Horizon rolls multi-standard HDTV transcoder

MUNICH, Germany — In today's triple- and quad-play environments, the number of different HDTV protocols and standards makes it difficult for appliance designers to embrace all functions and applications demanded by customers. Horizon Semiconductors intends to bridge the gap between the different worlds with its Hz4010 multi-standard transcoder chip.

Aiming at applications such as cable, satellite and IPTV set-top boxes, digital video recorders, Blu-Ray/GD-DVD players and recorders, place shifting boxes and location-free TV sets, the Hz4010 incorporates a multi-standard high definition video codec with native support for screen resolutions of up to 1080/60p. In addition, the chip supports a broad range of prevailing and upcoming compression standards such as AVC, VC-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4/H.263. An integrated video pre/post processor offers motion compensated spatio-temporal noise reduction filtering, frame rate conversion and advanced scaling.

On the audio side, the chip does the transcoding between audio formats such as MPEG-1, AC3, AAC, WMA and Dolby Digital Plus. In terms of connectivity, an important feature for location-free video applications, the chip supports a broad range of standards and interfaces including Ethernet (all relevant speeds), USB, and Fire Wire.

In order to provide the high level of security the content industry requests for application areas such as protected Internet TV, Cable TV or Blu-Ray/HD-DVD playback, the chip also includes a security processor with embedded secure memory.

The device comes with a software stack that enables designers to implement their specific solution. A reference platform offered by the vendor is available, reducing the effort for system designers.

“As PVR and high definition video were the drivers for advanced set-top boxes in the recent years, we see the secure transfer of content from STB to portable AV players as well as place-shifting and location-free TV as emerging drivers that will ultimately change the way people watch TV”, comments In-Stat analyst Michelle Abraham. “We anticipate that Horizon's recent chip introductions will play a pivotal role in driving the deployment of next-generation STBs and location-free players and recorder devices.”

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