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Working Group Formed For New HD Multimedia Interface

LOS ANGELES – A group of CE manufacturers, motion picture companies and system operators announced this afternoon that they have formed a working group to develop a high definition multimedia interface (HDMI) for next-generation consumer electronics products.

HDMI is described as combining high-definition video and multi-channel audio in one digital interface. According to the statement released by Silicon Image, the company that has developed the technology, the interface “builds on the success of DVI, offering new features while maintaining full backward compatibility.”

The CE manufacturers that are part of the group are: Hitachi, Matsushita, Philips, Sony, Thomson, and Toshiba. Statements of support also were issued by Fox, Universal Pictures, DirecTV and EchoStar.

Silicon Image said that HDMI is an uncompressed digital format that transports HD-video and multichannel audio without processing or degrading them. By combining audio and video on one cable, HDMI offers “a convenient connection alternative.”

The company added that the key underlying technology in DVI will be the basis for the new HDMI specification.