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NY C83598

February 6, 1998

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:1:108 C83598


TARIFF NO.: 8525.10.3035

Mr. William R. Palle
Customs Compliance Manager
Matsushita Logistics Company
Two Panasonic Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094

RE: The tariff classification of In-Flight Entertainment System Components from Japan.

Dear Mr. Palle:

In your letter dated January 20, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Matsushita Avionics Systems Corporation (MASC). Your request follows a previous on-board equipment demonstration and technical discussions with representatives of your company.

The subject merchandise consists of the Video System Control Unit (VSCU), the Video Modulation Unit (VMU), the Tapping Unit (TU), the Video Distribution Unit (VDU), and the Video Interface Unit (VIU). These products are components of an in-flight entertainment system installed in a Boeing 747 and generally function as modulators, transmitters, and distributors of radio frequency signals to the other components of the system.

The Video System Control Unit (VSCU) collects all video- audio, entertainment audio and video compact disc (CD) programs and distributes them to the seat distribution network via the Passenger Entertainment System Controller (PESC) aboard the aircraft. Control of the video cassette players (VCP), CD players, video modulator units, tapping units, and video distribution units is also provided through the VSCU. The VSCU receives a radio frequency (RF) video signal from the VMU, which is the modulated video input for all the VCPs. It is combined with a pulse code modulation data stream which contains the digitized audio from the CDPs and VCPs, and sends the composite signal to the PESC, and ultimately to the seat network.

The Video Modulation Unit (VMU) receives and modulates composite baseband video signals (NTSC or PAL) from the VCPs. These video signals are converted (modulated) to RF carrier frequencies for transmission to the Enhanced Area Distribution Boxes (EADBs) and Video Distribution Units (VDUs) located throughout the aircraft cabin. The VMU also modulates Camera video from the cameras and Airshow video from the Digital Interface Unit. The VMU communicates with the VSCU using an RS-232 Interface. The VSCU sends the video carrier frequency channel assignment to the VMU and the VMU can place a video signal on any one of twelve carrier frequencies. The VMU reports channel frequencies and fault status the the VSCU.

The Tapping Unit (TU) is the overhead distribution unit for video. It distributes baseband video to the monitors and liquid crystal displays (LCDs) aboard the aircraft. It demodulates the RF carrier video to provide baseband video for display by the monitors. The TU provides three video outputs. Each TU can tune to one of the RF video frequencies. Each of the three video outputs contains the same video signal. The TU communicates with the VSCU via an RS-485 data bus. The VSCU tells the TU which video channel to demodulate and which monitor port(s) and video display(s) to turn on/off.

The Video Distribution Unit (VDU) demodulates the RF carrier video to provide baseband video for display by the monitors aboard the aircraft. The VDU provides four video outputs and can demodulate two RF video carriers. The RF video is sent to the Input Card (IC), where it is sent to a directional tap. This tap splits the signal into two identical signals, one of which is routed to the RF video through for output to the next VDU in line while the other is fed to the tuner ICs. The tuner ICs pick a channel from the video signal and output it as an IF signal. These signals are amplified and run through a filter, then demodulated into baseband video dsignal. The signals are routed to the video card where an analog switch selects either one of the outputs for the display devices in use utilizing command signals from the (internal) microprocessor. The analog switch output is fed to the video line driver for delivery to a display device. The Video Interface Unit (VIU) modulates baseband video signals received from the VCPs, Airshow, and other video sources and distributes modulated RF to display devices, including projectors and LCD displays, and to the seats. It also receives analog audio inputs for system distribution. The primary function of the VIU is to interface 12 video sources and the Video Distribution Units. The VIU modulates and multiplexes 12 composite baseband video inputs into three identical CATV RF signals and distributes them to the VDUs.

The applicable subheading for the Video System Control Unit, Video Modulation Unit, Tapping Unit, Video Distribution Unit and Video Interface Unit will be 8525.10.3035, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "[t]ransmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras or other video camera recorders: [t]ransmission apparatus: [t]elevision: [o]ther: [o]ther: [c]onverters, decoders, preamplifiers, line amplifiers, distribution amplifiers, and other amplifiers; directional couplers and other couplers; all the foregoing designed for cable or closed-circuit television applications." The rate of duty will be 2.2 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Harvey Kuperstein at 212-466-5672.


Robert B. Swierupski

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