Polaroid Selects Qpixel's Industry-Leading H.264 Codec for Its Freescape™ Set-Top Box

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008
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Polaroid Selects the QL201B for its Advanced Features, Low Power Consumption and High Quality Video

LAS VEGAS — Qpixel Technology, an innovator in video compression silicon and software solutions, today announced that Polaroid adopted Qpixel’s QL201B for its new line of Freescape™ set-top boxes. Polaroid chose Qpixel for its market-proven products, advanced encoding capabilities, and feature-rich H.264 compression technology. When used as a companion to the main set-top box decoder, the QL201B enables advanced new features including high-quality analog recording, higher efficiency PVR storage, and content reformatting for H.264 enabled portable media players.

Set-top box manufacturers have traditionally focused on the decoding capabilities of their system and on integrating more functionality and higher performance into the main video decoding module. But now, with the addition of a high-quality compression engine inside the set-top box, there are new opportunities for several value-add features. By using Qpixel’s Main Profile H.264 standard definition encoder, system designers can achieve very high-efficiency PVR recording by converting the original MPEG-2 encoded broadcast content to H.264, and thereby increasing storage efficiency by an average of 2.5 times.

The analog recording capability allows User-Generated-Content to be stored on the STB PVR, thereby centralizing the storage and simplifying the management of both commercial and personal content. In addition, QL201B’s configurable compression parameters enable the set-top box to process any content on the PVR and convert it to a format suitable for playback on popular portable media players such as Sony’s PSP and the Apple iPod.

“The introduction of the Freescape™ set-top box family marks a milestone for Polaroid,” said Jon Pollock, Vice President and General Manager New Technology, Polaroid. “Our objective was to enter the set-top box market with world-class products created by market leaders. Qpixel had the market credibility, the leading-edge technology, and the support infrastructure we expect in a semiconductor supplier.”

The new set-top box from Polaroid uses system software from Avtrex to manage the video capture, transcoding, and device synchronization process, providing a very user-friendly and easy-to-use customer experience. “Our focus here at Avtrex is on developing industry-leading software for a new generation of smart entertainment products,” said Steve Francis, CEO and President at Avtrex. “Our success heavily depends on close cooperation with leading silicon vendors, such as Qpixel, whose products are at the heart of next-generation digital entertainment devices. Their support has been tremendous.”

About QL201B

The QL201B, Qpixel’s second-generation H.264 codec, was introduced at CES 2007 as the industry’s lowest-power standard definition H.264 ASSP with full-feature Main Profile capabilities. Since then, several top-tier consumer electronics and communication companies have begun using the chip in a variety of digital home applications, including flash-based video camcorders, set-top boxes, media servers, and portable media player cradles. For digital home applications, QL201B enables a wide range of capabilities including higher efficiency storage, place-shifting for in-home media distribution and remote viewing of personal content, reformatting content to enable viewing on various portable devices, as well as analog recording and video chat used in social networking applications.