NAB2006: Thomson Provides HD-to-Laptop via USB

If you want your HD portable (albeit, also a bit smaller), Thomson's Jensen electronics unit demo-ed a prototype last week for attaching an HD terrestrial receiver to a laptop computer with a USB cable. The MPC4000 is now being test-marketed for a projected product launch of late next fall, in time for the holiday selling season.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of HD broadcasting will be delivered via cable, fiber, IP, satellite (and who knows by what other means?), Thomson said in published reports it foresees a future fast-approaching in the current iPod age where viewers will also demand portable HD capabilities on their laptops and perhaps smaller devices, wirelessly and away from the home front. (Just how tiny HD can get and still be "seen" as HD is an open question.)

Thomson said the MPC4000 is only one early example of what expects to be a growing line of "terrestrial reception products." The small device, with antenna, secures to the side of the laptop and its HD quality is dependent on the quality of the computer screen, among other factors. As for incentives for consumers, said Thomson, remember that terrestrial HD content is still free.