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MediaTek points out key DTV trends of 2013

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DIAL? 4K x 2K? HTML5? NFC? digital TVs?

The bellwether of the consumer electronics industry today is no longer either Sony or Panasonic. That title now belongs to the Taiwan-based consumer chip company MediaTek.

MediaTek, backed up by a large customer base including both handset and TV OEMs/ODMs throughout Asia, is today in a rare position: other than Samsung, perhaps no other company is positioned to speak authoritatively on how things developed in handsets will dictate features and functions that must go into a new generation of digital TVs.

EE Times met with MediaTek President Ching-Jiang Hsieh and saw some of the demonstrations at the company's private suite during the recent International Consumer Electronics Show.

Eight hot features, identified and pitched by MediaTek, are likely to drive global consumer system designs in 2013. They include: multi-screens in the living room, DIAL, 4K x 2K, HTML5, Near Field Communications (NFC), fast boot time, quad-core/higher GPU and HEVC (H.265).

During the interview, Hsieh stressed how quickly the HEVC codec will become a critical element in smartphones, tablets and TVs. He also said that 4K x 2Kan emerging ultra-high resolution standardis already a "very important marketing tool for branded customers.

Hsieh also laid out that smart TV is still evolving, requiring OEMs and ODMs to follow multiple routes to get there. These include a smart TV dongle, a smart TV set-top, Linux-based smart TV and fundamental support for HTML 5, he said.

Among the plethora of new features, one area MediaTek is very keen on pushing is the multi-screen scenario in the living room.

MediaTek claimed an industry's first by integrating Miracast-certified Wi-Fi display technology with NFC to seamlessly connect a smart TV with the latest MediaTek quad-core smartphone platform. "With a simple tap of the device, it is possible to wirelessly stream HD quality video and other multimedia content from mobile and other devices onto big screen HDTVs without connecting through an access point," according to the company.

DIAL: 'Killer app'

MediaTek, however, wants to go a step further. The company believes the ace in the hole in popularizing such a multi-screen scenario rests on DIAL, an emerging open protocol that's been quietly developed by Netflix and YouTube.

DIAL, which stands for "discovery and launch," enables second-screen apps on smartphones. The technology can discover DIAL-ready first-screen devices (i.e. smart TVs) in the same network and launch apps on them-without requiring a manual launch or pairing process by the user.

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