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07.19.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
New silicon intellectual property to help TV makers fulfill FCC DTV requirement

New silicon intellectual property now available for licensing from Sarnoff will make it easier and more cost-effective for TV makers to meet an FCC requirement that half of all TV sets 36 inches or larger sold after July 1 include DTV capabilities.

The Sarnoff silicon intellectual property is a complete, integrated audio and video system processor for digital TV, including HDTV, ready for incorporation into television or set-top box designs. It will decode and display all standard ATSC digital TV signals at any resolution that the television set can accommodate, up to and including HDTV.

The system also includes full Dolby Digital (AC-3) capabilities for receiving and playing 5.1-channel surround sound.

According to Sarnoff, the system gives TV manufacturers multiple options for adding digital capabilities to their sets.

The digital decoding and display system is capable of decoding all 36 input formats specified by the ATSC standard. Any input format can be displayed at HDTV resolution (1080i and 720p) or at standard resolution (480p and 480i).

By July 1, 2007, sets as small as 13 inches will be affected by the FCC mandate. It's unlikely that makers will put HD displays in sets this small. The Sarnoff silicon intellectual property will allow those sets to display HDTV at standard resolutions today.

The display processor is also capable of scaling pictures for zoom-in or zoom-out effects.

The system includes a transport parser, a 24-bit audio decoder, a 32-bit DDR SDRAM controller, a display processor, an on-screen display, a de-interlacer and a digital video encoder.

The 24-bit audio decoder subsystem is an efficient digital signal processor (DSP) solution for decoding the Dolby Digital (AC-3) 5.1-channel surround sound often broadcast as part of a digital TV signal.

Sarnoff's digital TV intellectual property is available today. Deliverables include Verilog source code, as well as test benches, firmware, documentation and engineering support. Custom features can be added to the intellectual property for specific applications.

For more information, please visit www.sarnoff.com.

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