MaxLinear and Realtek target reference design at 4K UHD satellite PVR market

Monday, September 12th, 2016 
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Reference Design from MaxLinear and Realtek Targets 4K Ultra HD PVR Set-Top Box Market for Satellite Pay-TV Operators

  • Solution combines four-channel tuner and Wi-Fi so that small- to medium-size satellite operators can offer the latest technology and high-end services to price-sensitive subscribers

AMSTERDAM — RAI, IBC Exhibition — MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL), a leading provider of radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for cable and satellite broadband communications, the connected home, data center, metro, long-haul fiber networks, and wireless infrastructure, and Realtek Semiconductor today announced a set-top box (STB) reference design that enables satellite pay-TV operators to deploy multichannel Ultra HD broadcast services in a low power, cost-optimized form factor.

The reference design combines the MxL541C, MaxLinear’s Full-Spectrum Capture™ (FSC™) four-channel, Unicable satellite receiver, with Realtek’s 4K/UHD system-on-chip (SoC) and RTL8812 2×2 802.11ac wireless transceiver. The solution provides four satellite tuners to watch, record and stream multiple channels simultaneously.

The reference platform supports the latest high-efficiency video coding (HEVC/H.265), ultra-high definition (UHD) “4K” video display, H.264 1080p encoding, and high dynamic range (HDR) technologies in a very cost-effective, small form factor design. The platform is able to support all of the leading conditional access (CAS) solutions as well as Linux- or Android-based middleware solutions from leading vendors.

The platform supports a “fast channel change” feature that reduces channel tuning times to less than half a second on average, compared to three to four seconds on most existing high definition (HD) satellite STBs in the market. The MxL541C tuners can be dynamically allocated to the fast channel change function when not used for viewing, streaming or recording channels.

“This reference design is a response to a significant trend in the market for higher-quality video and feature-rich satellite services,” said Angus Lee, Chief Product Line Officer at Realtek. “Our Realtek 4K/UHD platform is a single-chip SoC solution with a complete set of connectivity, security, video decoding functionality and video features like DTV recording and time shifting. To be combined with another highly integrated chip from MaxLinear makes for a very compelling STB design.”

“Demand for broadcast 4K content and multiscreen viewing is driving the need for new PVRs and media servers,” said Will Torgerson, Vice President and General Manager, MaxLinear Broadband Group. “MaxLinear’s scalable frontend solutions are enabling the leading satellite pay-TV operators to deploy feature-rich services to their subscribers with minimal capital expenditures.”

Availability

The joint reference design platform is available now to selective customers. It will be on display at IBC 2016, September 9-13, in MaxLinear’s private suite at the Holiday Inn Amsterdam.

Technical Highlights – MxL5x1C

The MxL541C FSC satellite receiver supports a single satellite RF input, 950MHz – 2150MHz, with four DVB-S2/S satellite demodulators and flexible transport stream outputs. The MxL541C is pin-compatible and software compatible with MaxLinear’s MxL581C, which supports up to eight satellite tuners. This enables flexible set-top box designs that can support different tuner configurations with common hardware and software.

The MxL5x1C devices support Unicable installations, which simplifies the home installation process and can significantly reduce deployment costs. The devices integrate DiSEqC 2.0 and FSK control interfaces, which allow the STBs to be connected to a wide range of satellite low-noise block (LNB) down converters, including universal, Unicable, SatCR and digital channel stacking switch (dCSS) LNBs.

The MxL5x1C devices come in a low-cost 10mm x 10mm QFN package and are currently shipping in mass production.

Technical Highlights – Realtek 4K/UHD platform

The Realtek 4K/UHD SoC is a highly integrated device for STB and OTT products requiring DVB-C,-T,-S/S2, DTMB reception/recording, UHD/HD media playback, wireless/wired networking applications and mass storage. Main features of the SoC include an ARM quad-core CPU and powerful 3D GPU, UHD HEVC/VP9 decoder, HD AVC/VC-1 decoder, HDR10 function, DTV recording & time-shifting, AV streaming/transmission via Ethernet and Wi-Fi, HDMI transmitter and receiver, USB3.0/USB2.0, Gigabit Ethernet MAC and PHY, and state-of-the-art security design. The platform can also support Realtek in-house 1×1/2×2 even 4×4 802.11ac Wi-Fi as well as any market proven Wi-Fi module.