD audio formats, allowing customers to experience the ultimate surround-sound experience by decoding compressed lossless audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD are the next-generation lossless audio formats for the high-definition disc media such as HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. With dual-integrated HDMI 1.3 cores, the VastLane SiI9135 receiver has an integrated HDCP cipher engine. It can handle 1080p at 60Hz or 720p/1080i at 120Hz. The corresponding transmitter, Silicon Image's SiI9134, is an advanced HDMI 1.3-compliant sender designed for Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD players and recorders that require high-definition audio and Deep Color capabilities.

StarTech's HDMI over Cat-5/UTP extender, the ST121HDMIT is HDCP-compliant. It can be used with any DVI-D source or display, using one of StarTech's HDMI to DVI cables. It requires StarTech's ST121HDMR250 receiver for 820ft. signal extension, or its ST121HDMR50 for up to 164ft. extension. StarTech also offers the DP2HDMI, a DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable adapter/converter. In addition, the Converge A/V HDMI Equalizer from StarTech can extend an HDMI signal up to 164ft. while maintaining a full 1080p resolution with no signal loss or noise. It allows you to plug in a 40-meter cable from the source to the equalizer and an additional 10-meter cable from the equalizer to the display.

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