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Texas Instruments Drives NASCAR HD Awareness

The term "DLP" may not be foreign to readers of HD Notebook, but to the public at large, it's not exactly a household term. However, that may change a bit this racing season, at least in NASCAR households, starting with last Sunday's NBC coverage of the Daytona 500 in HD.

Texas Instruments' recently announced sponsorship plans for the car racing sport (much of it aired in prime time), which prominently includes TI's trademarked Digital Light Processing technology for HD. TI unveiled its "DLP HDTV Chevrolet" at Daytona (car no. 96). TI also said in a statement it has set up a mobile marketing unit that will alert fans to the benefits of HD viewing for NASCAR races.

With its inaugural sponsorship of the NASCAR Nextel Cup series for the 2006 season, TI plans to further "educate" fans on other aspects of HD (such as 5.1 surround sound) and its DLP technology. TI is erecting a DLP Reality Zone in the midway areas of various racing events to demo its technology from the likes of Mitsubishi, RCA, Samsung and Toshiba. Its DLP home theater projectors (which once again will be on display side-by-side at NAB2006) also will be featured for NASCAR fans--including 3D HD presentations on a 20-foot screen using DLP duel-projectors.

According to published reports, NBC aired the Daytona 500 on Feb. 19 using 76 HD cameras (including 10 units equipped to non-racing vehicles). And at least one member of the pit crew for one racer was equipped with an "HD helmet-cam." TI is sending NASCAR fans to its interactive Web site for more details about its race car and HD technology.