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Smart TV STB streams video, does cloud gaming, runs HTML5 apps

Apr 22, 2013  |  Eric Brown
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Japanese internet service provider NTT Plala announced a TV set-top box (STB) that runs Linux or Android on an STMicroelectronics dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The Hikari TV Smart TV STB supports DLNA and OTT (over-the-top) services, can run HTML5 apps, and is optimized for NTT Plala’s Hikari TV cloud-based gaming service.

The Smart TV STB is equipped with a triple TV tuner that lets users record two programs while they’re watching a third, says NTT Plala, which counts NTT DoCoMo as a major investor. The device supports HTML5 apps and DLNA-sharing of networked media, and works with DRM-d content and various OTT (over-the-top) A/V-streaming services.



NTT Plala’s Hikari TV Game service currently offers about 50 game titles, including Konami’s “Professional Baseball Spirits Living Manager.” It’s part of a larger Hikari TV service that offers shopping, karaoke, and other services, along with video on demand and cable TV channels.

The STB also is compatible with remote control features available on several Android phones and tablets, including Sony Xperia models. It comes with a wireless remote, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, audio ports, and an NFC chip.
 

ST’s Orly SOC

ST announced NTT Plala’s Japan-destined Hikari TV Smart TV as a design win for its Orly system-on-chip (SOC), otherwise known as the STiH416. Clocked to 1.2GHz, the Orly is a specialized Cortex-A9 SOC optimized for digital TV.



ST’s Orly StiH416 processor architecture

In addition to its ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core CPU, the ST Orly SOC features an ARM Mali-400 quad-core graphics processing unit (GPU), a 3DTV decoder, and dual HD video encoding in a variety of video formats. An H.264 encoder supports up to 1080p60 video resolution, complete with video preprocessing, deinterlacing, HQ resizing, and TNR functionality, says ST. Security and system integration features are also said to be available, and the part includes an integrated low-power processor, enabling sub-30mW standby power.
 

Smart TV STB features & specs

Specifications listed for the Hikari TV Smart TV STB include:

  • Based on ST STiH416 “Orly” SOC:
    • CPUs — dual-core ARM Cortex-A9, clocked up to 1.2GHz
    • GPUs — quad-core ARM Mali-400
  • Memory — RAM N/A; SD slot
  • I/O:
    • HDMI
    • analog out
    • optical digital audio out
    • 2x USB 2.0
  • Other features:
    • Triple TV tuner
    • Wireless remote
    • NFC tag
  • Dimensions — 257 x 182 x 40mm

The STB’s embedded OS can be either Linux or Android 4.x, according to NTT Plala.

Available June 3 for NTT Plala customers in Japan, the Hikari TV Smart TV STB is available for an upfront payment of 1,050 Yen (about $11) plus 525 Yen monthly rental fees. More information may be found at the Japanese-language NTT Plala Hikari TV announcement.
 

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