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Dolby Laboratories, Texas Instruments Connect Personal Computers to Home Theaters

Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments Incorporated announced that they have jointly sponsored the design and development of a device that allows consumers

Dolby Laboratories and Texas Instruments Incorporated announced thatthey have jointly sponsored the design and development of a device thatallows consumers to easily connect PCs with 1394 connectors to theirhome-theater systems.

The FireWire-S/PDIF converter allows Dolby Digital and PCM audio tobe transferred from a network of IEEE 1394 devices (which may includelaptops and desktop PCs) to the S/PDIF connection commonly found ontoday’s home audio equipment. This allows music and gaming enthusiaststo play back popular stereo and multichannel 5.1 computer music files,such as MP3s, AAC and WMA, through their home-theater systems fromtheir PCs. A prototype implementation of this design was shown at TexasInstruments’ booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) inJanuary.

The converter, created by Island Digital Media Group, consists of anIEEE 1394 connector at one end and a coaxial S/PDIF connector at theother. It requires no additional wires if power is available from the1394 cable, though a DC connector is available on the device for anexternal power supply, if needed. The device runs on a TexasInstruments iceLynx-micro (TSB43CB43A) chip.

According to Bob Brummer, director of technology strategy at DolbyLaboratories, “Because Dolby is prevalent in both consumer electronicsand PC entertainment, Dolby Digital is an obvious choice for compellingaudio entertainment that can bridge the gap between these environments.As home networks grow in popularity, PCs will play a more prominentrole as home entertainment platforms. Simplifying and enabling theconnection of PCs to traditional CE devices gives the consumer new waysof enjoying music and gaming entertainment.”

Parties interested in bringing this design to market should contactIsland Digital Media Group at 206/463-6667, or via e-mail at [email protected]. Visit Texas Instrumentsand Dolby Laboratories online at and