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FW: transputers in TV set-top boxes
In my thesis I want to write something about that the transputer technology
is not entirely dead. For example, the Alpha processor 21364 uses
transputer-class links. So, I am looking for some references.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Roger Peel [mailto:r.peel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Tuesday 30 January 2001 14:42 PM
> To: g.h.hilderink@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Cc: occam-com@xxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: transputers in TV set-top boxes
> > I have heard that transputer-based processors are used in TV
> set-top boxes
> > in the UK. Is there a reference to this information?
> > Thanks,
> > Gerald.
> Back in October 1998, I discovered the following:
> > (via Dejanews and uk.telecom :)
> > From a BSkyB news release:
> > "Digiboxes The first set-top boxes - or digiboxes - are designed and
> > manufactured by Pace, Panasonic, Grundig and Amstrad. Beneath the four
> > individually-styled exteriors lies a common specification with the
> > power to turn the TV set into the hub of the home's entertainment and
> > interactive services.
> > Based around a high-speed ST20 processor from ST Microelectronics and
> > incorporating a V.34 (28.8kbps) modem, 4 Megabytes of CPU dedicated
> > DRAM memory and a further 4 Megabytes of flash memory, the digiboxes
> > are capable of decoding MPEG-2 digital video and audio as well as
> > processing additional services such as the SkyGuide EPG and future
> > interactive services. The digiboxes incorporate an operating software
> > system based on a customised version of OpenTV's advanced set-top box
> > operating system known as OpenTV-FX (also known as OpenTV 1.2).
> > Digiboxes are fully upgradeable using software which can be downloaded
> > by satellite. This might include enhancements to the operating system
> > or to the SkyGuide. Thanks to its two banks of flash memory, the
> > Digibox can handle these upgrades in 'background mode' enabling the
> > viewer to continue watching programmes while the upgrade takes place.
> > Twin SCART outputs ensure simple high-quality connection to TV and VCR
> > using PAL or RGB signals. In addition a UHF aerial loop-through
> > facility is provided to allow compatibility with TVs and VCRs not
> > fitted with SCART sockets. A separate high- speed data port allows the
> > potential for interoperability with other digital services including
> > digital terrestrial television (DTT).
> > A second RF coaxial output offers the potential to connect the
> > satellite system to another TV via SkyDigital's unique 'TV link'
> > feature, designed in conjunction with Global Communications, which
> > allows remote control signals to be carried down the same coaxial
> > cable that carries the RF signals. This enables viewers to enjoy
> > SkyDigital programmes in more than one room at a time.
> > Two direct in/out ports are included - one an RJ11 telephone terminal
> > and the other an RS232 serial port. The telephone terminal is linked
> > with the supplied cable to the customer's existing phone line and
> > allows two-way communication with Sky through the digibox's built-in
> > modem.
> > Sky Box Office's pay-per-view selections, package choices, billing
> > enquiries and interactive services can all be fed through this
> > connection.
> > The RS-232 port is a standard 9-pin serial connector under the control
> > of the digibox's processor. In the future this port be could be used to
> > output on-line information received via the digibox's modem to a PC. "
> ... and then ....
> > In article <361A4116.6D90DCE9@xxxxxxxxx>, David Marshall with e-mail
> > address David Marshall <dave@xxxxxxxxx> and posted at 17:11:02 on Tue,
> > 6 Oct 1998 wrote about Digiboxes
> > >Simon Pocock wrote:
> > >> I want to know when the full versions of the OS and EPG are
> going to be
> > >> released, both are currently beta releases.
> > >
> > >Expect the OS and EPG to never be "finished". This is a good thing.
> > >
> > How long until the hackers get to the format?
> > Wouldn't it be cool if they found out how to program the box using the
> > serial port to interface it to a computer.
> > Then you could write or load in a better interface.
> My comment to Barry Cook at the time was "If only they knew!!
> I have the ST20 datasheet in PDF form.
> Are your interests purely curious, or do you have any particular
> application in mind?
> Dr. Roger M.A. Peel
> Senior Lecturer in Digital Systems
> Department of Computing
> School of Electronic Engineering, Information Technology and Mathematics
> University of Surrey
> Guildford Phone: +44 1483 879284
> (01483 within UK)
> Surrey GU2 7XH Fax: +44 1483 876051
> United Kingdom Email: R.Peel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx