USDTV demonstrates MPEG-4 AVC set-top box, transmission

U.S. Digital Television (USDTV) will begin offering MPEG-4 AVC set-top boxes for its multichannel over-the-air alternative to cable that uses the Sigma Designs SMP8634 chipset.

Currently, USDTV is transitioning its network to an advanced video compression technology, MPEG-4 AVC. USDTV's next-generation STB will have integrated MPEG-4 AVC technology to provide enhanced services for its customers. Some of the new features include all the latest codecs, high-definition video and set-top box processing power through the use of Sigma's SMP8634.

At NAB2006 in the ATSC DTV Hot Spot, USDTV demonstrated the first live MPEG-4 AVC broadcast over its digital terrestrial network.

USDTV recently announced the details of its second-generation set-top box that will begin shipping to new customers in two phases starting in the fall of 2006. The last phase will ship in the first quarter of 2007 and incorporate a 250-gigabyte hard drive, which will support a variety of storage based and in-home networking services.

The USDTV STB has an HDTV receiver and allows viewers to receive all the digital and HD programs sent out by local stations and national broadcast networks.

USDTV service currently is available in five markets: Albuquerque, NM; Las Vegas; Salt Lake City, UT; Dallas; and Norfolk, VA. Tests of the system reportedly are underway in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.

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