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Satellite STB runs Linux

Sep 11, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 47 views

LyngBox Media is shipping a Linux-powered set-top box (STB) designed for European satellite TV enthusiasts. The IP-ready LyngBox combines an HDTV receiver/recorder, dual DVB-S2/DVB-T tuners, and a 160GB hard drive, and offers daily updates to LyngSat Network's worldwide satellite programming guide, says the Swedish… company.

(Click for larger view of the LyngBox)

LyngBox (front)

The LyngBox is said to handle both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 streams, and decode H.264/MPEG-4 AVC in HDTV resolutions. It also supports DVB-T (terrestrial) and DVB-S2 (satellite) transmission formats, says LyngBox. Additional features include Dolby Digital and JPEG support.

The LyngBox maintains an internal database of satellite programs, with room for up to 50,000, LyngSat says. The database is automatically updated daily, via a Web services connection to LyngSat Network's “LyngSat Guide,” a website currently claimed to offer schedules for some 24,1977 satellite TV and radio programs around the world.

The LyngBox also keeps an internal database of technical information about satellite channels, also sourced and automatically updated each day from the LyngSat Guide. Technical information is said to include satellite frequency, polarity, SDTV/HDTV, encryption, language, and country, as well as footprint maps of satellite beams. Updating such information automatically saves the user from having to go online to restore service when satellite channel signals are lost due to a change in transmission configuration, LyngBox says.

On the other hand, users can use a PC, and the Guide website, to remotely schedule recordings, after entering their box ID, LyngBox says. The device's 160GB hard drive can record up to 40 hours of HDTV or 120 hours of SDTV.

Inside the LyngBox

The LyngBox is equipped with an unnamed, STMicroelectronics (ST) CPU with one 266MHz core and two 384MHz cores, says LyngBox. It is likely the STi7111 SoC (system-on-chip) announced in January, which combines a MIPS64-based CPU core with an HD-ready decoder, network interface, and an integrated demodulator, enabling it to handle satellite transmissions as well as IP network input, according to ST.

LyngBox (back)

The box offers 96MB of RAM and 32MB of flash. It has an Ethernet connection, as well as four USB 2.0 ports. A/V input/output includes digital HDMI, component, SCART, composite, optical S/PDIF, and analog stereo.

The following specifications are listed for the LyngBox:

  • Processor — STMicroelectronics CPU with 3 x cores (1 x 266MHz and 2 x 384MHz)
  • Memory — 96MB
  • Flash — 32MB
  • Storage — 160GB hard drive
  • PVR — records and stores up to 40 hours HDTV or 120 hours SDTV
  • Networking — 1 x 100BaseT Ethernet
  • USB — 4 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Display — OLED display showing channel, program, and other status
  • Video resolution — 576i, 576p, 720p, and 1080i
  • Video formats — H.264/MPEG-4 AVC; MPEG-2; DVB subtitling; teletext
  • Audio formats — MPEG-2; Dolby Digital (downmix)
  • Image formats — JPEG
  • Video output — HDMI; Component (Y-PB-PR); SCART; Composite; 16:9 and 4:3 formats
  • Audio output — Optical S/PDIF (PCM or Dolby pass-through); analog stereo (2 x RCA)
  • Satellite input:
    • DVB-S and DVB-S2
    • Modulation — 8PSK, QPSK
    • Symbol rate (Msymbols/s) — DVB-S 1-45; DVB-S2 10-30
    • Frequency range — 950-2150Mhz
    • DiSEqC — 1.1 and 1.2
    • LNB voltage — 13/18 V
    • Tone control — 22kHz
    • C and Ku band support
    • DiSEqC 1.2 motors support

    Terrestrial input:

    • Frequency bands — UHF, VHF
    • Channel bandwidth — 7MHz, 8 MHz
    • Antenna power — 5 V
    • Nordig compliant
    • Antenna output (pass-through)
  • Universal remote — operates LyngBox, TV, and DVD; supports wireless keyboard accessory; 2 x AA batteries
  • Other features — expansion slot for tuner card; 2 x Common Interface slots for conditional access
  • Cables — HDMI, Ethernet, power, terrestrial antenna
  • Power — AC 85-265V; 50/60Hz frequency
  • Dimensions - 15.1 x 3.3 x 10.1 inches (384 × 83 × 256mm)
  • Weight — 8.4 lbs (3.8 kg)
  • Operating system — Linux with proprietary LyngBox software

The LyngBox runs an undisclosed version of Linux, along with a proprietary software stack, according to the company. It says there “are currently no plans” for enabling new software to be added to the system.

According to Opera Software, the LyngBox also runs its Opera web browser. This week at the IBC show in Amsterdam, Opera is demoing its software on the LyngBox, and is announcing version 9.6 of its Linux-compatible Opera Devices Software Development Kit (SDK). A video tour of the new Opera SDK, which adds a new “Opera Zoom” feature that is said to offer smooth panning and zooming, should be available here.


The LyngBox is available now for an undisclosed price in a number of European countries, says LyngBox Media.

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