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Pace Launches First Ever Hardware H.264 Set-Top-Box

23 May 2005

IPTV dream to become a reality

IPTV is one step closer thanks to an innovative new product from Pace Micro Technology (pic.l), the world's largest dedicated developer of digital set-top box technology.  The company has developed the World's first hardware H.264 decode set-top box - the IP215 - to provide telcos and operators with an entry-level solution for the lucrative IPTV market.

The IP215 uses the latest silicon technology to enable MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression decoding to take place in the hardware, replacing more expensive software based solutions.  This hardware decoder, based on H.264 video compression technology, enables bandwidth to be utilised much more efficiently while also providing far superior quality pictures - offering operators a high performance, entry-level solution. 

The first ever demonstration of how the IP215 will operate will take place at ANGA Cable 2005 on the Pace stand - Hall 14.2, Stand C7.

David Gillies, Director of Technology at Pace, comments: "There is a real demand for an entry-level IPTV solution but, up until now, barriers to entry such as cost and bandwidth, have prevented operators from realising the opportunities from this market.

The IP215 has been developed to address these problems and to meet the expected requirements of operators.  The IP215 will enable operators to not only provide a viable, cost-effective IPTV service, but also to offer a wide range of additional revenue-generating features, such as multicast and video-on-demand (VOD).  All in all, the IP215 will enable operators to reach to a far broader customer base than currently possible.

For operators looking to deploy their service in volume on a national level, the IP215 could even represent a sub-$100 set-top box solution, thanks to the modular way the technology has been designed."

The IP215 aligns the IPTV development closely with Pace's common software strategy allowing faster integration and turnaround of middleware and browser integration.

The IP215 comes with an impressive aggregated 490 MIPs processing power and will support all popular conditional access (CA) providers, including NDS and Widevine. As well as working with key system integrators, including Siemens and Alcatel, the IP215 will be equipped with cutting edge user interfaces through its integration with ANT Galio and Espial's Evo middleware and application framework.

David Gillies continues:  "The IP215 puts Pace at the forefront of the IPTV market.  This set-top box is the first in a family of IPTV products we are set to launch this year to enable operators to take advantage of the opportunities available to them through triple play offerings."

A full launch of the IP215, with CA and middleware integration, is expected at IBC 2005 in September this year.

About Pace Micro Technology plc
Pace Micro Technology plc (LSE: PIC) is a leader in digital television technology.  The Company's primary focus is the development of innovative set-top box solutions for operators, broadcasters, telecommunications companies and retail markets worldwide.
 
Pace's head office is in Shipley West Yorkshire, with further offices in the USA, Hong Kong, Germany and France. 

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