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Video decoders target PVR-enabled STBs

Posted: 11 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STB? PVR? ARM? Conexant? MPEG?

Conexant Systems Inc. has introduced two video decoders for STBs enabled with personal video recording (PVR) used to receive HDTV programming in worldwide networks. The CX2427X and CX24500 are said to be the highest performance dual- and single-video decoders, and are based on a powerful ARM 1176 processor. To further boost performance, the devices include a DDR2 interface with unified memory and an integrated L2 cache.

The highly integrated CX2427X is an advanced dual-channel video decoder that features a powerful processor and next-generation memory technology. It is capable of decoding two HDTV programs simultaneously, and supporting PVR applications on up to two TVs. This eliminates the need for a dedicated STB receiver for each TV, enabling consumers to concurrently watch or record up to four different programs on TVs located in different rooms.

The CX24500 is a single-channel video decoder that is targeted at mass market STB devices with PVR support. It shares a common core architecture with the CX2427X, providing manufacturers with a cross-platform software solution that allows them to cost-effectively address multiple market segments.

Lower BOM
The devices have several integrated features that lower BOM costs, including three USB ports, integrated audio DACs, multiple video outputs including HDMI 1.3 with high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) 1.2, and two Ethernet MACs with a media independent interface (MII). This enables future expansion for networking technologies such as HomePlug A/V, MoCA or 802.11 wireless networking.

This HDTV video decoder family also features hard drive connectivity via two SATA-2 interfaces, including external attachment through eSATA-2 allowing cost-effective user upgrades. This high-speed, second-generation interface improves throughput performance, and is particularly important for PVR applications. In addition, an integrated V.92 hardware modem provides broadcasters with a high-performance and cost-effective solution for back-channel communication without the need for software modifications.

The flexible, multiformat CX2427X and CX24500 support key video compression standards including MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and VC-1. These technologies significantly improve bandwidth usage, which allows service providers to deliver more high-definition content using their existing infrastructure.

Maximum flexibility
Engineered to maximize design flexibility, the decoders also support a wide range of audio standards including aac, aacPlus, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Microsoft's WMA Pro. The device also supports worldwide broadcast formats including NTSC, PAL and SECAM, and multiple operating systems including Nucleus+ Linux and Windows CE.

Additional features include the latest advanced security technologies that significantly improve the ability of broadcasters to protect their service against piracy. Service providers also have the ability to personalize individual STBs with unique serial numbers and encryption keys to ensure the receivers will only function when deployed within their networks.

The CX2427X and CX24500 are sampling today with volume production scheduled for Q3 2007. The CX2427X is packaged in 913-pin BGA and is priced at $40 each in production quantities. The CX24500 is packaged in a 736-pin BGA and is priced at $30 each in volume quantities.

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