Broadcom announces HD decoder chip

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014


Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced new media PC solutions that enable flawless playback of high definition (HD) video content across the widest range of PCs in the industry. By lowering CPU utilization, and integrating seamlessly into Microsoft Windows Vista™ and Windows® XP environments, Broadcom's media PC solutions enable mainstream PCs featuring integrated graphics to play back high definition content from either a Blu-ray Disc™ or HD DVD, as well as from HD downloaded or broadcast content. The new Broadcom® media PC solutions are available in three add-in card formats (including desktop PCI Express®, PCI Express mini-card or ExpressCard™ 34), and as a chipset solution for PC motherboard applications.

I'd love to see the next revision of the Apple TV support such a chip. Currently the 720p and 5Mbps datarate is a limitation that needn't be there for the second generation. The specs of this decoder far exceed what the Apple TV can do now.


Multistandard high-definition video decoder module supporting:

H.264/AVC HP at L4.1 1080i, 40 Mbps

SMPTE VC-1AP at L3 1080i, 40 Mbps

MPEG-2 [email protected] and [email protected]

720p, 1080i and 1080p support

HD DVD and Blu-ray™ disc playback on PCs

Protected media playback on PCs

40Mbps 1080p content is at the ceiling of what Blu-ray's video track can hold. That's impressive.

GPU aren't proving to be necessarily better at video encode/decode versus a CPU. Apple TV 2.0 should allow Apple to keep the CPU and GPU options at a sane level and offload the heavy lifting to a chip that consumes 2.3 watts and delivers much better throughput.
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