STMicroelectronics Supports Drive into Interactive Television with HbbTV Demonstrator

Thursday, September 10th, 2009 
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Demonstrator platform to debut at IBC 2009 (Amsterdam, September 11-15, 2009) will present open platform to access richer digital viewing

GENEVA — STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a leading provider of ICs for set-top boxes (STBs), has completed a demonstrator platform for next-generation STBs capable of receiving interactive digital television services via broadcast or broadband Internet connections, and will demonstrate its solution at its private suite at IBC 2009 in Amsterdam, September 11-15, 2009.

ST’s platform supports the Pan-European HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband television) initiative, which aims to harmonize broadband and broadcast delivery of entertainment to end consumers through connected TVs and set-top boxes. HbbTV is designed to operate without a single controlling authority or aggregator, and is also being considered by various European regulators to support advanced digital services in the future.

By consolidating access to high-definition broadcast video, high-quality broadcast audio, and Internet-based media, as well as supporting enhanced interactive capabilities, in a single device, hybrid HbbTV STBs and TVs will enable service providers to enrich customers’ digital viewing experiences and to create new revenue streams. Consumers will be able to use their TVs to access online Web-based services, such as news or travel and weather forecasts, or video-on-demand (VOD), catch-up TV and social networking applications, in a similar fashion to the way they can access these services now on their broadband-connected PCs.

As one of the first reference platforms to support this next-generation hybrid connectivity, ST’s platform is welcomed by the HbbTV group, which includes among others Astra, Ant, IRT, Philips, OpenTV, Canal+, France Television and TF1, and AFDESI (Association for the Development of Enhanced TV services and Interactivity). ST’s HbbTV reference platform provides the foundation for STBs combining a DVB-T/T2, DVB-S/S2 or DVB-C receiver as well as broadband Internet connection.

“ST’s demonstrator platform, in conjunction with HbbTV, allows hosting of advanced interactive applications providing seamless access to broadcast and Internet-based services,” said Eric Jumelet, Group VP of ST’s Home Video Division, Home Entertainment and Displays Group. “With this platform, ST is showing its commitment to support a common standard for interactive set-top boxes.”

ST has demonstrated this reference platform by building on its established technologies for interactive STBs. The platform chipset is based on ST’s proven STi7109 H.264/VC1/MPEG4 HD decoder IC, which supports IP (Internet Protocol) connections. Platform features include full Digital Video Recording (DVR) capabilities, flexible audio/video decoding, IP Video-on-Demand (VoD) and browser support, and support for all interactive services and modern connectivity requirements. As an open platform, this solution may be ported to any suitable middleware. It will be demonstrated at IBC with middleware combining web and TV applications, developed by Hyperpanel Lab.