Wednesday, 18 April 2012

ALi supports Opera in its HbbTV STB platform

ALi Corporation, a leading set-top-box (STB) system-on-chip (SoC) solution provider, announced that its hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV) supported STB platform is ready for mass production. ALi and Opera Software will work together to bring a better HbbTV experience to ALi-based STBs.
To create an optimal HbbTV experience, ALi and Opera offer a friendly interface to browse web content on TVs for traditional remote controls or its companion devices, as well as robust rendering engines for television with TV rendering (TVR) technology, supporting features such as adapting internet pages to suit TV screens, anti-flicker filtering, picture-in-picture viewing, etc. ALi has pre-ported Opera to its new STB SoC solution, optimizing the Opera Devices SDK for specific middleware, which reduces time to market and development costs. 

As more TV viewers desire Internet content on their TVs, the consumer electronics industry started to develop Hybrid-TV devices, in forms of STB, Blu-Ray DVD Players, or TV sets, which can receive and display broadcast signals as well as content and services from the Internet. However, not until now could the market for Hybrid-TV devices expect a wider expansion around the globe as there has been limited Internet access, and inability to offer high quality yet cost-efficient bandwidth. 
In addition, the lack of universal standards also hinders the popularity of Hybrid-TV devices. Each hybrid device tends to use a different browser and support various streaming formats and protocols, resulting in manufacturers having to process content individually, which impedes the development of a dynamic service market. From the consumer’s point of view, another factor that may prevent Hybrid-TV devices from prevailing is that the switch between Internet content and linear broadcast programs is performed by means of push buttons on the remote control; consumers are more used to navigating Internet content through a mouse cursor or keyboard. 
It would seem that unification of standards and easy development of better user interaction are the contributing factors for the expansion of Hybrid-TV devices. As such, HbbTV has been initiated and deployed in Europe to be an open and standardized platform that is supported by many market partners as well. By defining the minimal key components and usage scenarios, this platform would allow intelligent connection of universal functions and content from the Internet with that of the TV, such that both sources can be equally used as suppliers of information and entertainment. 
Tony Chang, General Manager of ALi’s International Business Unit, said, “ALi has gained a prestigious reputation for our cost and performance of STB SoCs. We are well prepared and glad to extend our proficiency in the STB industry to keep abreast with the new era of Hybrid-TV devices. ALi’s HbbTV-supported STB platform now supports Opera, one of the most commonly used browsers in the consumer electronics industry, and it supports all the mainstream video streaming formats, thereby providing easy development of applications for interactive services. By putting forth the pioneering STB platform with HbbTV support, we again secure our leading position in the global dynamic TV service market.”


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