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HDTV security system unveiled

The High Definition Multimedia Interface for digital-TV sets and the
consortium behind it were officially introduced Tuesday, promising to provide
secure, uncompressed video and audio to the consumer digital-TV or HDTV set.

Security is a key issue in the delivery of easily copied digital content.

The consortium is composed of manufacturers; Hollywood studios Fox and
Universal Studios; direct-broadcast satellite providers DirecTV Inc. and
EchoStar Communications Corp.; and Silicon Image Inc., a chip manufacturer that
spearheaded the consortium.

Intel Corp. is also involved, providing high-bandwidth digital-content
protection (HDCP) security for the HDMI.

'The industry would prefer to solve its own problems, and this is one example
of that,' said Steve Tirado, chief operating officer of Silicon Image, the chip
manufacturer that spearheaded the effort. 'The industry has come together and
found something that I think solves some of the issues.'

Prototypes of the technology are expected to be seen at the Consumer
Electronics Show next year.

Tirado said the technology is a complement to fire wire. Unlike HDMI, fire
wire can allow for copying of material.

'We're not saying we're solving every problem,' he added. 'We're securing the
information from the source device to the television, and there will be other
solutions out there for PVR [personal video recorders], etc.'