Legend Silicon Brings ATSC Broadcast Reception One Step Closer to Cars & Mobile Devices

Monday, November 21st, 2011

SuperTV technology accelerates broadcasters’ ability to reach TV-viewing consumers in their cars and on mobile devices, no changes in legacy ATSC TV signal transmission required

FREMONT, Calif. — Legend Silicon Corp., a leading technology company delivering semiconductor solutions for the global Digital TV (DTV) market, today announced SuperTV™ technology critical to solving diversity and mobile reception issues inherent in the U.S. legacy Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) Digital Terrestrial Broadcast (Free-to-Air) market. No diversity or mobile reception solutions currently exist in this space, thereby limiting the delivery of free (advertiser-supported) television broadcast in 1080i resolution beyond fixed, stationary DTV with roof-top antennas. SuperTV accelerates and makes possible a higher level of mobility ultimately paving the way for car TV and mobile TV reception of legacy over-the-air (OTA) ATSC television broadcasts throughout the United States.

“We believe SuperTV will usher in a new era for OTA TV broadcasting industry in the U.S. where mostly indoor-viewing of legacy ATSC TV will be expanded to car TVs, tablet PCs and other mobile devices,” said Raj Karamchedu, Legend Silicon Corp. Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Product Marketing. “Moreover, expanding TV viewership in this way will have a positive impact on advertising revenue as mobile audiences with personal TV devices will have on-the-go access to the local television signal in full HD. Another game changer will be SuperTV reception technology co-existing with the reception of the emerging ATSC Mobile standard whose target markets are smart phones with screen sizes smaller than tablet PCs.”

By way of background, U.S. legacy ATSC broadcasts use single-carrier technology with an 8-VSB modulation scheme. Unlike the multi-carrier DTV standards of other countries, such as China’s DTMB standard (uses a combination of single-carrier and multi-carrier technologies), or Europe’s DVB-T and Japan’s ISDB-T standards in which mobile TV reception isn’t an issue, no commercially feasible solution is available in the U.S. for the mobile reception of legacy ATSC television signals. This stems from the fact that smooth DTV reception in a mobile environment, e.g. car TV, not only requires more than one antenna at the receiver, but often three or four antennas as is commonly seen with car TVs in Japan. Additionally, a receiver must combine separate signals at the antennas effectively for maximum performance, i.e. no reception blind spots, incorporating a special technique known as maximal-ratio combining (MRC).

At the core of SuperTV technology is Legend Silicon Corp.’s patent-pending MRC diversity technology for single-carrier terrestrial television broadcasts. First developed to solve the issues that surround the high-performance car DTV reception of single-carrier OTA broadcasts of the China DTMB standard, SuperTV technology is already in mass production in Legend Silicon Corp.’s dual-mode terrestrial-cable DTV demodulator for national CTTB standard broadcasts in China. Legend Silicon Corp. is also a co-inventor of China’s GB20600-2006, the national standard for DTV broadcast (also known as CTTB or the DTMB standard).

Legend Silicon Corp. is currently developing a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-based demonstration system for live car TV reception of legacy ATSC broadcasts for the U.S. market. This demonstration platform is expected to be available in Q1 2012.

According to Thomas Adam, Head of Development, Tuner Systems, Hirschmann Car Communications, “Legend Silicon Corp.’s SuperTV technology is quite impressive. With single-carrier reception in car TV it is possible to drive more than 160km/h without any disturbances in the picture. Even under bridges we’ve experienced single-carrier reception without any disturbances in picture quality.”

Hirschmann Car Communications develops car TV and car radio boxes that are built into German premium automobiles. The China models of these global premium car brands are all equipped with Legend Silicon Corp.-based Hirschmann car TVs. Hirschmann Car Communications is based near Stuttgart, Germany.

“Receiver sensitivity is the key problem that we focused on,” said Dr. Lin Yang, Legend Silicon Corp. co-founder, Chief Technology Officer and inventor of single-carrier MRC diversity technology. “Sensitivity performance is especially critical for urban vehicular TV reception in single-carrier mode. With our breakthrough SuperTV technology for the first time our customers can enhance picture reception quality by simply adding more antennas. Now, it’s just an issue of cost-effective end-system development costs versus picture quality and no longer a technology-enabling issue.”