Pace debuts high-end games on HD set-top box

Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Pace plc logo

Games@Large project showcases potential for game streaming around the home

Pace plc (LSE:PIC), the leading developer of digital TV technologies for the payTV industry, today unveiled a new HD (high definition) set-top box designed to make games developed for the PC accessible in the living room. Developed as part of the European Union-funded Games@Large project, the Pace device demonstrates how consumers can play quality PC games through the set-top box, using a combination of game servers and streaming technology. The demo will be running on Pace’s stand at the IPTV World Forum – 89, Olympia National Hall.

Many payTV operators offer games services, typically downloadable PC games, to their customers, yet these are only playable on a PC and are not compatible with the set-top-box. To make games more accessible, Games@Large has developed a platform which separates game presentation from game execution, allowing games to be played on a host of different end devices.

In the Pace demo, game-play is streamed to the set-top box from a central server within the home (usually the PC), meaning consumers can access and play games through the set-top box, wherever it is located. In addition to traditional video compression, the Pace set-top box uses 3D graphics streaming technology which enables superior resolution and places less demand on the games server, by making use of the 3D graphics capability incorporated into modern set-top box chipsets.

“The set-top box remains the cornerstone of digital entertainment in the converged home; it is robust, secure, increasingly connected, and high definition,” commented Dr. Paul Entwistle, Chief Technologist, Pace. “Pace has always been at the forefront of digital TV innovation, enabling payTV operators to offer the most compelling services through the set-top box. By building this latest innovation into the set-top box, we can enable payTV operators to provide high-end games to their customers and further increase their footprint throughout the home.”

This innovation builds upon two important set-top box trends that Pace is pioneering; connecting to broadband and driving home entertainment convergence. Pace is a world leader in hybrid set-top boxes, which combine broadcast payTV with broadband services, such as VoD (video on demand), and has recently launched its ‘Whole Home’ content sharing solution, which delivers fully featured HD payTV to all the displays within a home. By opening up access to the Internet through the set-top box and connecting devices together within the home, future developments could include game caching and games on-demand. Pace’s Whole Home solution also offers the potential to stream games around the home using the operator-managed home network.