News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Satellite STB streams HD video to smartphones

Apr 12, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 23 views

Marusys is shipping a Linux-based, PVR-ready satellite set-top box (STB) with a DVB-S/S2 tuner and HDMI output. The initial MS630S and MS850S versions of the DVB-S/S2 HD PVR receiver design are equipped with a Magnum Semiconductor DX6225 transcoder chip, and offer HD recording, as well as WiFi streaming to the Apple iPhone.

The NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show is under way in Las Vegas through April 15, so one can expect a few Linux-related A/V and digital-broadcast announcements this week. The new Marusys satellite STB was announced at the show's launch Magnum Semiconductor as a design win by for its DX6225 transcoding chip. The DX6225 offers multi-format transcoding of HD video, supporting MPEG-2, VC-1, and H.264 formats, says the company (see farther below for more on the DX6225).

Marusys MS630S
(Click to enlarge)

Marusys does not list the main processor or memory used by the MS630S or MS850, but it has posted other specs for the two Linux-based, satellite set-tops. Both STBs are said to offer "zapper" functionality. A zapper is said to be a satellite tuner that does not incorporate the Multimedia Home Platform (DVB-MHP) open middleware system standard designed by the DVB project for interactive digital television.

The STBs are also said to offer WiFi streaming to the Apple iPhone, according to Magnum, although Marusys does not tout this issue on its website.

Marusys MS630S

The MS630S is equipped with a DVB-S/S2 tuner and supports DVB teletext and subtitle capabilities, says Marusys. The STB offers a digital picture viewer with slide show effects, a music-player with plug-in application support, and a UPnP renderer that enables it to work as a client STB of the MS850S, says the company.

Rear view of the MS630S

(Click to enlarge)

The MS630S is equipped with a 10/100 Ethernet port, supporting remote video play, as well as a USB 2.0 Host port. The latter supports WiFi dongles, and offers basic PVR (personal video recorder) functionality via a USB-attached hard disk drive (HDD), says Marusys. A SATA port is also said to be provided for HDD storage.

A/V features include HDMI output, as well as S/PDIF out for digital audio, including Dolby AC-3 Bit Stream audio, says the company. Judging from the photo above, the device also provides component video out, as well as analog video I/O. In addition, the MS630S offers a 12-digit alphanumeric display, and is said to consume less than one Watt in standby mode.

Marusys MS805S

The MS850S, meanwhile, similarly offers the DVB-S/S2 decoder. It decodes MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video at up to 1080i quality with CCIR 601 (720 by 576 lines) resolution, says Marusys. The box is also said to decode AC-3, MPEG-4, and MPEG-1 audio.

The PVR-ready box is touted for its advanced EPG (electronic programming guide) features, server and client STB functions, and support of open source PC media players like XBMC. In addition, it is said to provide access to websites including YouTube and Flickr.

Marusys MS850S
(Click to enlarge)

The MS850S offers a 10/100 Ethernet port, and three USB 2.0 ports, one of them front-facing. Other front-facing I/O includes dual Conax smart card slots, and two "common interfaces," says Marusys.

In addition to the Ethernet port and dual USB 2.0 ports, rear-panel I/O includes HDMI, SPDIF, and several analog outputs for video and audio, says the company. The STB is also said to offer four F-type sockets for Sat-IF I/O, as well as dual Scart sockets for TV/VCR connections.

Rear view of MS850S

(Click to enlarge)

The 14.96 x 11.02 x 2.36-inch (380 x 280 x 60mm) MS850S consumes 30 Watts under typical operation (60 W maximum), as well as a half Watt under standby, claims Marusys. A 16-digit dot-matrix display is also said to be supplied, along with a remote.

Magnum DX6225 transcoder

The DX6225 transcoder chip found in both of the Marusys STBs provides multi-format transrating and transcoding of HD video, says Magnum Semiconductor. The chip can transcode HD video from MPEG-2, VC-1 or H.264 to H.264 or MPEG-2 HD video in real-time, claims Magnum. The chip is also said to support faster-than-real-time transcoding of SD MPEG-2 video streams to SD H.264 streams.

The chip is able to convert to mobile media player resolutions "at very low bit rates without compromising video quality," claims Magnum. As a result, the Magnum DVB-S/S2 HD PVR receivers can use WiFi to stream content to the Apple iPhone, says the company.

An optional add-on USB transcoder codec (transcodec) co-processor device works together with the DX6225 to offer H.264 High/Main Profile interlaced tools such as MBAFF. Other encoder features are said to include VBR and CBR rate control.

The DX6225 is said to reduce bit rates to allow for cost-effective flash-based storage of SD and HD video streams for mobile devices. The chip offers device adaptive streaming, enabling dynamic changes in compression parameters to compensate for changes in available network bandwidth, claims Magnum. Such compression techniques are said to enable longer recording times without increasing HDD or flash memory costs.

Stated Yong Gyu Park, CEO at Marusys, Korea, "The DX6225 allows us to extend our leadership in the satellite receiver PVR market with our MS850S and MS630S products by offering the best user experience in terms of video quality, recording time and freedom to not only decide when, but also where to watch their favorite broadcast programming in the home."


Marusys offered no pricing or availability information on its MS850S and MS630S versions of its DVB-S/S2 HD PVR receiver STB design. However, the MS630S set-top is listed by Fudzilla as being available for 300 Euros, here, apparently without an HDD, and Skinflint shows the MS805S available for 400 UK Pounds, here, when equipped with a 1TB HDD.

More information on the MS630S may be found here, and for the MS850S, here.

The DX6225 transcoder is currently shipping in volume, says Magnum Semiconductors. More information on the DX6225 may be found here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.