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HD cable converter box SoC supports China AVS

Posted: 31 Mar 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cable converter? DVB-C? tuner? demodulator?

Broadcom Corp. has released a low-cost, high-definition (HD) DVB-C digital cable converter box SoC solution featuring an integrated DVB-C tuner and QAM demodulator, and HD advanced video coding (AVC) support covering MPEG2, VC-1 and China's audio/video coding standard (AVS). As the momentum to deploy HD programming in China intensifies, the Broadcom BCM7580 DVB-C HD cable converter box solution enables Chinese cable providers to more cost-effectively offer subscribers HDTV programming and two-way interactive services.

With AVS support, the new BCM7580 SoC solution further supports China's advanced video decoding format in low cost HD STB platforms. The China government plans to convert 174 million households to digital programming before 2015, paving the way for the expanded network capacity needed to provide additional HD content and advanced services, according to BDA market research.

In July 2009, China's Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) established a model network for the Next Generation Broadcasting (NGB) initiative, The NGB is a broadcasting network based on digital cable TV and mobile broadcasting technology that is expected to support 200 million subscribers by 2020, according to iSuppli.

SARFT offered nine additional full HD channels in September of 2009, increasing the HD channels on China's mainland to 12. This has paved the way for HD market takeoff in China in terms of content, according to BDA.

With a highly integrated, scalable and cost-effective design, the BCM7580 reduces design complexity, size, and overall system costs to enable greater deployment of HD digital cable converter boxes throughout China.

Broadcom's BCM7580 is also touted to be the first HD digital cable SoC solution to combine an integrated DVB-C RF tuner, dynamic power management, an MPEG2/AVC/AVS HD decoder, HDMI, Ethernet and USB, connectivity, a smartcard interface, flash and DDR2/3 functions.

The integrated DVB-C tuner features the latest RF tuner technology that is based on prior generations of Broadcom's field proven set-top box solutions targeted for China. The integrated HD AVC/AVS support is based on Broadcom's HD decoder technology. The integrated dynamic and very efficient power management controllers are capable of managing and turning off unused system components in real-time.

In addition, the integrated USB ports support flash/HDD drives and digital video recorder functions using external hard disks (with time-shift functionality) while also supporting pushed video-on-demand services. The integrated Ethernet port supports Chinese cable interactive services, either as the interface to Broadcom's DOCSIS modems or to Ethernet over cable modems. While the integrated HDMI and component output supports HD displays.

"We expect to nearly double the number of free HD channels available in China by the end of this year, and we look forward to significantly increasing the subscriber base for HD programming in China in the next two to three years," said Zhang Zhijian, former vice chief engineer of SARFT, president of the technical research committee, China Radio and TV Association. "With cost-effective and highly integrated HD digital converter box technology, such as Broadcom's BCM7580, we can provide the best possible performance-to-cost ratio and accelerate the time-to-market for HD TV broadcasts."

"The BCM7580 digital converter box solution leverages our proven track record and leadership in designing and deploying advanced RF tuner technology and high definition solutions in China and throughout the world," said Charlie Lou, product line manager, Broadcom's cable broadband line of business. "By achieving very high levels of integration, including a cable tuner, AVS support and interactivity in a single-chip, we are enabling Chinese cable providers to cost-effectively transition their subscribers directly to HD digital TV programming for a high quality entertainment experience."

The BCM7580 is sampling to STB manufacturers.

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