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Android-powered STB transcodes 4 channels at once

Jul 12, 2013  |  Rick Lehrbaum

Slovakia-based Antik Technology has developed an advanced TV set-top-box based on the STMicroelectronics STiH416 ARM Cortex-A9 “Orly” SoC, and running an embedded Android OS. The Juice Extreme 2 combines DVB tuner video with OTT (over-the-top) IP streaming, and can transcode four video input streams while simultaneously streaming multimedia out to smart TVs, tablets, and other local devices.

Antik says the Juice Extreme 2 is one of the first set-top-box (STB) media players to integrate ST’s STiH416 system-on-chip (SoC). The STiH416 combines two ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores along with four ARM Mali-400MP GPUs, and implements both media player and media server functions.



Antik Juice Extreme 2
(click image to enlarge)

 

Advanced capabilities of the STiH416 SoC are said to include integrating broadcast video with OTT Internet content, streaming from multiple sources to multiple screens, rendering 3D HD graphics from games and TV, supporting social videoconferencing, and communicating with home automation devices and sensors. The chip’s block diagram appears below.



STiH416 SoC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

 

Rather than selling the Juice Extreme 2 directly to end users through retail channels, Antik plans to customize the device for various IPTV home entertainment service providers. For example, the company’s first customer in Germany “plans to use the device as DTH+Terrestrial+IP MultiScreen Home Gateway, using their own Android middleware,” said Peter Blaas, Antik’s Business Development Director, in an email to LinuxGizmos.

Antik offers a range of IPTV STB middleware options for its partners, including browsers, EPGs (electronic program guides), DRM support, the XBMC media center platform, Qt support, and more (see the complete list below). Three screenshots, representing typical middleware modes, appear below.



Examples of Antek’s IPTV STB middleware
(click images to enlarge)

 

Because the precise features implemented by the Extreme Juice 2 will be customized to the requirements each home entertainment services provider, the STB will typically implement a subset of the functions listed below.

Antek Juice Extreme 2 capabilities and specifications:

  • Processor — STMicrosystems STiH416 (“Orly”) SoC:
    • CPU — Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore @ 1.2GHz
    • GPU — Quad-core ARM Mali-400 MP @ 400MHz
  • Memory:
    • 2GB DDR3 DRAM
    • 1GB flash
  • Video features and specs:
    • Quadruple DVB Tuner (DVB-T, DVB-C, and DVB-S2)
    • Multiscreen simultaneous HD multimedia streaming to multiple screens
    • CVBS/Y Pb Pr (3,5mm jack)
    • Tuner board connector
    • RF IN/OUT (for DVB-S2)
    • HDMI input
    • Resolutions — PAL, 576i; NTSC, 480i; HD, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
    • Codecs — MPEG-2 (SD/HD) MP@HL; H.264/AVC (SD/HD) [email protected]
    • Scaling of SD to HD and HD to SD
    • Aspect ratio conversion (letterbox, pan/scan, combined, fullscreen)
    • Parallel decoding of two streams (one for output; one for recording)
    • Alfa blending
    • Hardware-generated picture-in-picture (PIP)
    • Fast vector graphics via integrated SVG Engine
    • Broadcast video combined with OTT internet content
  • Audio interfaces and specs:
    • TOSLINK Digital Audio (optical)
    • Analog stereo (3.5mm jack)
    • Codecs — MPEG-1/2 (layers 1, 2, 3); PCM; AC-3; AAC
    • Dolby Digital Plus surround sound
    • Dual mono mode
    • Stereo down mixing
  • Other hardware interfaces:
    • 2x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45)
    • SATA (internal for PVR HDD)
    • 3x USB 2.0
    • IR receiver
    • Built-in WiFi
    • SD card slot
  • Streaming capabilities:
    • MPEG-2 transport stream
    • Multicast or Unicast
    • TS over UDP or RTP
    • HTTP streaming
    • RTSP (with trick play support) for VoD
    • Teletext and subtitles
    • IGMP v2 & v3
    • HLS
  • Software features & specs:
    • Operating systems — Linux 2.6; Android 4.0+
    • Browsers — Opera, Access, Ekioh SVG integrated (option)
    • Other software components — XBMC, HTML5, Adobe AIR, Qt
    • Support for 3D HD games, user interfaces, multimedia
    • DLNA server and player (coming soon)
    • BitTorrent client support
    • Interactive TV support — Multicast TV, Electronic Program Guide, VOD, Mozaic
    • PVR and Network PVR support
    • Segment streaming and buffering for OTT delivery even in low-speed networks
    • Middleware options — Antik middleware; Beenius 3.2
    • DRM/CA — Verimatrix; Securemedia; Key Rider
    • Copy protection — HDCP v1.2
  • Physical specs:
    • Dimensions — 200 x 150 x 40mm (7.9 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches)
    • Power:
      • 12V DC @ 12W active (without HDD, USB, DVB)
      • Low power standby mode
      • Power adapter — 90-250V 50-60Hz AC
    • Operating temperature 0 – 45° C

Optional accessories include a remote control; RCA/SCART, Ethernet, and HDMI cables; and the Juice TV Anywhere Personal H.264 Transcoder adapter, which plugs into a USB port.

Antik previewed the Juice Extreme 2 in late May at ANGA COM 2013 in Cologne. The device is currently undergoing extensive prototype testing, according to Blaas, and will be showcased at IBC2013 in Amsterdam.

Details on pricing or production availability were not available at publication time. Antik is a developer and manufacturer of IPTV and hybrid STB hardware and software; its sister company, Antik Telecom, provides triple-play services to customers in Slovakia. For further information on the Extreme Juice 2 STB, visit Antik’s website.
 

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

2 Responses to “Android-powered STB transcodes 4 channels at once”

  1. IGnatius T Foobar says:

    This is why Linux will rule the world.

  2. J G Miller says:

    “DVB-T” only means built in obsolescence.

    Pointless buying a device with only a “DVB-T” tuner when DVB-t2 is used in numerous countries and others are planning in changing from DVB-t to DVB-t2 only.

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