Kaon Media selects MaxLinear for Latin America hybrid satellite-terrestrial STB

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
MaxLinear logo

New high-definition television (HDTV) set-top box (STB) for pay TV operators features MaxLinear MxL683 single-chip silicon tuner-demodulator; supports single cable installations

CARLSBAD, Calif. — MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL), a leading provider of integrated radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for broadband communications applications, today announced that Kaon Media has selected its MxL683 silicon tuner-demodulator device for a new, hybrid direct-to-home (DTH) satellite + terrestrial set-top box (STB) platform for the Latin America pay TV market.

Pay TV operators in Latin America are increasingly integrating ISDB-T broadcast receivers in existing STB platforms to capture the growing number of high quality high-definition (HD) channels that are broadcast over the air in many cities. The operator’s costs to combine and re-transmit these signals over the existing satellite network can be prohibitively expensive. By integrating the ISDB-T tuner in the STB, satellite operators can free up valuable satellite bandwidth for additional pay TV channels and still offer packages with the “must have” local HD channels.

A key feature of Kaon Media’s new hybrid STB is its support for single-cable installations in which the satellite and terrestrial antenna feeds are combined onto a single cable from the rooftop to the STB. Homeowners prefer single-cable installations because they reduce the number of unsightly cables in the home. Single-cable installations also reduce installation costs for pay TV operators.

The radio-frequency (RF) design of hybrid STBs can be challenging for manufacturers because the satellite and terrestrial receivers must simultaneously receive the desired channels while also rejecting the strong, undesired interference signals. When both satellite and terrestrial RF signals are carried on the same cable, terrestrial tuners must have excellent harmonic rejection and linearity performance. In multiple-cable installations, a costly discrete filter is often required to improve the STB performance.

As 4G/LTE mobile broadband services become widely deployed throughout Latin America, interference with digital STBs will be a serious concern for both pay TV operators and TV/STB consumers. The Kaon Media STB, based on MaxLinear’s market-leading MxL683 receiver, is designed to handle strong and impulsive LTE signals while still achieving excellent protection ratio with high linearity.

“The MxL683 was designed to handle a wide variety of interference signals,” said Brian Sprague, Vice President and General Manager, Broadband and Consumer Products at MaxLinear. “This is at the core of our CMOS radio architecture and it’s the reason we excel in applications that require excellent performance and low cost.”

“Kaon Media is pleased to select MaxLinear as its technology partner for ISDB-T,” said Jeff Kim, Director of Sales, Kaon America Latina LTDA. “The MxL683 device performance enabled us to bring to market an extremely advanced hybrid STB solution with minimal RF engineering effort and risk.”

Technical Highlights

The MxL683 is a highly integrated, single-chip ISDB-T compliant receiver with best-in-class RF tuner and demodulator performance. The MxL683 offers the highest level of integration and the lowest power consumption of any ISDB-T solution in the market. Unlike other competitive devices, MxL683 has been extensively field-tested and optimized to ensure robust over-the-air TV reception in the difficult terrestrial reception environments commonly found throughout Brazil and Latin America.

Kaon Media’s new high-definition STB features integrated ISDB-T terrestrial, DVB-S2 satellite, and Home Phoneline Network Alliance (HPNA) receivers. The HPNA receiver provides access to a broadband network and enables service providers to offer “triple play” video, voice and data services with a single STB.