Sigma Designs show off tiny set-top-box

sigma 1 Sigma Designs show off tiny set top box

It appears that Sigma Designs, the company behind the decoder chips in a fair few set-top-boxes and media players just aren't happy with the kind of devices available in the market today and as such the company has come up with a reference design that the company is hailing as the industry's most advanced, ultra-thin set-top-box. It sure is dainty, but this doesn't mean that it lack in terms of features, even if it is a little bit limited in terms of what it can be connected to.

It appears that Sigma Designs, the company behind the decoder chips in a fair few set-top-boxes and media players just aren't happy with the kind of devices available in the market today and as such the company has come up with a reference design that the company is hailing as the industry's most advanced, ultra-thin set-top-box. It sure is dainty, but this doesn't mean that it lack in terms of features, even if it is a little bit limited in terms of what it can be connected to.

The reference design is called the HPAV 8670/2110 and is available as a development kit from Sigma Designs. The name is derived from the SMP8670 media processor and the CG2110 HomePlug AV chipset. The SMP8670 is one of Sigma Designs high-end media processors that can be used for a wide range of applications and it supports Linux, Windows CD and Android. It offers hardware decoding of most common video and audio formats, as well as offering video processing and HDMI 1.3a support. The CG2110 supports HomePlug speeds of up to 200Mbps and can as such stream HD video around your home over the electrical wires.

sigma 1 Sigma Designs show off tiny set top box

By putting these two elements into a single, tiny device Sigma Designs is hoping to attract customers for its chipsets, especially as the company is branding the miniature set-top-box as a solution for all kinds of HD IPTV video streams. Beyond a single HDMI connector it also sports an optical S/PDIF out and support for Z-Wave RF technology for what Sigma Designs claim will offer support for "advanced remote control[s]".

sigma 2 Sigma Designs show off tiny set top box

It's a very interesting concept, especially as there's no need for additional networking connectivity as long as you already have some HomePlug AV equipment at home. The connectivity options might not suit everyone's needs, but the ease of use via a single HDMI port should reduce the consumer confusion as to what cables are needed. The only thing we're going to have to wait for now is for Sigma Designs to find a few partners that are willing to develop retail solutions with a functional OS with a simple UI, so don't expect any products based on the reference platform until at least next year.

Source: Sigma Designs (PDF link) 

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