March 13, 2003
Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments Collaborate on World's First 1394 Hardware to Connect Personal Computers to Home Theater Systems
1394-S/PDIF converter allows Windows XP
and Windows Media Center to attach to millions of home theaters with Dolby Digital decoders
Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments Collaborate on World’s First 1394 Hardware to Connect Personal Computers to Home Theater SystemsSan Francisco, March 13, 2003--Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments
Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) announced 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 MP3, 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.
IEEE 1394, also known as Firewire and iLink™, was designed to be a universal
connection between electronic devices, including camcorders, personal computers,
digital televisions, A/V receivers, DVD players, printers, and so on. Different types of
digital signals can be carried on 1394 cables, including video, audio, MIDI, device
control commands, and computer data. Though A/V equipment with 1394 is beginning
to appear on the market, the vast majority of gear in people's homes still relies on the
S/PDIF connector as the link to digital audio. PCs, on the other hand, are far more likely
to have a 1394 connector than a S/PDIF connector, making it difficult to send digital
audio (such as a DVD soundtrack from the PC) to the primary listening equipment in
the home. The Firewire-S/PDIF converter allows consumers to easily enjoy stellar
digital audio entertainment from their PCs.
"Entertainment PCs have, for years, had the ability to output graphics and video to
televisions; now they can finally enjoy high-quality stereo and 5.1-channel surround
sound audio playback from their companion home theater systems," said 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
"TI's iceLynx-micro was designed and tailored for the audio entertainment market," said
Belal Ahmad, consumer electronics product manager for TI's Connectivity Solutions
group. "The Firewire-S/PDIF converter taps into the millions of 1394 PCs and S/PDIFenabled
home theater systems and addresses the growing demand to easily connect PCs
to home theater systems so consumers can enjoy private music collections."
"We are delighted to work with industry leaders such as Dolby and Texas Instruments to
develop this critical link," said Bob Moses, president of Island Digital Media Group.
"We look forward to working with OEMs to bring it to the marketplace."
Parties interested in bringing this design to market should contact Island Digital Media
Group at 206-463-6667, or via email at email@example.com.
About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to
meet its customers' real-world signal processing requirements. In addition to
Semiconductor, the company's businesses include Sensors & Controls and Educational &
Productivity Solutions. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing,
design, or sales operations in more than 25 countries.
Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN.
More information is located on the World Wide Web at www.ti.com.
About Island Digital Media Group
Island Digital Media Group is a consulting firm based on Vashon Island in Puget Sound
near Seattle, with labs in Minnesota, Colorado, and South Africa. The firm has expertise
in networked audio systems, and has worked with a variety of companies in the
professional audio and consumer electronics industries to design products with Firewire
and other leading edge digital audio technologies.
About Dolby Laboratories
Dolby Laboratories creates technologies that intensify and enhance the entertainment
experience, making it richer, fuller, and more involving. For nearly four decades, Dolby
has been instrumental in defining high-quality audio and surround sound in cinema,
broadcast, home audio systems, cars, DVDs, headphones, games, televisions, and
personal computers. Based in San Francisco with European headquarters in England, the
privately held company has entertainment industry liaison offices in New York and Los
Angeles and licensing liaison offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo. For
more information about Dolby Laboratories or Dolby technologies, please visit
Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. ©
2003 Dolby Laboratories, Inc. S03/14668
Jim Arnold, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., 415-645-5116 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy Wright, Texas Instruments, 214-480-7487 email@example.com
Bob Moses, Island Digital Media Group, 206-463-6667 firstname.lastname@example.org