Transcoding engine enables any-device home gateway media connections

September 13, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
ST Microelectronics has announced a Faroudja transcoding engine that enables a home gateway to distribute any type of content to any type of connected device in the home. Supported in ST chipsets, this solution allows many incoming data formats to be converted in real time to H.264. TV operators can now offer additional services on tablets, mobile devices, laptops, and networked TVs

Initially implemented in the STiH416 (‘Orly’) and fully supported in the recently introduced STiH407/STiH410/STiH412 (‘Monaco’) System-on-Chip (SoC) devices, the new transcoding engine is set to become an integral part of all of ST’s Home Gateway solutions.

Transcoding is the process of converting one digitally encoded stream into a different format and is an essential part of the “Everything, Everywhere” paradigm. This approach allows all broadcast and Internet services to be accessed by any wired or wirelessly connected device in the home, including legacy devices that lack the processing power or memory capacity to handle the data directly. Up till now, Set-Top Box/Home Gateway systems either compromised on the number of supported transcode channels or required an additional dedicated transcoder device to meet the required number of channels. In either case, the resulting video quality had limitations related to de-interlacing and other video-processing techniques that produced visible artifacts on tablets and mobile devices supporting progressive displays. In addition, content has been limited to TV broadcast, preventing the streaming of user-generated content in other important formats such as JPEG, MJPEG, DivX, VP8, VC-1, and WMV.

ST has overcome these limitations with its industry-unique Faroudja transcoding technology. By using Faroudja de-interlacing and post-processing techniques, Home Gateway devices enable IP-connected clients to display content with unprecedented quality. The technology is supported in ST chipsets by the new ST-developed software based on the open GStreamer standard. This solution allows many incoming data formats to be converted in real time to H.264, allowing users to enjoy TV, browsing, gaming and other external services on any client device anywhere in the home, including tablets, mobile devices, laptops and connected TVs.

Image transcoding enables fast slide shows and optimised storage utilisation for pictures on mobile devices. High-speed transcoding also enables side-loading of content at speeds never before achieved, empowering users to download content to a mobile device and access it on tablets and other mobile devices on-the-go.