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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 15, 2009

Magnum's DXT Co-Processors Bolster Set-Top Boxes

By Anamika Singh, TMCnet Contributor

Magnum Semiconductor, a provider of video processors, reportedly is launching its DXT family of advanced DVR and home media server co-processors.
The DXT co-processors deliver a host of new time-shifting, place-shifting and device-shifting features in set-top box and home media server appliances.
For example, they’re designed to enable longer recording in set-top DVR and home DVR applications through transcoding from MPEG-2 to H.264 in HD or SD resolutions. Content on-the-go applications through transcoding of MPEG-2 to H.264 or VC-1 and through transizing down to QCIF for mobile devices, such as smart phones and laptops, also are possible.
Magnum says it provides the tools and technologies needed to create and deliver video throughout the broadcast infrastructure, around the home, and on-the-go. Magnums chips and software are used in professional video encoders, broadcast transcoders, in-home set-top boxes, consumer DVD recorders, hard-disk based home media centers, digital camcorders, and a variety of in-home and portable media-centered devices.
The DXT co-processor family consists of the DX6215 and DX6225 processors. The DX6215 enables rate-shaping, encoding, decoding and transcoding. The DX6225 is a lower power version, capable of rate-shaping and transcoding. It can feed entirely off USB bus power, targeting existing set-top box appliances via external USB dongles. The DX6215 is mainly for new set-top box and home media server designs.
Bob Saffari, VP Marketing at Magnum Semiconductor, responsible for broadcast and set-top box products, said, “Designed as an add-on co-processor, the DX62xx are easily integrated into existing set-top box and home media server designs, or incorporated in aftermarket products, such as USB dongles. This allows set-top OEMs and broadcast operators to seamlessly roll out value-added solutions and services that extend their revenue streams, such as place-shifting, whole home DVR, content on-the-go.”
The DXT co-processors use a full decode and re-encode programmable architecture, as compared to other competing solutions that use tightly-coupled methods .With this architecture advanced pre-processing and unrestricted flexibility in encoder tool-use is made possible, for enhanced video quality at lower bit rates. The programmable, self-adaptive rate-shaping algorithms for content re-distribution on links with fluctuating transmission bandwidth also are enabled.
“By leveraging our experience and know-how in the professional market, the DX62xx co-processors deliver the best overall video processing performance in the industry, enabling low-cost flash memory-based storage, best-in-class quality of experience for time- and place-shifting applications, and future-proof 1080p60-processing for Full HDTV broadcast,” Saffari said.

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan