Instaprevue and MHL now available
June 2012 - We recently had a chance to meet with and see some of the new display and video technology from Silicon Image. Their technology shipped around 50M devices in 2011 and are projecting 100M devices in 2012 from manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Sharp and Toshiba in addition to being part of new marketplace products such as AVRs from Onkyo and the Sharp BD player and Roku Stick.
The first technoloy we saw was the update on the MHL display interface. This bring high resolution video, up through 1080p and multi-channel sound, from a mobile device via a light self powered cable to a large screen display. This technology is also being used with pico-projectors and large format projectors. The MHL technology, an overview of which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV8EfJwkWxU supplies power to the Android mobile device through the cable from the line-cord connected device. The technology is now being used by game developers to create true dual screen based gaming that can utilize the motion interface of the mobile device as a controller.
At this time, the MHL interface supports up to 8 bit 1080p video with 8 channel digital sound, and will be improved in the future to support both deeper bit depth video and resolutions through 4K and stereo 3D. The MHL technology and its associated SDK was recently updated to support remote control capability so the display remote can send information and manage the mobile device while connected.
To bring enhanced functionality and convenience to their HDMI platform, they have introduced a new technology called InstaPrevue. HDMI is currently the dominant inter-device interface port for flat panel displays in the consumer sector. As the interface has taken off in popularity, a large number of devices feature multiple HDMI ports (typically 2 to 4). With these multiple inputs avaiable, they created a “picture in picture” style visual interface to show the content that is available from these alternate sources rather than relying on the 1970's era text labeling for the port which requires changing to the new input to view the content. A video of the interface and some of the styles of GUI that are possible can be seen at http://www.siliconimage.com/technologies/index.aspx?Page=23&Section=1.