by July 30, 2012 0 comments

While the government is all set to digitize TV transmission over next two years, a consortium of seven tech companies –STMicroelectronics, Videocon d2h, Philips, Irdeto, Nivio, Faroudja, and Strata, called DDB Foundation launched direct broadcasting technology called DDB. The technology claims to offer better audio-visual experience by receiving digital signals directly from satellites without requiring any set-top box.

There’s not much info on the types of devices that will support the platform, however, the device will be an advanced version of a set-top box with support for 3D and internet based apps.

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Features and Specs

Apart from the integrated set-top box which can directly receive satellite signals without the need of a separate set-top box, it has 2D to 3D conversion technology which converts the regular 2D images in television channels to 3D images in supported televisions, Internet browsing with several television apps to access Facebook, Twitter, Google, Skype, Yahoo and others.

The device has a 450 MHz dual-core CPU from STMicroelectronics which takes care of Full-HD video and audio processing. The new platform also offers 14-bit colour processing as against the 10-bit processing that is in use today, thus allowing display of 4 trillion colours instead of 10.6 million. Plus, it has a Cloud TV service which allows users to share files, pictures or songs over the air, Over The Air software updates; 10-band graphic equalizer, and HDMI support.

The takers of DDB

While the feature set looks appealing, it remains to be seen as to how many TV manufacturers embrace this technology in coming days and this will dictate the success of the platform! Plus, since there is no specific information on the pricing front as yet, we never know the cost of compliant television sets. We can only hope that the cost of the DDB based TVs will not exceed the price that consumers pay to have a TV and STB.

Recently, Amkette launched something in the similar line which they call EvoTV, to enable users to surf Internet on TV. Priced at Rs 9,995, EvoTV is a digital media device which allows users to access content like videos, games and websites using Wi-Fi and broadband connection. It comes with a remote that acts like a mouse and has a mic to facilitate conversations on VoIP. Amkette is betting big on the device and expects 50 per cent of its revenues to come from the product, according to reports. Powered by ARM processors, the device comes preloaded with basic applications. There are also other TV streaming device launched recently. Slingbox, for instance, which allows users to hook-up a live TV source or a Cable or Satellite set top box to stream TV content via the Internet to a PC or other devices like smartphones.

Given this scenario, it only remains to be seen whether DDB technology makes a mark in the TV manufacturers domain.

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