This solution combines a programmable radio-frequency (RF) chip and software, which enable PCs to receive live analog or digital TV broadcast, radio, and global positioning system (GPS) signals.
CrestaTV™'s receiver comprises the CTC-200/201 programmable RF, interface integrated circuit (IC), and multi-threaded signal processing software. It supports the widest range of broadband frequencies, including analog TV, the European and American digital TV formats, and FM radio and GPS capabilities.
The failure of the mobile television handset market had bred a new generation of mobile TV chip vendors that target the PC, laptop, and smart-phone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the PC-TV market. However, the PC-TV market also turned out to be a disappointment due to a series of technical challenges and advances in Internet media streaming, making it redundant.
The prevalence of analog TV in many parts of the world and the proliferation of digital standards for terrestrial and mobile TV transmission meant that PC-TV chipsets functioned only in restricted geographical regions. Moreover, they normally have poor signal reception and require 20-30 minutes to scan broadcast channels. These issues, along with high costs, have made OEMs reluctant to integrate mobile TV chips into their products. Most users of PC-TV receivers have to buy geography-specific, commoditized, off-the-shelf products, which have little mobility or value-added functionality.
CrestaTV™ addresses most of these issues through its programmable Universal Broadband Receiver technology, and provides a host of value-added functionalities through CrestaWare, a companion suite of software applications that includes fast channel scanning, enhanced reception, TV, and radio tower geo-location.
'CrestaTech employs parallel processing techniques to reduce CPU load to levels comparable to competitors hardware based solutions' says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Anil Vijayachandran. 'The software-defined technology enables dynamic balancing of quality, speed, and power dissipation based on the availability of processing resources.'
OEMs can implement CrestaTV™ on peripheral component interconnect (PCI) express cards for desktops and PCI mini-express cards or universal serial bus (USB) TV modules for laptops. The fully integrated solution eliminates all external filters and supports frequencies from 45Mhz to 1GHz - and the L1 band.
The receiver technology involves a broadband tuner, which scans the entire TV spectrum for analog and digital signals, along with an integrated GPS. It aids a directed, intelligent scan, determining device location and all channels receivable - in just three seconds. The solution offers an open platform that allows user-generated content programs and enables users of social media websites to chat live while watching live content. It also allows users to create a custom channel with user-selected programs from the entire array of received content.
'This product could transform laptop PCs into universal mobile media centers, capable of simultaneously accessing live broadcast TV, AM/FM radio, and GPS,' notes Vijayachandran. 'The flexibility of the device will enable access to a wide range of future markets, including mobile phones, smart-phones, and other portable devices.'
The CrestaTech innovation is significantly more economical than competing solutions and addresses the challenges that had restricted the widespread integration of mobile TV chips with PCs. Now, with CrestaTech's solution, a single, low-cost off-the-shelf unit can operate universally and it adds a powerful suite of functionalities to PCs.
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CrestaTech, headquartered in Santa Clara, CA is a pioneer in the wireless media receiver market, with the first fully programmable software-defined wireless media receiver ICs. The startup, founded in 2005 by George T. Haber and Mihai Murgulescu and funded by Andy Bechtolsheim and Sofinnova, is led by an experienced management team with expertise in developing video and communications technologies and with building game-changing and successful technology companies.
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