A new graphics chip enables TV addicts to simultaneously watch their favourite programmes and surf the Internet.
Analysts believe Broadcom's advanced graphics chip brings convergence of computers and televisions one step nearer, enabling set-top box manufacturers to make systems that allow viewers to watch TV shows and Web sites on a standard TV screen at the same time within separate, resizeable windows.
The split screen means that graphics, video and television can be shown. The chip also has 3D capabilities.
Eventually, Broadcom expects hits chip to sit inside TV set-top boxes, enabling viewers to have control over the layered graphics and video windows on their screen, building up multiple windows or peeling back pages as required.
Broadcom?s chip will support studio quality text and video-on-demand applications that are expected to become commonplace as TVs and computers increasingly merge.
The chip has an embedded 'anti-flicker filter', which takes out the annoying imperfections that crop up when PC content is displayed through a TV screen. This is one of the major hurdles in providing consumers with the picture quality they demand, even from converging technologies.
Broadcom said that it is on schedule to ship the chip in the first quarter of next year. Because the chip has built-in functions similar to chips in set-top boxes appearing on the market the company only expects it to add around $5 to the overall cost of producing a device.
Unfortunately there are very few applications that can make use of Broadcom?s chip right now.
There is no 3D content on cable and very few examples on the Web. This, however, is expect to change with TV and computer advancements taking us into the next millennium.
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