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STB reference design runs Linux

Nov 27, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Visioneering Corp. and DigiLink Software announced the availability of a compact hardware/software reference design for an IPTV set-top box (STB). The design runs MontaVista Linux on Visioneering's TI DaVinci-based Sonata STB hardware platform, and comes with DigiLink's Linux-based software stack, codecs, and… development kit.

The reference design is claimed to be capable of displaying high-definition multimedia content up to 720p resolution. Supported codecs include H.264, WM9, VC-1, MPEG4, and MPEG2. Options include 802.11g WiFi, videoconferencing, video capture, and digital video recording (DVR) capabilities, the companies said.

The design appears to be based on a relatively high-end model in Visioneering's Sonata STB line, announced last year. The model used in the design is powered by a TI TMS320DM6446 DaVinci digital media processor, and includes PC-style I/O such as Ethernet and USB 2.0.

TI's TMS320DM6446 DaVinci processor

On the software side, the design runs an unspecified version of MontaVista's Linux distribution and device drivers, together with DigiLink's DME (digital media elements) application stack. Said to have been tuned specially for DaVinci, and to come with development tools and sample applications, the DME stack comprises:

  • Four major labrary groups, each with its own application-specific API:
    • Media application (MapLib)
    • Media signal processing (MspLib)
    • Networking (NetLib)
    • Graphics user interface (GuiLib)
  • A/V codecs for H.264, WM9, VC-1, MPEG4, and MPEG2
  • A file container
  • Media Framework said to support MPEG-2 program and transport streams, as well as the MPEG-4 format and audio/video synchronization
  • “DME-FLV Player,” claimed capable of rendering user-generated Flash content, such as YouTube videos

DigiLink's DME media suite architecture
(Click to enlarge)

Stated Dr. Karl Zhao, President of DigiLink, “We can provide a compact, cost-effective and customizable solution for equipment manufacturers that need to quickly develop IPTV products.”


The Sonata reference designs appear to be available now. Visioneering did not disclose pricing information.

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