For channel surfers, a new way to step on the gas
8/23/2010 6:20 PM EDT
Couch potatoes rejoice. Broadcom announced a new technology built into its digital set-top box SoCs to reduce or eliminate the annoying delays in surfing channels.
FastRTV Channel Change Acceleration, a hardware and software technology, claims to boost television channel change speeds by up to five times.
The first Broadcom SoC solution to support FastRTV technology for digital cable TV deployments is the Broadcom BCM7002 cable universal digital transport adapter (uDTA) SoC.
Why the delay?
Switching between channels in a digital environment carries delays because broadcasters are sending multiplexed bit streams and because acquiring the digital signal can be slow (see chart below). Video decoding doesn’t typically start until certain information is received, such as the sequence header. Add to this condition access and parental controls and switching times can be even slower.
Broadcasters sometimes try to improve channel change times by shrinking the intervals between key information, but this can cut compression efficiency.
FastRTV can accelerate conditional access and parental control information along with the video data. Broadcasters can also leverage the technology to reduce the frequency of such data to cut bandwidth consumption.
Broadcom’s FastRTV technology also will be available in the following SD and HD set-top box SoC solutions:
For more information, please visit http://www.broadcom.com/products/features/fastrtv.php
- For Broadcom cable STB solutions: BCM7400, BCM7405, BCM7420, BCM7410, BCM7119, BCM7125, BCM7019 and BCM7025.
- For Broadcom cable DTAs and uDTAs solutions:BCM70xx SD DTA product family and the BCM75xx HD DTA product family.