LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader

LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader

The latest LG’s TVs are enough smart thanks to Smart TV feature included LAN connectivity, DLNA support and set of various applications. But what if you have old TV but don’t want to replace it? LG gives a simple and elegant way to turn it into Smart TV as well with its new set-top-box LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader. It has all advantages of Smart TV in the separate box. Pros: getting advanced features without replace TV. Cons: additional box, wires, remote.

In any case, you may see the LG ST600 Smart TV Upgrader at CES 2011 soon.

Android is coming to STB

Android STB

Popular open platform Android created by Google is expanded to set-top-boxes. ISB Corp demonstrated the first concept equiped with wireless keyboard and Bluetooth module at the 12th Embedded Systems Expo in Tokyo. It doesn’t support HDTV yet but the producer is working to implement it.

As I know currently there is no unified software and hardware for STB. Each producer offers its own proprietary solution. Hopefully using Android to build STB will turn that situation for the better.

VDR as set-top-box for IPTV


Recently I thought about integration IPTV and LinuxMCE. Since satellite or analog TV can be watched, paused and recorded by VDR or MythTV it’d be nice to have similar for IPTV. That plug-in for VDR offers such functionality. IPTV plug-in allows to manage IPTV channels same manner as for DVB once. It supports both multicast UDP/RTP and unicast HTTP MPEG1/2 transport streams. Moreover there is a possibility to get also other formats like MP3 radio streams, MMS video streams and so on.

Personally, I like VDR more and more. Especially after announcing next version LinuxMCE which should contain VDR as alternative to MythTV. But I don’t understand how to connect IPTV stream to the VDR box. All IPTV providers offer TV service only via their own set-top-box (STB). In case of using IPTV plug-in with VDR it’ll be like STB. Will providers allow that? I guess no. But idea is good: consumers get all types of TV in one place – VDR, IPTV providers don’t need a special equipment and UI. But this is just a dreams 🙂

BabelTV is a new word in the home entertainment


UK TV integrator DaweVision Ltd has announced its new product – BabelTV. Basically, BabelTV is full featured PC but pre-configured to be used in the home entertainment area. It’s based on Xubuntu Linux and provides:

  • full set of PVR functionality – Freeview TV,
  • share and store photos,
  • play and manage iPod or other MP3 player music,
  • make free or cheap Internet phone calls.

As you may see from the BabelTV specification below it can replace not only DVD player and satellite receiver but your home PC also. Because it includes everything you need (except games probably).

The demo video of BabelTV is available here.

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The Tornado M10 Digital Media Center

SysMaster M10 set-top box

Here is a good example of modern Set-Top-Box (STB) which is usually used to bring IPTV to your home. Ordinary STB can just receive TV stream via LAN, decode it and display it on TV. The Tornado M10 Digital Media Center does the same but additionally it allows following:

  • Digital music and Internet radio delivery
  • VoIP SIP phone with peer auto discovery (devices on same LAN can talk directly without a gateway)
  • MPEG4 video and MP3 audio compression
  • Video conference H.263 support
  • Media extension center functionality (access PC on TV screen, scan PCs for media files)
  • Enhanced voicemail system with unified messaging (up to 80 messages can be retrieved via phone or web)
  • Online chat and email clients (ICQ, AIM, MSN chat while watching TV)
  • News and weather reports delivery

The M10 has a built-in mic and speakers, and can function as a speakerphone. With an SD memory card or optional hard disk connected to its USB port, it can record scheduled programs or pause live TV, according to the company. Additionally, the M10’s USB port supports X10 devices. So, you may control(?) your home X10-based appliance.
The Tornado M10 Digital Media Center is based on modern Linux kernel – 2.6.19. It support a range of voice and video decoders and/or codecs, including MPEG4/SP, MP3, G.711 (A-law and Mu-law), G.726 (16/24/32/40 kbps), and G.729. Supported data networking protocols include IPv4 (upgradeable to IPv6), ARP, DNS, DHCP, ICMP, TCP UDP, RTP, DiffServ, and SNTP.

Tornado M10 Digital Media Center is available immediately, with suggested retail pricing of $170, or $200 with WiFi. Probably, this STB may replace your PC 🙂

[via LinuxDevices]

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