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NY C85569

April 9, 1998

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:1:108 C85569


TARIFF NO.:8525.10.9090

Mr. William R. Palle
Matsushita Logistics Company
2 Panasonic Way
Secaucus, New Jersey 07094

RE: The tariff classification of an in-flight Audio/Video Entertainment System Units imported from Japan

Dear Mr. Palle:

In your letter dated March 6, 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 a Radio Frequency (RF) Distribution Amplifier, a Floor Disconnect Box, an Audio/Video On-demand Distribution Amplifier, MPEG Decoder/Modulator Unit and a Radio Frequency (RF) Modulator. These products are components of an in-flight entertainment system installed in a Boeing 747 that generally provide video, audio and telephonic interactive and passenger service functions.

The components are described as follows:

Radio Frequency (RF) Distribution Amplifier(RFDA) is an active 4-way 0 degrees RF Signal splitter. RF Video, Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) Audio signals from the Enhanced Passenger Entertainment System Controller (EPESC) are sent to the RFDA via a 50 Ohm coaxial cable. The signal is separated into low range and high range frequencies by a pair of high and low pass filters. The signals are amplified, recombined and split into 4 output signals.

Floor Disconnect Box (FDB) is a device which distributes power, audio, video and service data transmitted to and from the Area Distribution Boxes (ADB's) and Seat Electronics Boxes (SEB's) for up to 2 seat columns aboard the aircraft. Each FDB is capable of driving up to a maximum of 20 SEB's,(2-seat Audio Seat Electronics Box, 3-Seat Video-Audio Seat Electronics Box), with more than 15 SEB's attached per output.

Audio / Video On-Demand (AVOD) Distribution Amplifier: is a device which combines up to 6 RF inputs from the AVOD NTEG Decoder / Modulator Unit (MDMU) with an RF input from a Video Modulator Unit (VMU). It amplifies the resulting signal spectrum, combines this amplified signal with a Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) Audio Signal from the AVOD Audio Multiplexer and distributes this combined and amplified signal to 4 output zones.

MPEG Decoder/ Modulator Unit (MDMU) is the central part of each "string" within each set of equipment modules located in the Audio-Video On Demand (AVOD) System. The MDMU consists of 8 MDMU assemblies. Each decoder module assembly converts MPEG compressed data streams. Each MPEG Decoder Module Assembly consists of one Decoder Module Controller (DMC) which hosts 4 decoder modules. The DMC manages the transfer of compressed audio and video data via the interface bus from the Hard Disk Drive Array (HDDA) subsystem and its individual decoder modules, under the direction of the Video Server PC Control (VSPC). Each Decoder Module contains circuitry to decode one video channel and its associated pair of Left and Right audio channels containing an NTEG Video Decoder Processor and an associated 2 Mbyte DRAM Field buffer. It converts the NTEG compressed video data stream to an uncompressed CCIR 601 standard 4:2:2 digital video system. An NTSC Encoder, which decodes the luminance and chrominance data in the 4:2:2 video stream and generates an NTSC-compatible baseband video signal with sync and color burst information, and integrated MPEG Audio Decoder Processor and 2 Digital-to-Analog converters which convert the MPEG encoded audio stream into separate analog outputs for the Left and Right channels, a pair of 4 Kbyte first-in-first-out (FIFO) memories that buffer the asynchronous DMC and decoder module clock system and provide a conduit between the DMC and the decoder module's MPEG Video and Audio processors for the compressed video and audio data streams, control and status registers, and address decode and read/write control circuits.

RF Modulator is the only source and output, source selection, monitoring and Video Cassette Player (VCP) controller aboard the aircraft. It handles 6 VCP's and 1 AUX video signal input. The AUX signal is distributed to two video signal inputs and there are one video signal and two audio signals per each VCP'S. The RF Modulator unit transmits six channels of RF signals and has six ports of output for Video Zone Distributor. This unit has two AUX video signal outputs of which one is balanced and the other is unbalanced.

The RF Modulator receives monitoring information from the System Control Unit (SCU) and sends video and audio monitoring signal to the SCU, in addition to receiving VCP control information from the SCU. The unit receives BITE command from the SCU and sends BITE command to the Video Zone Distributor and sends BITE results to the SCU.

The applicable subheading for the Radio Frequency Distribution Amplifier, the Floor Disconnect Box, the Audio/ Video On-demand Distribution Amplifier, MPEG Decoder/Modulator Unit and the Radio Frequency Modulator will be 8525.10.9090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for ""[t]ransmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radio broadcasting 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: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther." The rate of duty will be 2.1 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 Michael Contino at 212-466-5672.


Robert B. Swierupski

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