8/2/2004 - ANT Limited, a provider of user interface software for TV and consumer electronics, and Texas Instruments (TI) [NYSE: TXN] announced the availability of ANT's Fresco browser software integrated with TI's programmable DSP-based DM64x generation of digital media processors.
The port provides a hardware and software platform with advanced user interface and content control facilities. This platform allows OEMs to quickly and easily integrate a wide range of advanced content technologies such as Microsoft Windows Media Audio/Video Series 9, MPEG4 and H.264 into their consumer electronics products, including Internet protocol (IP) TV decoders, set top boxes (STBs), TVs, DVD players and video phones. In addition, service operators can easily provide a rich and cohesive set of services and products to their subscribers.
Just as importantly, manufacturers and operators can also preserve considerable investments by using this platform to migrate existing MPEG2-based designs to MPEG4, H.264 and WM9, without impacting their HTML-based content, user interface or middleware implementations.
The two companies have also announced a plug-in for the TI AV Player video/audio codec, enabling ANT Fresco to display content that combines HTML with streaming media elements for the creation of a wide range of content and presentation solutions. For example, an operator using this plug-in can embed scaled video images into their content to allow video previews as part of the selection page within a VOD (video-on-demand) service. Alternatively HTML-based content can overlay full-screen video with full control over transparency within the rendered page.
"With TI's DM64x, OEMs can easily partner with innovative software companies such as ANT, in order to enhance web based interactivity features in their products," said Arnaud Duclap, business development manager for TI's DSP group in Europe. "We are committed to offering leading edge silicon with a full suite of software building blocks to allow our customers to make advanced applications a reality today. ANT Fresco clearly brings its own added value to our proposal."
"MPEG4, H.264 and Windows Media 9 are key factors in allowing service operators to transition to lower-bandwidth technologies," explained Stephen Reeder, Executive Director, Sales and Marketing for ANT Limited. "The high performance of TI's DM64x digital media processor in combination with ANT Fresco helps ANT's OEM customers ease the transition. The programmability of a DM64x device allows OEMs to quickly adapt as standards evolve, enabling them to use the same hardware to implement different coding functions."
ANT's Fresco browser is one of the industry's most reliable and robust embedded browsers, specifically developed for user interface and content rendering requirements of TVs, STBs, DVD players and other consumer electronics and industrial appliances.
It is compact and fully featured, and enables device manufacturers to deploy support for content and applications quickly and cost-effectively across a wide range of devices, whatever their platform or operating system. It also enables service operators and OEMs to differentiate products and services with their own branding.
The DM64x offers flexibility to the customer by supporting a full range of advanced audio and video coding algorithms from MP3, AAC and Windows Media Audio Series 9 to MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264, Windows Media Video Series 9 and other codecs.
TI's digital media processors decode locally, making the content format virtually invisible to the consumer and expanding the inherent functionality of the streaming media appliance. In addition, having a programmable core at the heart of the design enables OEMs to upgrade to new or revised standards through a simple software download. All of these capabilities combine to provide OEMs flexibility to evolve their designs to keep up with ever-changing technology demands.
The data processing capabilities offered by the device allow the support of a wide range of advanced codecs and applications, including web browsing, video on demand, personal video recording features, high definition TV (720 lines) and video conferencing systems (H.323, H.263). The device also supports the Linux operating system.
The DM64x generation ranges in performance from 400MHz to 600MHz giving to customers, multiple performance, price and integration options. OEMS can benefit from a full suite of digital media processors enabling quick release to market of differentiated products. Hardware, software, video codecs and middleware for the DM64x generation are available now alongside hardware and software development kits to reduce time to market.
The DM64x pushes features innovation to the next step, thanks to its high performance, combined with integrated peripherals optimised for video and imaging applications. TI delivers real expertise in video and imaging systems to OEMs, offering leading edge silicon as well as a full suite of software blocks, making advanced streaming applications over IP a reality today.
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