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Tributaries Going With The Digital Flow

7/23/2003 10:44:00 AM Eastern

Orlando, Fla. - High-end A/V cable supplier Tributaries is crossing into the digital era with the launch of its first FireWire digital cables and plans for late-August shipments of its first DVI (Digital Visual Interface) cables.

In preparing for the digital-interconnect era, the company also plans to diversify into power conditioners, which will be on display in production prototype form at the CEDIA Expo and will ship by the end of the year, said president Joseph Perfito. Because a single digital cable such as FireWire, DVI, or HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) will replace multiple analog AV cables, Perfido said, cable companies must diversify to stay healthy in the long term. 'We have to reinvent the company as composite and S-video slowly go away,' he said. Content providers' copy-protection concerns, he noted ironically, 'helped us in delaying digital.'

The FireWire cables are available in five lengths ranging from 1 meter to 4.5 meters and come in three configurations: four-to-four pin, four-to-six pin, and six-to-six pin. Suggested retails start at $28 for 1 meter of four-to-four cable. The top price is $44 for 4.5 meters of six-to-six cable.

DVI cable prices will be similar, Perfito said.

For now, the company plans no HDMI cables because the developers of the digital-cable format are demanding royalties from cable makers, Perfito said. The developers of other digital-cable formats have been satisfied with income from the chipsets needed to add digital inputs and outputs to electronics products, he said.

The company's first two power conditioners will be priced tentatively around $500 and $1,000. The 15-ampere component-size devices will feature 10 timed outlets, 12-volt trigger, three filtering systems, surge protection, and cable-TV and telephone surge protection.