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Some DVD players to add digital photo and audio applications

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Some DVD players to add digital photo and audio applications

Old 01-08-02, 02:19 PM
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Some DVD players to add digital photo and audio applications

DVD Players to Add Digital Photo, Audio Apps
January 8, 2002 08:00 CDT

In an attempt to exploit the trend to make DVD players a consumer platform for embedded applications, Planetweb Inc. on Monday announced design-wins with two DVD player manufacturers at the Consumer Electronics Show. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Apex Digital Inc. will both use the company's software in upcoming DVD players.

Embedded applications designed by Planetweb, and previously ported to various DVD chip sets, will "allow consumer OEMs to turn their DVD player in a living room into an easy-to-use consumer system to view, print or e-mail digital photos, or to copy and playback MP3 files without using a PC," Ken Soohoo, president and chief executive officer of Planetweb told TechWeb.

Samsung told TechWeb that it will embed Planetweb's Digital Photo Manager and Digital Audio Manager applications into a range of DVD players slated to ship later this year. Additionally, Apex has also licensed the Digital Photo Manager application for use in at least two DVD player models planned for delivery this March.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the DVD player is "the fastest selling consumer electronics product of all time," having penetrated a third of U.S. households in four years. With dozens of competing DVD players sporting similar features and playback capabilities, "consumer OEMs need to look for ways to differentiate their products," Soohoo added. "As we looked for the most popular applications, we found that moving digital photography into a family room has tested very highly with consumers."

In addition, a growing number of consumers own digital cameras and enjoy their instant nature, they are still uncomfortable with digital photography in general due to the complexity of moving images from a camera to a PC or printer after downloading drivers and taking other necessary steps, Soohoo told TechWeb.

In contrast, a DVD player with a USB connector and a slot for a memory card will let consumers view pictures instantly on a large-screen TV, create slide shows or simply print photos to an enabled USB printer, Soohoo continued. In the same way, Planetweb's Digital Audio Manager can be embedded into a DVD player to "allow new digital audio to move into a family room where a stereo system lives," Soohoo told TechWeb, enabling a DVD player to play files through an audio jukebox, or to copy and play back MP3 files.

Planetweb's embedded software already runs on a variety of DVD player chip sets, including those of LSI Logic Corp., Zoran Corp., National Semiconductor Corp., Cirrus Logic Inc. and VMLabs Inc. The software requires a small footprint, Soohoo added, noting that Digital Photo Manager requires a DVD player with "less than 2 Mbytes of flash, 1 to 2 Mbytes of run-time memory, and roughly 6 Mbytes of memory for staging a digital photo image shot by a 3-megapixel camera, for example."

The total cost for a consumer OEM to add a digital photography playback capability to a DVD player is "less than $10" per unit, including the cost for a USB connector, additional memory and a licensing fee paid to Planetweb, TechWeb reports.
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Old 01-08-02, 02:24 PM
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As this release invokes a DVD hardware discussion over one pertaining just to DVDs, moving to the DVD & Home Theater Hardware forum.

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