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.
"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