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Manufacturers to Certify HDMI Products with SimplayHD

by Julie Jacobson March 27, 2006

New Designation Ensures HDMI Sources Work with HDMI Displays, in Any Scenario, Including HDCP

There are a few problems with HDMI, the high-definition A/V connector, even if you forget about its predisposition to fall out of the port. But one of the biggest problems has little to do with the connector itself, nor the protocol for delivering copy-protected content from a source to a display. It has to do with HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), the prevailing protocol for digital rights management.

A new designation from Simplay Labs, a wholly owned subsidiary of HDMI creator Silicon Image, ensures that HDMI sources work with HDMI displays, in any scenario, HDCP and all.

It's called Simplay HD, and CE-Pro wrote about it in an earlier blog (New Simplay Designation Means HDMI REALLY Works). Now Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America joins BenQ, Hitachi, LG Electronics, MediaTek, Samsung Electronics, Sanyo, Scientific-Atlanta, Silicon Image, and Sony (among others) in stepping up to the plate, promising to verify all of its HDMI products under SimplayHD.

Read more at http://www.cepro.com/news/editorial/7582.html

More General Information on Simplay HD

The Simplay HD Testing Program

Silicon Image, Inc's 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 .

Thanks to Julie Jacobson of CE-Pro for contributing to this editorial.


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