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Big CE firms to link handsets to HDTVs

Tue, 09/29/2009 - 9:35am
Brian Santo

Silicon Image and four of the biggest consumer electronics manufacturers in the world have come together to develop a new standard for connecting mobile devices directly to HDTVs. At the same time, Silicon Image announced the resignation of its president and the revision of its third-quarter revenue guidance down by 15 to 20 percent.

It is Silicon Image’s facility with formulating video networking standards that brought it to the attention of the cable industry. The company’s LiquidHD technology for secure distribution of HD video in home networks won an informal poll at CableLabs’ technology showcase in 2008.

Nokia, Samsung Electronics, Sony, Toshiba and Silicon Image have formed what they’re calling the Mobile High-Definition Interface Working Group, which intends to create an industry standard for an audio/video interface to connect mobile phones or portable consumer electronics (CE) devices directly to HDTVs and HD displays.

The communications protocol is to be based on Silicon Image’s Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) technology. The group intends to offer it as an open standard. The aim is to develop a single-cable with a low pin count interface able to support up to 1080p HD digital video and HD audio, in addition to delivering power to a portable device.

The Working Group is expected to organize a Consortium of founding members who will develop a mobile connectivity technology standard specification that governs transmission and reception of high-definition content between portable devices and display devices, to support connectivity in accordance with the new specification.

Meanwhile, Silicon Image CFO Hal Covert has taken over as president and chief operating officer following the departure of former president and CEO Steve Tirado. The company said it has hired an executive search firm to find a new chief executive. The company gave no reason for Tirado’s departure.

“We want to thank [Tirado] for his contributions to Silicon Image over the past 10 years,” said Peter Hanelt, the chairman of the company’s board of directors. “[Tirado] played a key role in leading the company to achieve its vision of delivering digital content everywhere with the development of exciting technology initiatives, including the HDMI standard, the formation of the SPMT Consortium, and continued developments with our Mobile High-Definition Link and LiquidHD technology efforts.”

Hanelt also said: “Moving forward, Silicon Image has strong talent, leading-edge technology and a solid balance sheet with no debt, and approximately $160 million in cash. The management team is focused on our customers, executing on our product strategy and enhancing shareholder value.”

Silicon Image has retained the services of an executive search firm to find a new CEO.

At the same time, the company announced it expects revenue for fiscal third-quarter 2009 to be below the $44 million to $46 million previously provided in July. The company now expects its Q3 2009 revenue to be in the range of $37 million to $39 million.

The company attributed the revision to declining sales of “legacy products,” combined with customers’ shift in production from high-end products to mid-range and low-end products.

More Broadband Direct 09/29/09:
•  Big CE firms to link handsets to HDTVs
•  Cablevision names top lawyer
•  N.J. hospital picks Optimum Lightpath for telecommunications
•  RCN names Cecin as COO, EVP
•  Aurora products get RUS approval
•  Hitachi picks AMT as U.S. partner for RFoG platform
•  Sunrise adds GigE test module
•  Broadband Briefs for 09/29/09

 

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