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Mitsubishi Uses Web To Sell HDTV Adapter

Mitsubishi is preparing to help purchasers of its first-generation HDTV-capable sets remain compatible with next-generation digital TV set-top decoders by offering a special adapter box through the company’s website.

Marty Zanfino, Mitsubishi’s product development manager, told TWICE that the RGB-CV10 adapter box will be sold direct to consumers through the company’s website at the same time as the second-generation DTV set-top box becomes available at retail, which is now scheduled for late June.

He declined to disclose the exact price of the adapter.

Zanfino said Mitsubishi feels comfortable selling the adapter box because the package price of the adapter and a second-generation Mitsubishi set-top DTV decoder will be less than the $2,000 to $3,000 Mitsubishi said it would cost to add a first-generation set-top box with proprietary interface.

Due to the uncertainty of the DTV marketplace at the launch of digital broadcasting, Mitsubishi designed its line of first-generation DTV-capable sets to receive HDTV broadcasts only through a first-generation Mitsubishi set-top decoder box.

That box (HD-1080) has a $3,499 suggested retail price and is in short supply. The next-generation STB decoder (SRHD400) will offer a more standard HD component video output that will deliver 1080i format HDTV signals to high-scan-capable digital-capable television displays.

Zanfino said the new set-top decoder will be available at the end of June in two packages. Model SRHD500 ($1,299 SRP) will offer the decoder box plus a 24-inch elliptical dish needed to receive DirecTv HDTV and SDTV services. The new box has combined DirecTv and off-air ATSC reception capability.

Model SRHD400 ($899 SRP) will include the decoder box without the DirecTv dish. The new STB is designed to output all DTV signal formats in 1080i form. It will also output standard 480i signals, but only through the analog S-video and composite video connections. The decoder will not output both 480i and 1080i signals simultaneously.

Although pricing on the RGB-CV10 adapter box was withheld, Zanfino said the device will ship with five cables needed to connect the device to the TV set’s RGB input jacks. It will also include a 15-pin data cord need to link the microprocessor in the adapter to circuitry in the DTV sets.