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Broadcom’s set-top chips will let satellite TV operators squeeze more channels into services

Above: Broadcom HEVC chip sets enable more channels on satellite set-top boxes.

Image Credit: Broadcom

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Broadcom said it is launching new digital video broadcasting chips that will let satellite TV operators deliver more high-definition channels without changing their infrastructure.

The Irvine, Calif.-based chip maker made the announcement at the huge 2014 International CES tech trade show in Las Vegas this week. The two new satellite box chips are made to work with the advanced high-efficiency video codec (HEVC) standard that doubles the bandwidth available for video in a network. That’s important as home TV subscribers around the world consume more high-definition content.

The HEVC standard allows a network to transfer high-quality video at half of the bandwidth required today.

Nelson also said that Broadcom is providing new chips for the satellite dish so that you can get by with a single coaxial cable running from the dish to the set-top box. Normally, multiple wires are required for the outdoor unit (ODU). With the new chip, as many as 24 residents can access the TV programming coming into a single satellite dish for a building.

“With the launch of today’s entry-level satellite chipsets, Broadcom is further proliferating HEVC across an entire range” of set-top boxes, said Rich Nelson, Broadcom senior vice president of marketing for the Broadband Communications Group. “By providing multiple deployment options, Broadcom supports customer requirements to quickly drive video compression technology into the market and efficiently deliver a high-quality user experience from entry-level client devices to high-end set-top box gateways.”

Nelson said the North American markets for satellite boxes have slowed down, but the markets are growing fast in territories like Latin America and India. Six years ago, India didn’t have any major satellite TV providers, and now it has six, he said.

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