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Plug And Pray

Two more AV interfaces are on their way. Here's what you can expect.

“If you have to change the circuit board underneath, you're looking at whatever production time it takes to clear out your pipeline, implement the ‘spin' of the circuit board, do quality assurance on that spin, and then get it back into the pipeline,” says Jim Smith, a systems engineer with Polycom, a Pleasanton, CA-based maker of conferencing equipment.

Those changes have a ripple effect, which includes changing the manual and any cables that ship with the AV product. “Everything goes awry,” Smith says. “For a small company, it can be catastrophic.”

For vendors and integrators, the fall-out can also be measured in terms of a damaged reputation. “AV is an elephant-memory kind of community,” Smith says. “If you make the wrong decision, and it costs people money, they don't forget.”

Tim Kridel is a freelance writer and analyst who covers telecom and technology. He's based in Kansas City and can be reached at tkridel@kc.rr.com.

For more information about display interfaces and related standards, check out:

  • HDMI Licensing– The consortium's website at www.hdmi.org provides updated information about HDMI standards work and companies developing the technology.
  • UDI SIG– The trade association's website at www.udisig.org provides updated information about UDI standards work and companies developing the technology. For an overview of UDI, see Intel's presentation at www.udisig.org/news_events/idf_s06_udisig.
  • VESA– The Video Electronics Standards Association's website at www.vesa.org has information about a variety of interface technologies, including DisplayPort.
  • Coping with Changing Connectivity Standards–Does pro AV really need yet another connection protocol? November 2005
  • What's Next: Two's a Crowd— Next-generation DVD promises major improvements – and yet another standards war, April 2004


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