Television viewers have become addicted to conveniently accessing their favorite shows with personal video recording (PVR) technology. Soon consumers will be able to extend this “on demand” living room experience to their mobile devices with PVR capabilities enabled by Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) technology. This week at IBC (Booth M234), TI, with partners PacketVideo and Silicon & Software Systems Ltd. (S3), will showcase advanced mobile DTV solutions. The demonstrations of TI’s Hollywood(TM) DVB-H single chip and OMAP(TM) 2 platform include the industry’s first mobile PVR and picture-in-picture (PIP) functionality using PacketVideo’s pvTV(TM) technology over a live DVB-H network.
The new mobile PVR and PIP solution will nurture increased viewing of mobile DTV content as consumers will have access to the programming they are most interested in viewing, without having to rely on “tuning in” to a live programming schedule. Initial mobile DTV usage indicates consumers will spend up to three hours per day watching mobile TV content, broken into short “snack-sized” viewing segments of two to 10 minutes at a time. Morning and evening commutes, lunch breaks and early evening are expected to be prime viewing times for mobile DTV users. These added capabilities would allow increased flexibility to what content the consumer views during their viewing times instead of being bound to what is on at that moment. DVB-H mobile DTV networks provide the spectral efficiency and flexibility needed to meet the demands of content-hungry consumers.
“Consumers are hooked on personalized content, with consumer adoption for personal video recording growing at exponential rates. TI’s work with partners PacketVideo and S3 is critical to delivering consumer electronics functionality to mobile handsets, including PVR and PIP. These advanced features give users access to their personalized content anytime, anywhere, in the palms of their hands,” said Marc Cetto, general manager of TI’s Mobile Connectivity Solutions business.
With the Hollywood chip (DTV1000) and OMAP(TM) processor-based solution, consumers can watch live TV and store broadcast content on their mobile devices. Coupled together, the OMAP2430 processor and TI’s Hollywood single chip provide the most advanced overall solution for the reception, decoding and processing of TV content to mobile phones. The PIP capability can showcase two live channels of content – ideal for users who want to preview other channel programming or even sports fans who want to watch multiple events at once. It can also work with the PVR for users who may also view one channel showcasing personalized, pre-recorded content like a movie, while the other channel plays live broadcast content such as weather or financial market updates. Road warriors can take advantage of the video-out capability of OMAP processors and display their personalized content on a TV either at home or while traveling.
The PVR and PIP demonstration uses PacketVideo’s pvTV client solution – a complete mobile digital TV client platform based on PacketVideo’s proven video player framework. PacketVideo’s pvTV solution for DVB-H has two components: the pvTV client software, and the pvTV reference hardware platform.
Additionally at IBC, TI will showcase an OMAP2420 mobile DTV solution, which also integrates S3′s onHandTV(TM) DVB-H middleware. The onHandTV solution delivers a robust, proven middleware platform for mobile TV applications. The demonstration will showcase a DVB-H Group C broadcast stream at up to 30 frames per second, supported by the PacketVideo framework. The S3 solution is also designed to enable PVR and PIP functionality.
TI’s OMAP 2 processors deliver low-power, high-performance multimedia processing to enable mobile DTV solutions with the kind of high-end user experience consumers expect while watching TV at home. Decoding two channels simultaneously is only possible with a robust applications engine such as the OMAP2430 processor, which can decode TV channels “on the fly” and display both channels at the same time. TI’s OMAP processors have been integral in defining mobile entertainment and are used in high-quality mobile video applications to deliver high performance and power efficiency, allowing handset manufacturers to bring the entertainment center to the handset.
As the industry’s first single-chip DVB-H solution, TI’s Hollywood chip offers significant advantages in solution size, bill of materials and power consumption to drive mobile digital TV into mass market phones and devices. The Hollywood chip can be used for mobile DTV-enabled personal media players, and provides an integrated tuner, demodulator, decoder and memory on one piece of silicon. For this type of PVR and PIP application, the DVB-H receiver (such as DTV1000), must be able to process multiple services, such as two TV channels simultaneously (concurrently or back-to-back) without increasing system memory cost and footprint.
TI’s partners play an important role in delivering innovation around the Hollywood chip-based DVB-H solution. TI works with PacketVideo, S3 and a number of other companies in the mobile DTV ecosystem to provide an end-to-end solution for mobile DTV while enabling choices for handset manufacturers. In January 2006, TI was one of the co-founders of the Mobile DTV Alliance, which is focused on promoting mobile digital TV and accelerating DVB-H development and deployment in North America. The Alliance’s founding members include Intel, Microsoft, Modeo, Motorola, Nokia and TI.
Consumer access to PVR and PIP capabilities on DVB-H handsets is expected in 2007. Manufacturers interested in technology behind TI’s IBC mobile TV demonstrations can visit TI, PacketVideo or S3.