Tuesday, October 18, 2005

LG Electronics Launches MPEG4 Set-Top Boxes for DIRECTV

DIRECTV has selected LG Electronics as the first supplier of digital high-definition television (HDTV) set-top boxes.

LG Electronics has begun production of set-top boxes for use in DIRECTV's MPEG-4 HD satellite broadcasts. The agreement also sets the stage for LG Electronics to develop next-generation MPEG-4 HD DVRs (High- Definition Digital Video Recorders) and Home Media Center set-top boxes. Financial terms were not disclosed.

LG's new set-top boxes, which are being sold under the DIRECTV brand name, feature DIRECTV's advanced program guide, advanced security, and protected digital outputs (HDMI/HDCP) with simultaneous component/composite output, as well as a general-purpose LINUX-operating-system and USB port.

The LG-manufactured DIRECTV set-top boxes use Broadcom's MPEG chipset and LG's fifth-generation "VSB" chipst. Views can watch not only MPEG-4 HD satellite broadcasts, but also existing MPEG-2 standard- definition programming and terrestrial ATSC (Advanced Television System Committee) digital HDTV and SDTV broadcasts.

DIRECTV plans to begin offering local broadcast channels in HD this fall in major markets throughout the United States. By 2007, DIRECTV plans to offer more than 1,500 local broadcast channels and more than 150 national channels in HD.