Samsung TVs get faster HDMI switching

Posted 15 April 2010 01:14 CET by Jared Newman

Can’t deal with the seconds of lag that occur when switching between HDMI signals on your television? Samsung’s got an answer.

Silicon Image announced that Samsung will be the first TV maker to use its InstaPort S technology, which cuts HDMI switching lag down to one second. Silicon Image claims that most other televisions take four to seven seconds to switch between HDMI devices.

HDTVs experience lag when switching between signals due to High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, a form of copy protection for audio and visual connections including HDMI. InstaPort handles HDCP authentication in the background for all connected devices, so less time is needed for copy protection when you switch signals.

InstaPort S will be used in Samsung’s flagship line of 3D LCD and LED televisions (as long as you’re not too drunk to watch), though Silicon Image didn’t specify model names or numbers. Hopefully, the one-second switching of InstaPort S won’t be limited to 3D televisions.

Though the “S” model of port switchers is new, and faster than ever, InstaPort has been around and is used by other manufacturers including Sharp and Toshiba. In January, Silicon Image announced that it has shipped over 20 million InstaPort-enabled processors, featured in over 125 digital televisions. So while Samsung appears to have first crack at the latest technology, I suspect it won’t be long before other manufacturers follow.

Obviously, a fast transition from one HDMI port to the next isn’t the first thing you should consider when purchasing a television — unless you’re really impatient — but it’s something to watch out for if you plan to connect multiple game consoles and set-top boxes. Those four to seven seconds can add up if you’re scrolling down a long list of ports.


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