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LinuxTV 2.0 STBs and SoCs pending

Sep 25, 2003 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 13 views

German digital TV specialist Galaxis will soon ship the first set-top box (STB) based on LinuxTV 2.0, a software stack from Convergence that supports the Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) interface. Additionally, Galaxis revealed plans to build future LinuxTV 2.0 based STBs incorporating a new system-on-chip (SoC) processor from Toshiba.

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This month, Galaxis will deliver its first LinuxTV STB for the consumer market, an inexpensive STB for satellite reception powered by NEC's EMMA2 STB SoC. Galaxis said the new LinuxTV STB will network with PCs via USB, Ethernet, and Firewire, and will support recording of digital TV on external or internal hard drive (not included). The box will also serve as an DSL router and radio. By Christmas, Galaxis plans to expand the LinuxTV platform into a comprehensive product series.

Galaxis is already providing cable network operators with customized versions of its LinuxTV set-top boxes, and a Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) compatible version of Galaxis is being implemented successfully in Scandinavia, the company says.

The Galaxis website lists the following features for its “LinuxTV C” (subject to change):

  • MHP-ready middleware LinuxTV 2.0 by Convergence
  • NEC EMMA2 Chip (200 MIPS), 16 MB flash and 32 MB SDRAM
  • connectivity: USB 1.1, Ethernet 10/100base-T, common interface
  • enhanced EPG, high speed videotext, subtitling
  • internet-routing: DSL access via PPPoE, TCP/IP, DHCP
  • ready for most internationally established CA systems
  • picture-in-picture functionality

Toshiba “Donau” SoC for STBs coming soon

Toshiba says its “Donau Family” of single-chip LinuxTV 2.0 systems for digital TV will offer consumer electronics manufacturers flexibility and cost advantages in products ranging from basic “zapping boxes” to high-end MHP-devices with hard drive storage, personal digital video recording, and comprehensive connectivity. The chips are based on high performance MIPS TX49 RISC processor cores with up to 215 millions of instructions per second, the company says, and provide full support for the LinuxTV 2.0 operating system.

Galaxis hopes to be among the first manufacturers to deploy Toshiba's new single chip solutions. “LinuxTV is increasingly adopted by the chip industry”, said Frank Fischer, Galaxis technical director, “The integrated single-chip solutions by Toshiba are a reliable, flexible and cost-effective market drivers for digital and interactive TV.”

LinuxTV 2.0 for MHP

The LinuxTV operating system was developed for the interactive digital standard MHP, and is characterized by a high level of stability, software security and variety of applications, according to Galaxis.

LinuxTV supports digital reception via cable, satellite and DVB-T. It provides recording and playback on the hard drive and DVD. The software supports pay TV, video-on-demand, and interactive television, as well as internet and DSL based applications. LinuxTV was designed to be compatible with USB, Firewire, Common Interface, Smart Card reader, Ethernet, AC 3, internet router, WLAN, and Bluetooth interfaces. LinuxTV from Convergence is typified by detailed menu structures and user interfaces, and a versatile program guide which also controls the recording function, according to Galaxis.

“LinuxTV from Convergence allows us total flexibility in the conception and production of set-top boxes”, explains Galaxis director Winfried M. Klimek, “This system meets the highest standards of software security and stability while at the same time allowing for the networking of digital TV, home video, digital imaging and the world of PC and internet based applications.”

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