Analysis

High-Definition Set-Top-Box Platforms to be demonstrated at MEDC in Las Vegas

5th May 2006
ES Admin
STMicroelectronics will demonstrate state-of-the-art product solutions that can address a variety of digital-consumer electronics market segments at MEDC (Mobile & Embedded DevCon), Las Vegas, May 8-11, 2006.
Developed in conjunction with Microsoft Corp., these new Windows CE-based platforms benefit from the combination of ST’s high-performance high-definition (HD) decoders and the flexibility of the component approach Microsoft is building for embedded systems.

This open Windows CE platform is a complete reference design that accelerates the development cycle and helps set-top box manufacturers deliver their products to market faster. In addition, the platform lowers bill-of-materials costs. Taking full advantage of Microsoft’s recently launched Windows CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack, ST’s base platform represents a ready-to-go solution that lets manufacturers expand their range of STB products by capitalizing on their previous efforts while benefiting from ST’s clear roadmap in powerful and market-leading high-definition Systems-on-Chip products.

Thanks to the level of integration of the STB7109 high-definition decoder, this platform delivers a cost-effective solution for consumer products requiring high-quality video and audio, high-speed interfaces, and secured connectivity. The STB reference design embeds a high-speed Ethernet interface that enables the STB to be a central part of the home network and adds greater connectivity through the availability of USB 2.0 host port and a serial ATA (SATA) port. Additionally, the design ensures secure connectivity through a high-speed digital copy-protected HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), allowing simple digital connection to any HD-ready flat panel display.

The new platform supports:

* Windows CE 5.0 and its Networked Media Device Feature Pack;
* HD audio and standard video formats VC-1, H264, MPEG2HD, Dolby +, DTS-HD;
* Windows Media Connect;
* Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10 for Networked Devices.

“Customization based on the Networked Media Device middleware and DVR engine found in the Windows CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack, coupled with ST’s highly integrated system-on-chips help streamline development, makes it easier for consumer-electronics developers to focus on product differentiation and innovation to build their next generation of cutting-edge networked media devices and IP set-top boxes,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager, Windows Embedded at Microsoft.

ST’s platform is a standard, complete and reusable high-definition solution, making it ideal for Networked Digital products and future HD-DVD (High-Density DVD) players. ST will supply these new platforms to consumer-electronics manufacturers to enable fast market delivery of appliances such as IP set-top boxes, Networked Media Devices, HD-DVD players, digital video recorders (DVRs), and more.

“Working with Microsoft, we have taken a major step toward providing consumer electronics manufacturers with a stable and cost-effective platform for the rapidly growing networked-DVR and IP-STB market,” said Christos Lagomichos, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Home Entertainment Group at STMicroelectronics. “Foreseeing the booming of the next generation of high-definition media, we are also closely paying attention to HD-DVD technology and already preparing for the next evolutionary step of this platform.”

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