Pure Avalon 300R Connect with PowerVR graphics ushers in a new era of smart STBs
The brand new Pure Avalon 300R Connect Freeview+ HD Digital TV Recorder is a high-performance digital TV recorder (PVR) with a rich and intuitive user interface running on a computing platform that integrates Imagination’s PowerVR graphics technologies.
Pure is a division of Imagination and the world’s leading manufacturer of wireless music and internet radio systems. Pure’s line-up of digital radios includes the Evoke 1S, one of the world’s most popular and iconic digital radios. Our colleagues recently expanded into wireless music systems, launching the Jongo family of multi-room audio products, and offer innovative cloud services with the Pure Connect portal. Now consumer A/V products are added into the mix with the launch of Avalon 300R Connect – Pure’s first connected set-top box.
The Avalon 300R Connect is “Pure gold”
The Avalon 300R Connect is essentially a multimedia product designed for your living room, offering both broadcast TV and integrated over-the-top Internet TV and digital music services. It is living proof how, by integrating our PowerVR graphics solutions, silicon manufacturers, OEMs and developers can benefit from key architectural advantages of our market proven technologies that have continued to match the changing requirements of the HDTV and STB consumer industry.
Avalon’s state of the art user interface is based on a high-quality overall experience that includes both video and image quality but also a butter-smooth EPG that can comfortably run at 60 fps. It was developed in collaboration with Mentor Graphics and provides a look and feel that is easy for consumers to evaluate and directly influences their buying choice. The Mentor Graphics UI technology includes the award-winning Inflexion UI product which is used by hundreds of embedded system developers across the world, allowing them to create graphically rich, dynamic 2D and 3D UIs without spiralling development complexity or costs.
Here’s just a small selection of some of the reviews from the industry:
PowerVR graphics are the future of TVs and STBs
As graphics processing units have become a must-have in any SoC that’s targeting the TV market, the right balance between costs and requirements is essential. We are the leading IP provider with a comprehensive and dynamic roadmap that supports a wide range of open and proprietary standards including OpenGL ES, OpenCL, DirectX and OpenGL.
This enables developers to accelerate application bring-up and ensures cross-platform compatibility as games or user interfaces can still make use of performance-oriented techniques like texture compression and tile based deferred rendering which have been available to mobile platforms for years. For example, thanks to Imagination’s PowerVR graphics, Pure Avalon 300R Connect offers the most advanced user interface ever seen on a Freeview+ HD PVR, with effects like 3D transitions, picture-in-picture video and high definition texture streaming.
Furthermore, the HTML5-based browser harnesses the full potential of PowerVR graphics, running the most advanced versions of online video services such as BBC iPlayer and YouTube, and bringing the Pure Connect music service directly into the living room.
We have an engineering team with an extended experience in the TV and STB market and who understand its requirements, designing our hardware to support advanced features like true anti-aliasing and increased image quality efficiently to eliminate issues common with content streamed over the Internet.
A connected experience with Imagination’s IP technologies
We’ve also developed a mature software stack running on our high performance cores which allows tighter integration with all our IP. System architects can use our PowerVR graphics cores and our multi-standard families of hardware encoder and decoders together to achieve improved quality and increased standard support.
The PowerVR video IP family has been optimized to offer performance scalability from single stream low-definition video decode acceleration to multi stream high-definition hardware video encode and decode. Supported standards include H.264 (High, Main and Base Profiles), H.263, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, VC-1, AVS and JPEG. By accelerating performance intensive functions, they vastly decrease the CPU offload and are ideal for use in clever combinations with our PowerVR GPUs like image and video pre- and post-processing, gesture recognition for UI control or GPU compute-accelerated transcoding.
Smart TVs and STBs can also be connected to the internet using the built-in Wi-Fi or Ethernet connectivity, giving users access to on-demand programmes from BBC iPlayer in standard and high quality, videos from YouTube or enables them to login to access their saved favourites. These connected multimedia platforms can integrate our Ensigma multi-standard Radio Processing Units (RPUs), Imagination’s turn-key communications solution for smart TVs and STBs. By incorporating the latest wireless communication technology on the Ensigma Series3 or newly-announced Series4 platforms, Imagination is able to offer significantly increased data throughput, sensitivity, and other key performance metrics, while limiting bandwidth requirements and lowering transmit power. They uniquely offer support for universal TV broadcasting standards as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity on a single device.
The ability to make video calls is also becoming a vital part of the connected home experience. Our HelloSoft V.VoIP brings video and voice calling to multimedia platforms and is flexibly designed to implement multi-login support and seamless handoff between networks and devices as well as superior sound and image quality thanks to an innovative suite of algorithms. This allows a user to start a call on a smartphone or tablet and then move to a smart TV or STB without interrupting the call.
By developing these technologies together, Imagination is able to offer its partners cost effective solutions that are mature, low risk and already shipping in mass volume. We also provide a market-leading ecosystem which is able to deliver relevant content for the computing platforms supplied by our hardware partners. Products like Pure’s Avalon 300R Connect are a perfect example of how we are able to bring together silicon manufacturers, OEMs and software companies to deliver a complete, optimized package that truly attracts consumer interest.
Want to know more about our connected home solutions and gain valuable insight into one of the most dynamic consumer electronics markets? Then keep coming back to our blog and follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR and @PURE_Insider) for more news and announcements on our multimedia technologies!