CrestaTech's multistandard mobile TV tuner chip ready for sampling to PC OEMS

Back in 1993, CrestaTech co-founder George Haber started CompCore Multimedia, which was one of the first-to-market with a software DVD player. Today, a software DVD player is a given on every PC. With his latest startup, Haber hopes to pull that off again and make TV a standard PC feature.

CrestaTech has released reference designs and samples for its multistandard CrestaTV technology, which enables PC manufacturers to support all analog, digital and mobile TV standards anywhere in the world with a single chip.

CrestaTV does this in very simple way: with a directed scan the entire TV spectrum aided by the integrated GPS. "The tuner knows where you are and what channels you should be able to receive," says Ramon Cazares, CrestaTech marketing and sales VP. "This directed scan takes three seconds as opposed to 20 or 30 minutes.

"The tuner can then be optimized for a region on linearity or phase noise," Cazares says. "A software solution allows you to do it differently. In silicon, you need to minimize the number of registers and the amount of memory, otherwise die size explodes. If you do it in software, you can make the registers as big as you need — there's no cost penalty — and turn specific algorithms on or off by region."

Demonstrated at the recent Intel Developer Forum 2009, the CrestaTV Universal Broadband Receiver includes the CTC-200/201 programmable RF and Interface IC and multithreaded signal-processing software. This solution eliminates all external filters. Supported frequencies include 45Mhz to 1GHz and L1 band. OEMs can implement CrestaTV on PCIe cards for desktops and Mini PCIe cards or USB TV modules for laptops.

CrestaTech also offers a suite of companion software applications, CrestaWare, which delivers fast channel scanning, enhanced reception and TV and radio tower geolocation. Plus, it provides an open development platform for custom applications.