Pace Micro Technology is developing a cost-effective IPTV set-top box using a programmable processor that provides a complete system-on-a-chip supporting MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video compression technology.

The Pace DB680 will combine a single processor from Equator Technologies with a software video codec from Dicas to provide access to a full range of digital services including multichannel television, pay-per-view, video-on-demand and other applications.

The box will use the Equator BSP-15 programmable processor developed specifically for digital media applications. Unlike a conventional processor or digital signal processor, this system-on-a-chip reduces the need for external components, reducing overall system cost. In addition to video processing, the single processor is capable of running operating systems, network stacks, middleware, and virtual machines for Java and Internet browsers.

The system will use a software decoder from Dicas, supporting the new MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard.

“Many operators are keen to implement services based on the recent AVC standard,” said David Gillies, Director of Technology at Pace Micro Technology.
“The quickest route to market is with high performance field programmable set-top boxes coupled with software decoding, which can be upgraded easily in the field as the standard evolves.”

The product is part of Pace’s Digital Broadband Media range that is already being used by telcos and broadband operators to launch advanced television and multimedia services over existing telecommunications networks.

UK based Pace Micro Technology claims to be the only company to design digital TV set-top boxes for all broadcast platforms: satellite, terrestrial cable and broadband television.