Open Source Set Top Boxes – Thanks to Android  
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Monday, 31 August 2009

Though still in the prototype phases, MIPS Technologies - in a partnership with Sigma Designs - has created an Android based system for displaying full 1080p video on an HDTV.  Shown at DIGITIMES Tech Forum in Tapei over the weekend, the use of Android to display Full HD content is the next step towards an Android set top box.

“After showing a Blu-ray reference design for Android in June, we are pleased to now show full HD video on a MIPS-Based platform” stated Sigma president Ken Lowe.  “Support for Android is a priority on Sigma's roadmap as we enable our customers to quickly, easily and cost-effectively bring exciting new functionality to their next-generation of connected devices.”

Android, an open source platform currently powering many higher end mobile phones, enables developers to create and distribute applications to customers with ease.  An open sourced set top box would mean oft in demand features would more likely be readily available.

Full source code of the adapted Android platform is available to the public through MIPS, and has been met with much excitement according to MIPS Technologies’ Art Swift.  “Since we announced public availability of the Android on MIPS source code earlier this month, over 600 people have registered to access the code,” he stated, adding “we actually had to add server and network capacity in order to meet demand!”

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