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CEA Enhances Interface Standard for Digital Televisions
5/23/2002

The Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) Digital Television (DTV) Interface Subcommittee adopted enhancements to the EIA/CEA-861A standard for connecting DTV displays with set-top boxes, DVD players and other video sources. The newly adopted EIA/CEA-861B (861B) standard defines protocols for sending DTV signals over an uncompressed digital video interface, such as the Digital Video Interface (DVI) defined by the Digital Display Working Group or the Open Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS) Display Interface (Open LDI) defined by National Semiconductor. The enhancements enable new information to be sent over the interface, including audio, a description of the source device and a description of the video being sent.
A key addition is the ability to send audio over the interface; now, complete DTV signals with both audio and video can travel on a single cable. Sending audio with the 861B profile requires one of two planned interfaces from BGT or the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) Working Group. BGT is a consortium of Broadcom, Genesis and Texas Instruments. Hitachi, Philips, Matsushita, Silicon Image, Sony, Toshiba and Thomson are developing HDMI.
The updated standard enables DTV displays to identify the various video sources connected to them by name. Instead of providing consumers with the option to select between source 1, source 2 and source 3, the DTV may now allow them to choose between brand 1 video camera, brand 1 video game and brand 2 set-top box.
In addition, 861B also enables DTV displays to optimize video quality by allowing the video source to tell them the original compressed video format of the picture.
To order a copy of EIA/CEA-861B or other CEA and EIA standards, visit Global Engineering Documents at www.global.ihs.com or call (800) 854-7179.
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