New Remote Technologies to Control Smart TVs

With Internet-connected flat TVs and set-top boxes, we can now use browse the web and play games. But the traditional remote is not up to the task and new solutions are needed to interact with smart TVs and internet STB such as gesture recognition,  wii-like remotes and tablet/smartphone control. A few companies showcased their solutions at IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) 2011, which took place between the 9th and 13th of September 2011 in Amsterdam: PrimeSense Gesture Recognition PrimeSense, an Israel-based company known for its range image sensor embedded in the “Kinect” motion-based controller for Xbox, began to promote the sales of its range image sensors to TV and STB makers.  PrimeSense ran a prototyped UI software on a notebook PC and controlled the UI by using a gesture recognition device connected to a PC. The UI can be operated by moving a hand. You can then control TV screen like the touch-sensitive screen of a smartphone or tablet. It is …

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Chumby NeTV: Open Hardware and Software STB

Althought not officially announced, Chumby is currently developing a Linux-based IPTV media player that can be remotely controlled by a Wi-Fi connected Android device. It will be offered as an open development platform where both software and hardware will be made available to developers. NeTV is built around a Marvell Armada 166 processor clocked at 800 MHZ (88AP166 – Armada 100 Family) with 2GB RAM, a MicroSD slot and Wifi. The media player is powered via micro USB and comes with a 7-button IR remote, although you might prefer to use your Android device to control the device via a WiFi connection.  NeTV STB supports  HD resolution (480p, 720p & 1080p24 “True Cinema”). On the software side, NeTV provides what they call “Smart Event Display” that allows you to receive personalized internet news via Twitter, Facebook and other internet news source. Android users can also enjoy seamless SMS and email updates on their news banner. Users will also be able …

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Netgem N7500 & N9700 Media Centers and N8400 Media Server

Netgem will be present at IBC 2011 in Amsterdam this week. They have updated their website this week, where we can see their current Sigma Designs platform such as the N5200 Internet OTT adapter  and N8200 Media Center as well as the new platform based on Broadcom solutions namely: N7500 Media Center based on Broadcom BCM7230 with 1 Tuner and flash storage N8400 Media Server based on Broadcom BCM7413 with 2 to 4 tuners and HDD. In a separate presentation, they also mention the Netbox N9700 which will be released in 2012. There is no mention of the processor used (probably Broadcom) , but the device will support Netgen nCloud Core features (IPTV, Broadcast TV, Pay TV and PVR functions) and nCloud Advances features (Broadcast to 4/6 screens, download to own, download to go, multimedia NAS and convert media to mobile). You’ll also be able to play games (Gameloft) and do video conferencing via Skype. Their software platform (nCloud) is …

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Low Cost Android Set-Top Box based on HiSilicon Hi3716C

Shenzhen Coolech Technology showcased an Android 2.2 Set-top box (Android Deluxe) powered by HiSilicon Hi3716C – a SoC designed around single core ARM Cortex A9 – at IFA 2011 in Berlin. This STB comes with 2 USB host port, 1 USB device port, composite and HDMI video output,  SPDIF optical output, an Ethernet port and a SD Card reader. Here are the technical specifications of Android Deluxe set-top box: Description Operating System  Android 2.2 Processor  High-performance core solo ARM Cortex A9 processor 1GHz Hardware JAVA acceleration Graphic Unit  Enhanced full-hardware 2D/3D graphics acceleration engine, OpenGL Video Connections  HDMI1.4; CVBS; Audio Connections  HDMI1.3; Stereo; Optical S/PDIF  AC Adapter  Input: 100-240V           Output: 12V/3A  SATA Interface  SATA II x1 or eSATA x1 USB Interface  USB 2.0 Host x2; USB 2.0 Device x1 (Option: USB 3.0 Device)  SDIO Interface  8-bit SD input/output x1  DVB  Two DVB Channel with PVR Network Interface  10/100 Mbit/s adaptive Ethernet port Wi-Fi dongle supported (Option: Build-in Wi-Fi)  Opertaing Temperature  5℃-38℃ …

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Toshiba STB Stor-E TV Pro powered by Rockchip RK2918

IFA 2011 will officially start today (2nd of September) in Berlin until the 7th of September. But Toshiba has already showcased some of its products including the media player Toshiba STOR.E TV PRO powered by Rockchip RK2918 processors (ARM Cortex A8). This media player will allow any television with an HDMI port to have all the features of recent smart televisions. The STOR.E TV PRO has one HDMI output (1080p), 3 USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, Wifi support, Bluetooth support (for the remote), a USB device port and a 2-in-1 card reader. Both sides of the remote can be used, there is a “dumb” side (my words) with 2 buttons and the arrow keys and the other side features a full keyboard. The set-top box will have the usual features such as video playback, picture display, music playback and web browser (based on webkit) with Adobe Flash Plugin 10.2 support. But it also has a video conference option that …

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Dvico TViX XROID A1 Specifications, Firmware and Manuals

Back in November 2010, Sigma Designs and Dvico announced the first Android Set-top Box based on SMP8656 series would be available by Q1 2011. However, porting Android to a media player platform is rather time consuming and TViX XROID A1 is not yet available (August 2011). Digital Versus got a pre-release version, but the firmware is still not stable enough for them to provide a meaningful review. Dvico has nonetheless setup a webpage for XROID A1 with the specifications, features, firmware and user manual for the lucky ones that could get a pre-release hardware. Here’s a summary of the specifications: Main Chipset Sigma Design SMP8657 + Android 2.2 (Froyo) Memory Main: 512MB DDR SDRAM / Flash: 512MB Maximum Resolution up to 1920 x 1080P Video Formats (Containers) MKV, AVI, VOB, ASF, WMV, MPEG1/2/4 Elementary, MPEG1/2 PS: M2P, MPG, MPEG2 Transport Stream: TS, TP, TRP, M2TS, MTS, MOD, and TOD, ISO, IFO, MOV (H.264), MP4, .MKV, .mpg, .avi, .wmv, .divx, .vob, …

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Ali M3701G: New MIPS based STB SoC

Ali, a Taiwan company, manufacturer of chips for multimedia devices such as DVD player , Set-top boxes, media player has recently announced a new chipset for DVB STB based on MIPS architecture called the M3701G. Here’s an excerpt of MIPS press release (25/04/2011) for this system on chip: MIPS Technologies, Inc.announced today that Taiwan’s ALi Corporation based its new system-on-chip (SoC), which is targeted for the emerging “triple play” market, on the popular MIPS32® 24KEfTM core. MIPS32 24K® cores are widely used across the globe in digital home and networking products including broadband access devices, digital televisions, set-top boxes, and digital media players. … With a hybrid design for DVB-C HD / DVB+IP dual-mode operation, the new M3701G chipset from ALi is targeted for products that support triple play services, such as the next generation of networked media players and set-top boxes. … The M3701G chipset is available now from ALi. It includes support for MPEG-2/4, H.264, AVS (Audio Video …

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ARM Based Android Set-Top Boxes at China Content Broadcasting Network Exhibition

The 19th China Content Broadcasting Network Exhibition (CCBN 2011) took place on March 23 – 25 2011 at the  China International Exhibition Center in Beijing. During this event, numerous Android STB were showcased with processors from several vendors. Trident Microsystems PNX8400 Trident Microsystems demonstrated their Cortex-A9 Apollo/Shiner SoC family, the PNX8400, which included all the major building blocks needed to develop Next Generation Broadcasting (NGB) solutions.  NGB is a government initiative for smart tv in China. On 24th of March 2011, Trident Microsystems also announced that its STB SOCs were selected for the first trial deployments of NGB in China. LG (LG Smart Box) and Cycle Century demonstrated their Android based cable STB using Trident Microsystems NXP8400. This stb supports DVB, Conditional Access, 1080p video streaming, a browser with an Apps store, 3D gaming and VoIP. To see more about Trident Microsystems Android STB have a look at the video below recorded at CES 2011. HiSilicon Hi37xx HiSilicon had several …

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