Sigma Designs shrinks the set-top box

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3 Nov 2010
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US firm Sigma Designs has introduced a new set-top box reference platform which takes a thin client approach and plugs directly into an AC power outlet near the television, enabling it to be placed out of sight of the user.

The new Skini design uses HomePlug AV with ClearPath powerline networking technology, and features an SMP8670 media processor for decoding multiple high-definition IPTV streams, as well as an HDMI output.

The design also features Z-Wave RF technology to enable remote control of the device, even when it is located out of line-of-sight (for example behind the television), and in addition to the TV can also control over 500 available Z-Wave devices, including home lighting, door locks and thermostats.

Sigma Designs has confirmed to IPTV News that while a hard drive can be added to the device to deliver DVR and time-shifting capabilities, the company envisages that operators will more likely take a cloud-based approach, not only for DVR features, but also for improved search capabilities, user personalisation and content recommendations.

The new reference design supports Android, WindowsCE and Linux platform, and as time moves on Sigma Designs expects to add new capabilities to the design whilst shrinking the size of the box. One of the first enhancements to be made to the design will be the addition of powerline technology.

The new Skini reference platform will be the first in a series of Sigma-enabled solutions developed to support the needs of the evolving set-top box market.
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