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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 22, 2010

New SoCs Breed with Emerging Residential Media Servers

By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor

2011 will see the introduction of the BCM7422 in the market. BCM7422 is a SoC which has been designed for the emerging residential media server/gateway devices. An announcement in this regard has been made by Broadcom.

The BCM7422 will have eight video inputs and integrated MoCA support. Multiple video streams will be processed by the BCM7422. If necessary the streams will be encapsulated in IP to send out to other IP devices in the home.

The BCM7422 is similar to Intel’s (News - Alert) CE4200 in some ways. MVC or Multiview Video Coding and SVC or Scalable Video Coding can be decoded by both the BCM7422 and Intel’s CE4200. Both are being discussed as the encoding scheme for future full HD resolution 3D distribution in the future. Currently, however neither of these SoCs is used in set top boxes. A reduction in the amount of bandwidth required for full HD 3D can be enabled by both these SoCs.

An emerging category of set top box is the residential media server. The residential media server is also known as the master box or server box. Within the next several years, cable, satellite and telco pay-TV operators are expected to deploy the residential media servers. This information has been provided through a research carried out by In-Stat’s (News - Alert) Principal Analyst, Michelle Abraham.

IP clients in the home will be connected by the residential media servers. Other set top boxes, networked digital TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and mobile devices are examples of the IP clients in the home.

Slated to be one of the first to market, DirecTV has demonstrated its HMC30 box with five tuners at CEDIA in 2010. RVU technology has been used by the HMC30 box. Liberty Global (News - Alert) is working on a multimedia home gateway product for their cable markets. Work for this product is being carried out by Liberty Global in collaboration with Samsung (News - Alert), Intel, NDS, and Nagravision.

ADB, Sagemcom, and Technicolor are also expected to launch residential media server/gateway products. More announcements on media server products and SoCs are likely to be made by CES (News - Alert) 2011 in a few weeks.

The Mobile Internet and Digital Entertainment ecosystems are analyzed by In-Stat. For more information on In-Stat, visit www.in-stat.com.

Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda