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InstaPort Reduces Painful Lag in HDMI Switching
New technology from Silicon Image reduces switching time to one second because it authenticates sources even while ports are not active.

If you have multiple HDMI sources connected to a single TV, you know the lag time when switching sources can be painful - maybe four to seven seconds.

Silicon Image, developer of HDMI technology, now has a solution called InstaPort that can "reduce switching time to under one second," says Lew Pacely, DTV marketing director for the company.

"It works at least five times faster, and sometimes a little bit more."

The reason for the lag in the first place is that, because of content protection requirements, says Pacely, "We must authenticate the link before we can distribute content. It just takes some time."

Currently, authentication takes place only when an HDMI source is actively switched on.

With InstaPort, a new piece of technology allows inactive devices to begin the authentication process, and InstaPort "holds them in ready, even though they are not selected by the TV," Pacely says.

InstaPort can be implemented in a single chip and does not require extra processing power from the device itself.

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