AfterDawn: Tech news

Sigma Designs' REALmagic DVD technology to Set-Top Boxes

Written by Jari Ketola @ 29 Jul 1999 7:11

Sigma Designs, Inc., the well known manufacturer of hardware DVD decoders, announced today that Itautec, a leading PC company in Brazil, has selected the REALmagic Ventura Plus DVD playback card using Sigma's EM8220 REALmagic DVD decoder chip to probide DVD playback as an option for its personal computer product line.
The DVD models were initially launched earlier this year as an option for Itautec's top-of-the-line systems. With DVD's emergence as one of the most explosive new home entertainment technologies of all time, Itautec has now decided to provide REALmagic DVD capability as an option for all of its shipping PCs.
``Our customers require reliable and superior computer performance,'' said Gabriel Antonio Marao, Itautec vice president. ``Sigma's award-winning reputation has given us that reliability. For this reason, Itautec is working together with Sigma to market a set-top box in Brazil based on Sigma's reference design, the STB-2000, in the near future. This unique convergence appliance will provide our customers with a single TV-centric product for browsing the Internet, sending/receiving e-mail, playing DVD and CD discs, and more.''
``We are delighted to work with Itautec to open up a new marketing channel in Brazil. Itautec is our first OEM customer to adopt both Ventura Plus and our set-top box reference design based on our EM8220 silicon as a hardware DVD feature in PCs as well as set-top boxes,'' stated William K. Wong, Sigma's vice president of marketing. ``The fact that Itautec selected our DVD decoder chip confirms our belief that hardware DVD solutions meet customer requirements for seamless DVD playback in a multitasking, interactive environment. The current set-top box application enables consumers to plug into their TV for web surfing, e-mail, e-commerce, and DVD playback. With the appropriate hardware and software configuration, the set-top box will be able to support video on demand and digital VCR time-shifting capabilities in the year 2000.''

The current set-top box runs on the Windows 98 operating system. The second generation Windows CE-based set-top boxes will combine DVD playback with Microsoft TV, representing a major breakthrough in home convergence appliances.

(from Yahoo Business Wire)

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