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Chromatic Research Inc has announced that Compaq Computer Corp is the latest customer for its Mpact media processor technology and will use it in its Compaq PC Theatre 9100 offering for the playback of Digital Video Disks. Chromatic already has similar deals with Micron Electronics Inc and direct sell personal computer company Gateway 2000 Inc (CI No 3,187). Chromatic’s technology is designed to enable PCs to decode the video and audio data stored on Digital Video Disks; and the company claims its product is the only DVD accelerator that is software- upgradable. Mpact enables real-time digital control over brightness, colour, and contrast and includes technology called AVsync for exact synchronization between audio and video. Other features include full-screen MPEG-2 video at 30 frames a second, six channel Dolby Digital sound audio decoding and the Content Scrambling System for decoding of Hollywood movies. Mpact was developed by Chromatic in partnership with Toshiba Corp, SGS- Thomson SA, and LG Semicon Co, with Chromatic responsible for development of the Mpact media software that drives the processor. The group faces competition from IBM Microelectronics, which introduced its own DVD playback product back in July, and Intel Corp, which has promised a rival offering due for release next year.

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