Broadcom's silicon is powering the first Ultra HD Android set-top box offered by French service provider Free.

Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video

March 11, 2015

2 Min Read
Broadcom Chips In on 4K Android Box

Bulking up its 4K TV deployments, Broadcom announced today that it's powering a new Ultra High Definition (UHD) Android TV set-top box that will soon be offered by French service provider Free.

Using the Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) BCM7252 system-on-a-chip (SoC), Free will ship its new Android set-top to video subscribers this month, promising a combination of "streaming, terrestrial, on-demand and recorded content," as well as access to Google apps and games. According to Broadcom, the Freebox UHD Android set-top will be the first of its kind.

Broadcom unveiled its first UltraHD video decoder solution in January 2013, and starting sampling the BCM7252 specifically a year later. It is the first SoC to support 4K video at a 60p frame rate with a High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) decode. The chipset can also deliver quad 1080p video at 60 frames per second, and it relies on HD AVC encode. (See Broadcom Trots Out UltraHD Silicon.)

For Free, a subsidiary of Iliad (Euronext: ILD), Broadcom is providing both the UHD set-top chipset and the BCM43570 SoC for the Freebox remote control. The remote control uses both Bluetooth and 802.11ac WiFi to enable streaming features, including Google Cast.

Want to learn more about 4K TV's implications for cable operators and other pay-TV providers? Then check out the agenda for our upcoming Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event, Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at The Cable Center in Denver.

"We are very excited to be working with Freebox on this groundbreaking new platform," said Rich Nelson, Broadcom Senior Vice President of Marketing, Broadband & Connectivity Group. "Supporting Android TV, Broadcom's set-top box and connectivity devices enable Freebox to bring exciting 4K content to their subscribers in addition to all the benefits of the Android TV ecosystem."

Among other 4K partnerships, Broadcom has so far announced deployment of its BCM7252 chipset with Tata Communications Ltd. 's Tata Sky service in India. The company has also demonstrated UHD solutions with Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) and TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) in the US.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Mari Silbey

Senior Editor, Cable/Video

Mari Silbey is a senior editor covering broadband infrastructure, video delivery, smart cities and all things cable. Previously, she worked independently for nearly a decade, contributing to trade publications, authoring custom research reports and consulting for a variety of corporate and association clients. Among her storied (and sometimes dubious) achievements, Mari launched the corporate blog for Motorola's Home division way back in 2007, ran a content development program for Limelight Networks and did her best to entertain the video nerd masses as a long-time columnist for the media blog Zatz Not Funny. She is based in Washington, D.C.

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