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Hybrid STB runs Linux, supports DVB-T and ABR

Sep 25, 2013 — by Eric Brown — 2563 views

NetGear is shipping a hybrid IPTV set-top box (STB) that supports terrestrial DVB-T, OTT, broadcast, and VoD HD video. The STB1100 runs Linux 2.6 on Cavium’s ARM 11-based PureVu Celestial CNC1800L STB processor, supports adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming technology, and offers I/O including WiFi, Ethernet, and USB ports.

NetGear is known for its mostly Linux-based, consumer-facing networking and multimedia products, including its IP-only NeoTV media player, but now it’s getting into the OEM-oriented hybrid STB business. The company announced availability of the hybrid IPTV OTT (Over-The-Top) STB1100 set-top, as well as its first customer. France telecom and cable TV provider Numericable is using the STB1100 for its iStart services.

Netgear STB1100 hybrid IPTV STB
(click image to enlarge)


Numericable was particularly interested in the STB’s ability to provide OTT, DVB-T and adaptive bitrate (ABR) content to its ADSL subscribers “who were previously unable to receive video content,” says NetGear. The ABR capability lets service providers extend HD quality video to end-users, even on a low-bandwidth WAN connection, says the company.

As a hybrid device, the STB1100 lets users access third-party or service provider HD video applications, as well as rent and watch new releases through service provider video-on-demand (VoD) services, says NetGear. The box is capable of handling European-style HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV), although this standard is not yet supported with firmware.

The STB1100 is also touted for its “advanced, operator-customizable user interface with unified search capabilities.” The STB is available with an extensible Linux-based app platform with an integrated Webkit browser supporting HTML5 development, says the company.

Cavium PureVu onboard

The STB1100 runs Linux 2.6.32 on Cavium’s ARM11-based PureVu Celestial CNC1800L system-on-chip, the only PureVu brand SoC that targets STBs. The 684MHz ARM11 core is integrated with a 1080p60 multi-standard video decoder featuring conditional access, transport, and picture quality processing.

CNC1800L STB SoC chip and typical application diagrams
(click images to enlarge)


Other features include 2D graphics support, an audio decoder and effects processor, and a Silicon Secure conditional access crypto engine. It also supports I/O including SATA, USB 2.0, I2S, SPIO, and PCMCIA.

STB1100 specs

The STB1100 is equipped with 512MB each of DDR3 RAM and flash, and features dual 10/100 Ethernet ports. Wireless support includes 2×2 WiFi and a DVB-T RF tuner. The 173 x 124 x 39mm STB provides A/V ports including HDMI, CVBS, and S/PDIF audio, while dual USB 2.0 ports enable access to user content.

Specifications listed for the STB1100 include:

  • Processor — Cavium PureVu Celestial CNC1800L (1x ARM11 core @ 648MHz) with 2D graphics, crypto, 2x video decoders
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM; 512MB NAND flash
  • Wireless — 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4GHz/5GHz (300Mbps 2×2)
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • HDMI 1.3
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • CVBS/AudioL/AudioR 3.5mm cinch
    • S/PDIF Optical TOSLINK (Dolby 5.1 audio)
    • RF Input tuner (DVB-T)
    • RF Loop through output
  • Other hardware features — remote control with quick select; LEDs
  • Firmware features:
    • Hybrid broadcast/OTT with ABR
    • Terrestrial DVB (DVB-T)
    • VoD
    • Webkit HTML browser
    • Customizable UI platform with unified search
    • Studio-approved DRM protection
    • Parental controls
    • DLNA media sharing
    • HbbTV ready (future)
  • Power — 12V 1.5A EU
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 40ºC
  • Dimensions — 173 x 124 x 39 mm
  • Operating system — Linux 2.6x

“The STB1100 fills the gap for rich video content across low bandwidth for ADSL customers, in addition to combining DVB-T and ABR content,” stated Philippe LeMay, CTO, Numericable. “We look forward to continued success of our iStartoffering, powered by the NETGEAR STB1100.”

The STB1100 is now available for service providers at an unstated price. More information may be found in the STB1100 product page.

(advertise here)

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One response to “Hybrid STB runs Linux, supports DVB-T and ABR”

  1. J G Miller says:

    As I mentioned on a previous article, if a device only offers DVB-t and not DVB-t2, the device is effectively obsolete since many countries now have DVB-t2 transmissions and others have definite plans to change from DVB-t to DVB-t2 only.

    Companies such as Netgear know this only too well and offer these devices to get rid of inventories of DVB-t tuners as well as knowing the sold device will have to be “upgraded” in the not too distant future.

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