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Broadcom Debuts New HEVC SoCs

Calling it a world first, Broadcom today announced a new family of system-on-a-chip (SoC) products for hybrid direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and digital terrestrial television set-tops with integrated High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) compression technology and support for "high-performance IP connectivity" with Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) 2.0.

The new chips from Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) are a mouthful of acronyms, but they're meant to solve the relatively straightforward problem of how to deliver bandwidth-rich video content more efficiently. The HEVC codec promises to reduce the amount of bandwidth required for video delivery by 50%. While the technology was originally promoted for Ultra HD, or 4K, TV, many in the industry are now considering implementing HEVC primarily to carry existing HD video more efficiently.

Broadcom, in fact, doesn't reference 4K TV at all in the press release announcing its new SoC product line. However, Rich Nelson, the company's senior vice president of marketing, does say, "We believe HEVC will continue to be a key driver for the delivery of high-quality content."


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ABI Research Analyst Sam Rosen also notes in the release that HEVC will benefit broadcasters who want to launch "premium add-on services, including some delivered over bandwidth-constrained cellular networks."

Broadcom will demonstrate its new chipsets at IBC 2014 in Amsterdam, starting later this week. Designed for European and emerging markets, the SoC family includes product versions both with and without integrated MoCA support. The demo follows on the heels of Broadcom's partnership with Globosat over the summer to deliver 4K video streams of three World Cup soccer matches with the help of HEVC compression. (See World Cup Kicks Off Live 4K.)

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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