Dublin chip firm in global digital TV alliance


5 Jan 2006

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Dublin-based chip design firm S3 has forged an alliance with one of the world’s biggest digital television set top box software providers that will enable set top box manufacturers and pay TV operators deploy secure, interactive high definition (HD) services more quickly.

Silicon & Software Systems (S3), working in conjunction with Swiss digital TV security specialist Nagravision, announced a collaboration deal with set top box software firm OpenTV whose software is deployed in 61 million digital set top boxes in 96 countries worldwide.

OpenTV’s software enables a wide array of functionality, including enhanced television, interactive shopping, interactive and addressable advertising, games and gaming, personal video recording, and a variety of consumer care and communication applications.

Demonstrated at this week’s high profile Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the solution deployed by S3, Nagravision and OpenTV is based on ST Microelectronics HD decoder chips aimed at HD set top boxes. HDTV is a digital television standard that offers far higher picture resolution than that currently used for most broadcasts.

Last month S3 – in which consumer electronics giant Philips is a strategic shareholder – revealed that it closed a €10m investment deal with ACT Venture Capital. The company will use the funding to support its expansion into Asia as well as strengthen sales and marketing operations in Europe and the US.

S3 product marketing manager Paul Kavanagh explained the importance of its alliance with OpenTV: “This is a key activity for S3, demonstrating the rapid introduction of OpenTV Core 2.0 on new ST Microelectronics designs. We believe that our coLinkTV software has a major role to play in the rollout of high definition TV services around the world, and we look forward to continuing this collaboration,” Kavanagh said.

By John Kennedy