DTV & STB tech
Set-top box & Digital TV dev process highlights
The STB is a device capable to receive video content via DVB standard and display it on TV. The development of IP networks and broadband/ADSL made possible to deliver a high-quality video content through IPTV set-top boxes.
Here we describe the main aspects of hardware development in STB & Digital TV area. We'll focus on DTV standards, STB classification, and the overview of SoC manufacturers for STB.
All set-top boxes can be divided into four major groups depending on source of digital TV signal:
- STB for terrestrial digital video broadcast (DVB-T)
- STB for satellite digital video broadcast (DVB-S)
- STB for cable digital video broadcast (DVB-C)
- IPTV set-top boxes receiving video streams via IP network (Ethernet or Wi-Fi)
Set-top boxes with MPEG-2 transport stream support are quite widespread in Europe and USA. However in Russia it is planned to step right into MPEG-4 (H.264), which provides better compression ratio comparing to MPEG-2. Usually, STB consists of:
Overview of processor manufacturers for STB
Being oriented to the mass-production consumer electronics, STB chipset manufacturers are forced to integrate more peripherals in a chip and to produce lower cost single chip solutions for BOM reduction and cutting price of a final STB device.
Usually, the chip inside STB consists of 3 or more cores: a general purpose application processor and additional DSP-like cores dedicated to audio and video decoding. Let's give a short overview of major semiconductor companies which produce processors (system-on-chip) for set-top boxes:
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Our case-studies in Digital TV and Online Video
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