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C-Cube sets set-top strategy

The company is developing a multimedia platform for TV set-top boxes that is designed to improve picture quality and Web graphics.

C-Cube is developing a multimedia platform for TV set-top boxes that is designed to improve picture quality and Web graphics viewed on television sets.

C-Cube's Avia@TV, announced today, is designed to replicate the way Web graphics and Internet content appears on the PC, with an embedded processor which delivers "high-speed rendering comparable to that of the PC," according to C-Cube.

Internet appliances such as "intelligent" set-top boxes are expected to explode in popularity over the next five years. Cable service providers and satellite television broadcasters will begin to lease intelligent set-top boxes to their customers in an effort to add Internet connectivity to their traditional services. Set-top boxes will be available at the retail level in the next few years.

C-Cube's new decoding and processing solution is aimed at replicating the full PC experience on a set-top box.

Avia@TV also offers what C-Cube calls a "flicker filter," a feature which compensates for television screens' low refresh rate, which the human eye perceives as a flicker. This feature makes it easier for the user to read text over the TV, C-Cube says.

C-Cube will market the chipset to set-top box manufacturers and cable service providers, the company said. Pioneer has already signed on to build a box based on the platform, C-Cube said.