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Microsoft, Cisco, Motorola announce next generation STB

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MUMBAI: Software major Microsoft and set-top box manufacturers Cisco Systems, Motorola, Philips and Tatung have announced that advanced system-on-a-chip (SoC) set-tops are available.

This product will the companies state enhance the Internet Protocol television (IPTV) user experience and is now available to support Microsoft IPTV Edition software platform deployments with leading telecommunications carriers worldwide.

An integral part of the IPTV ecosystem, SoC set-tops will enable service providers to begin delivering high-definition TV (HDTV), digital video recording (DVR) and picture-in-picture functionalities as well as other advanced features in the future, enhancing consumers’ television-viewing experience.

This new generation of SoC-based, HD-capable, IPTV-ready receivers makes it easier for service providers to deploy IPTV Edition more broadly, quickly and cost-efficiently while supporting exciting new TV services. The availability of these devices illustrates the continued innovation of Microsoft and its IPTV Edition ecosystem partners in the telecommunications and digital television industries.

Microsoft TV division GM marketing Christine Heckart says, “The advent of system-on-a-chip set-tops is a key milestone for the IPTV industry. As our service provider customers are beginning worldwide deployments of IPTV Edition, and set-top partners are unveiling these advanced devices, consumers will be able to experience television in a new, exciting way. This milestone is a testament to the remarkable progress our IPTV ecosystem has made in just a few years, and it will pave the way for service providers to deliver richer TV services at a lower cost.”

Cisco says that its proven history of IP innovation gives it IP expertise and successful IPTV deployments, which it is able to share with its service provider partners. Cisco IP set-top models, which will be deployed by customers including AT&T, support experience-enhancing features such as high-definition TV, DVR, integrated home networking over coax and user-friendly displays. Models are available with appropriate connectors and features for markets around the globe. Cisco offers models that include silicon from both Sigma Designs Inc. and STMicroelectronics.

Motorola says that its heritage of invention for the connected home has resulted in over 48 million video entertainment devices being shipped to service providers worldwide. The company’s VIP series of SoC-based set-tops are engineered to meet the needs of service providers deploying the Microsoft IPTV Edition system. These solutions seamlessly bring the advanced IP services into any room in the house, including on-demand services, DVR and support for HDTV codecs, as well as forthcoming IPTV Edition features such as multiroom streaming and home media networking. Motorola VIP series set-tops are currently shipping in volume to leading providers worldwide, and the company has announced that AT&T will be the first service provider to commercially deploy these products.

Philips has introduced a hybrid IPTV-DTT set-top box supporting Microsoft IPTV Edition with HDTV and DVR functionality based on the Sigma Designs 8634 chipset. This product will be launched by British Telecom later this year. Tatung meanwhile will introduce its STB2000 series SoC-enabled set-top boxes based on the Sigma Designs 8634 chipset later this year.

The new STB2300 model is an entry-level IP set-top box that not only supports two high-definition decoding engines for MPEG2, H.264 and VC-1, providing decoding flexibility, but also supports advanced features including HDTV, video on demand (VOD) and high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI).

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