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Has anyone compared these two sets or have a clue as how they compare to each other? Though I do not support DVI/HDCP/5C, I don't want to spend $4,000 on an HDTV and not be able to watch 1080i programming in a year. It also sounds like DirecTV will be or already is supporting DVI (see press release from DirecTV.com below). From the specs of both sets they seem about equal except the Sony has two firewire ports.

Thank you in advance.



Satellite and Cable TV Industries Announce Support for DVI (Digital Visual Interface) in New HDTV Set-Top Boxes

Cross Industry Acceptance from Leading Cable and Satellite Providers, Consumer Electronics Manufacturers and Content Providers to Benefit up to 85 Million* TV Households

El Segundo, CA, Jul 25, 2001 -- In a move that promises to significantly enhance home entertainment for consumers across America, a number of leading industries announced today their support of Digital Visual Interface (DVI) with high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) for transmission from set-top boxes and television monitors for high definition video content. Supporting the new protected digital interface are CableLabs®, DIRECTV, Inc., EchoStar's DISH Network, the Fox Entertainment Group, Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Thomson multimedia (NYSE: TMS) and Warner Bros.

Industry-wide support for the new protected interface will ensure consistent standards and foster greater availability of high definition video content with optimum viewing for up to 85 million television viewing households in the United States, as well as high definition set-top boxes and display devices.

DVI/HDCP delivers video in an uncompressed format and therefore supports real-time complex graphics displays and user interfaces found in program guides and other interactive features for high-definition digital television. The sheer capacity delivered via the DVI connection permits display devices to fully support features developed by content and set-top box providers that enrich and enhance the overall user experience.

Satellite Industry Supports DVI

Beginning next year, all DIRECTV-licensed consumer electronic manufacturers will begin to incorporate a DVI connector with high-bandwidth digital content protection into new DIRECTV-enabled high definition digital set-top boxes.

"Cross-industry acceptance of DVI/HDCP ensures both content providers and set-top box and display device manufacturers the flexibility of securely offering more high quality, high definition content, which ultimately benefits the consumer," said David Baylor, executive vice president, DIRECTV, Inc. "DIRECTV has taken the initiative to support this new digital interface to ensure that there will be a greater selection of high definition content and digital receiving devices available to consumers in the future."

EchoStar's DISH Network is also a proponent of DVI in its HDTV satellite TV receivers.

"DISH Network is already working to incorporate a DVI with high bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) in our next-generation HDTV set-top box," said Dave Kummer, senior vice president of Engineering at EchoStar. "In fact, DISH Network was the first satellite TV provider to demonstrate DVI technology in satellite TV receivers at the 2001 International Consumer Electronics Show in January."

Kummer adds, "DVI with HDCP will be a key component to expanding DISH Network HDTV programming and equipment offerings that allow for digital video recording (DVR) and web browsing functionality by providing uncompressed video data to the television monitor. If the connection from the set-top to the TV were limited to only 1394CP (5C), these functions would be much more difficult to achieve."

DISH Network does recommend the use of 1394CP (5C) as the interface between recordable high definition devices while DVI/HDCP should become the standard for connection to the display device.

"The addition of DVI in both set-top receivers and digital HDTV displays is important to the consumer because it opens new opportunities for expanded availability of HDTV programming," said Thomson's Tim Saeger, vice president Research & Development. "We view the addition of DVI as an enabler for viewers to access the best of satellite home entertainment with the most realistic video performance available today."

Andy Paul, senior vice president, Government Affairs of the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association, said, "The DVI standard will allow the satellite industry to provide its ultra-high digital picture resolution and delivery to a multitude of uses and formats for digital home distribution. Adoption of the standard is a clear win for consumers. It will give them increased flexibility and enable even greater program quality and enjoyment in the digital home video environment."

Cable Industry Incorporates DVI

"A commitment to DVI/HDCP adds to the flexibility of the cable industry's digital platform by expanding the set of digital interface capabilities supported by cable," said Dr. Richard R. Green, president and CEO of Cable Television Laboratories (CableLabs). "The support of real-time complex graphics displays and user interfaces will greatly facilitate the cable customer's ability to find and enjoy the broadest array of high definition television and interactive services delivered by cable, and the HDCP technology supports a key cable goal of maximizing availability of high-value content to customers. We believe support of DVI will complement the cable industry's support of the 1394 interface with 5C copy protection, which dates back to 1998. Cable is still committed to the 1394/5C interface, and intends to support both DVI and 1394/5C on set-top boxes designed for connection to high-definition television sets."

Content Providers Applaud Adoption of DVI

Support for HDCP-protected DVI interconnects is growing among the content production industry.

Andrew G. Setos, executive vice president of News Technology and senior vice president, Broadcast Operations and Engineering of the Fox Entertainment Group companies said, "We applaud the adoption of digital protected links. The arrival of DVI using HDCP to the existing 1394 using DTCP technology provides the designers of systems which deliver high level content to consumers a choice of protected connections - each optimized for different applications - and frees them of reliance on the unprotected component analog technology of the past. Everyone wins as consumer expectations for high quality images and functionality will be met, and at the same time these technologies will protect the content they carry."

Phil Lelyveld, vice president of Digital Industry Relations at The Walt Disney Company added, "Secure interconnections such as HDCP are important elements of an overall content delivery system, addressing a key need in the development of new channels for high quality digital content delivery."

"By providing a secure connection for high quality high-definition television delivery into new digital TV's, HDCP is the important link that opens up exciting new program choices for consumers," said Chris Cookson, executive vice president/chief technology officer for Warner Bros.

"Adoption of HDCP is a double plus - a plus for consumers and a plus for content providers," stated Jared Jussim, Sony Pictures Entertainment's executive vice president, Intellectual Property Department. "HDCP establishes a secure digital uncompressed link between the set-top box and the television receiver. This is an important link in the digital home network, one that will enable content providers to supply high definition quality entertainment and will enable consumers to enjoy that content."

*Estimated number of satellite and cable subscriptions in the United States.

Source: Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. estimates.


Copyright 2001 DirecTV, Inc. All rights reserved.
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