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iVAST, Sigma Partner on New MPEG-4 Set-Top Technology

12 Nov, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi

iVAST and Sigma Designs have formed a strategic partnership to co-develop a complete MPEG-4 solution designed for set-top boxes based on the ISO/IEC standard.

iVAST, the leading end-to-end platform provider for MPEG-4 interactive media, and Sigma, the leader in silicon-based MPEG decoding solutions for broadband set-top appliances and commercial streaming systems, will integrate complimentary products, the iVAST Player and Sigma's EM8475 DVD/MPEG-4 decoder chip. This technology is expected to provide the next evolution in interactive TV devices.

This product integration will give users functionality beyond MPEG-2 audio and video file decoding. By taking full advantage of the advanced compression and object-oriented specifications inherent in the MPEG-4 standard, the iVAST-Sigma solution will give users the ability to experience multiple video streams, multiple audio streams, layered 2D and 3D images, text and animation all in an integrated presentation. Additionally, the MPEG-4 solution will be Internet Streaming Media Alliance compliant.

“Our relationship with Sigma Designs will give broadband service providers a complete end-to-end set-top box solution based on MPEG-4,” said Marty Levine, v.p. of business development for consumer platforms at iVAST. “The compression efficiency of MPEG-4 over MPEG-2 allows service providers to manage multiple media types and multiple streams of audio and video for the same bandwidth. Coupled with interactivity, these advanced capabilities make MPEG-4 the next logical platform for interactive TV.”

“Consumers have been demanding more control, more convenience and an overall richer entertainment experience,” said Ken Lowe, v.p. of business development at Sigma. “This marriage of market leaders gives set-top box manufacturers everything they need to offer a next-generation MPEG-4 experience, without requiring the expertise to create the technology themselves.”

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