STMicroelectronics confirmed its position for the shipment of MPEG-2 and H.264 decoder chips for use in integrated Digital TV sets (iDTVs) for the European market. These iDTVs are TV sets that integrate a digital TV receiver and are primarily aimed at the digital terrestrial broadcast market.
In 2007, STMicroelectronics increased its MPEG-2 market share by shipping 10 million decoders as measured against a total European market of 12 million iDTV sets. These decoders were mainly from its STi510x family for use in iDTV applications.
LCD TV sales are growing rapidly towards market domination, especially in Europe, as display prices fall. Sales of integrated digital TVs, increasingly popular with consumers because of their convenience, are further encouraged by the planned analog switch-off across Europe and mandates such as the requirement that all TV sets in France be intergrated by a digital decoder by March 2008.
Leading TV manufacturers are now capitalizing on the proven capability of STMicroelectronics' decoding technology when designing new iDTV products or by adding the H.264 capability to their existing platforms. The embedded connectivity of STMicroelectronics' STi710x high-definition H.264 decoder family is suitable with the later enhancement of H.264 TV set platforms with built-in features such as DLNA 1.5 compliant Digital Media Players, IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) and DVRs (Digital Video Recorders). It also simplifies the addition of hard-disk drives, image sources and network capabilities.
“With TV industry leaders choosing ST’s H.264 decoder technology for their 2008 models, we are well on the way to becoming the leading supplier of H.264 chips for iDTV, to match our leadership position in MPEG-2,” said Philippe Lambinet, general manager of STMicroelectronics' Home Entertainment and Displays Group.
The H.264/AVC standard is an efficient, fully scalable video technology that produces high quality videos at lower data rates. It can be used in applications from HDTV and DVD to 3G (third generation) mobile phones. Services that broadcast using H.264 use considerably less bandwidth and at a much lower bitrate, allowing broadcasters economically to transmit more high definition programming.