Dolby Laboratories, Texas Instruments Connect Personal Computers to Home Theaters

Mar 18, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors

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Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments Incorporated announced that they have jointly sponsored the design and development of a device that allows consumers to easily connect PCs with 1394 connectors to their home-theater systems.

The FireWire-S/PDIF converter allows Dolby Digital and PCM audio to be transferred from a network of IEEE 1394 devices (which may include laptops and desktop PCs) to the S/PDIF connection commonly found on today's home audio equipment. This allows music and gaming enthusiasts to play back popular stereo and multichannel 5.1 computer music files, such as MP3s, AAC and WMA, through their home-theater systems from their PCs. A prototype implementation of this design was shown at Texas Instruments' booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.

The converter, created by Island Digital Media Group, consists of an IEEE 1394 connector at one end and a coaxial S/PDIF connector at the other. It requires no additional wires if power is available from the 1394 cable, though a DC connector is available on the device for an external power supply, if needed. The device runs on a Texas Instruments iceLynx-micro (TSB43CB43A) chip.

According to Bob Brummer, director of technology strategy at Dolby Laboratories, "Because Dolby is prevalent in both consumer electronics and PC entertainment, Dolby Digital is an obvious choice for compelling audio entertainment that can bridge the gap between these environments. As home networks grow in popularity, PCs will play a more prominent role as home entertainment platforms. Simplifying and enabling the connection of PCs to traditional CE devices gives the consumer new ways of enjoying music and gaming entertainment."

Parties interested in bringing this design to market should contact Island Digital Media Group at 206/463-6667, or via e-mail at bob@isdmg.com. Visit Texas Instruments and Dolby Laboratories online at www.ti.com and






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