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Sagem, ST Provide MPEG4 Single-Chip Decoder

Sagem Communication and STMicroelectronics (ST) have teamed up to produce a MPEG4 set-top box based on a single-chip decoder (Model STB7100). Both companies expect to ship about 100,000 MPEG4 STBs by the end of 2005.

Sagem said compared to today's standard MPEG2 video compression technology, MPEG4 compression will enable broadcasters and service operators to use their existing broadcast infrastructure to offer viewers and subscribers either HD fare, or far more SD channels.

The first two STBs available are SD models--the SAGEM ITD80 for PPV and DTT reception (reportedly selected by Canal+ as its primary STB), and the SAGEM ITAD80 for IPTV and DTT (now in use by several major operators). According to published reports, by Jan. 1 Sagem will expand its MPEG4 range of STBs to include new HD-capable models for all transmission media (satellite, cable, terrestrial and IP).