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Philips Develops Media Bridge Device

Philips Semiconductor, working in conjunction with Mediabolic, has developed a reference design for a stand-alone Digital Media Adapter (DMA) that should be available from Philips and other vendors via ODM deals in the next few months.

The stand-alone DMA can attach to either a television or audio system and through a wired or wireless network act as a conduit for exporting bringing PC-based multimedia content to these other devices. This summer Philips will release a design for integrating the same DMA capability into televisions, said Guus Frericks, Philips’ business line VP/general manager.

The stand-alone device is expected to carry a sub-$150 price point at launch, said Frericks, while the integrated DMA will add little to no extra cost to a TV.

“We believe we can’t add much cost to a TV because of the current declining pricing situation with flat panels,” Frericks said.

A single DMA box, which is about the size of a paperback book, can service a TV and audio system simultaneously.

Both versions of the bridge will be networked to a PC through either 802.11g or the upcoming 802.11n or Ethernet cable. Philips shied away from jumping on the Windows Media Center bandwagon because the operating system is not ubiquitous enough at this point to assure mass market acceptance of the DMA. Instead the device is universal plug-and-play compliant. Since Media Center, Intel’s Viiv and AMD multimedia content distribution concepts all utilize universal plug-and-play at some level, the Philips DMA will work with a wider variety of computer systems.