Conexant brings voice control to LG Uplus STBs

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
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Conexant Brings Voice Control Capabilities to Set-Top Boxes; LG Uplus First to Adopt

  • Eliminates Need for Remote Control; Enables Intuitive Searching and Navigation from Across the Room with Your Voice

IRVINE, Calif. — Conexant Systems, Inc., an audio and imaging innovation leader, announced that its high-performance far-field voice input processor system-on-chip (SoC) – the CX2092x – has been adopted by LG Uplus for its new line of set-top boxes (STB). The CX2092x gives users the ability to – for the first time ever – use their voices to control their STB from across the living room, without using a remote and regardless of background noise.

“Our customers have come to expect – and demand – increasingly advanced features from their electronics,” said Geon-Yeong Lee, IPTV service team leader, LG Uplus. “Speech recognition and voice control are penetrating a wide variety of appliances and electronics in the Smart Home and the STB is a critically important device in the connected home. We’re improving the way our customers interact with their TV.”

Leveraging Conexant’s AudioSmartTM far-field voice input processor, the CX2092x has the ability to cut through room noise, such as TV program audio and outside conversations, to enable clear voice communication and accurate speech control from up to five meters away. Say goodbye to the remote control. Embedded voice control capabilities alleviate the need for on-screen keyboards that require users to type by moving a cursor at a slow pace. Users can simply say, “Go to CNN” for easy, hands-free channel navigation.

Not ready to stop using the remote control? One of the ways in which LG Uplus is making use of the new chip is to give users the ability to locate their remote control using their voice. The CX2092x enables an ‘always listening’ mode in the STB, and a simple voice command prompts the remote control to start beeping – enabling users to find it.

It’s clear that set-top boxes are becoming mainstays of the modern living room. According to ABI Research’s “Set-Top Box and Home Networks Market Research” report, the worldwide STB market is expected to hit 265 million units in 2015. By managing commands such as changing channels, searching for programs and setting recordings, STBs are the central user interface for TV content, streaming content and more. Enabling the emerging trend for enhanced user controls through voice input, Conexant has added voice control to the STB, giving users a much faster way to search through an endless amount of content with just a few spoken words.

Conexant’s chip utilizes third-generation voice processing technology to deliver superior voice control with excellent speech recognition hit rates and voice communications with increased clarity in distant speaker or far-field conditions – up to five meters away. Achieving this in an STB is something that has never been done before, and Conexant overcame substantial technical hurdles to offer far-field voice capabilities in an STB.

“Voice control in an STB is a notoriously difficult proposition, as there are substantial challenges related to echo cancellation – which is what enables the ability to control the STB with your voice while the content is coming out of the TV speakers,” said Saleel Awsare, Conexant vice president and general manager. “Unlike any other solution on the market, our chip allows users to be at a far distance and at any angle relative to the product’s microphones with clear voice communication and accurate commands still possible.”

Conexant’s AudioSmart solutions offer the optimum mixed signal and DSP technology for high-fidelity voice and audio processing. Recognizing that voice is a natural extension of the user interface, the CX2092x combines an integrated DSP CODEC processor with powerful, efficient voice processing algorithms to create a true distant speaker voice processing solution for consumer electronics.

Key features of the CX2092x include:

  • Fully-integrated Wake-on-Voice solution with embedded third party speech recognition engine
  • Excellent speech recognition hit rate and clear voice quality
  • Compatibility with multiple leading speech recognition vendors
  • Reference design with pre-tuned “hidden” microphone module for industrial design esthetics and performance
  • Dual 24 bit ADC and microphone preamp with independent microphone bias supply

Part of the Conexant Smart Home portfolio, the CX2092x is available in a 60-QFN package. EVKs are currently available to qualified customers and partners for $500. Pricing starts at $5.18 each in 100K quantities.