MaxLinear Inc. (NYSE: MXL), a leading provider of integrated radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for broadband communications applications, today announced that Kaon Media has selected its MxL683 silicon tuner-demodulator device for a new, hybrid direct-to-home (DTH) satellite + terrestrial set-top box (STB) platform for the Latin America pay TV market.
Pay TV operators in Latin America are increasingly integrating ISDB-T broadcast receivers in existing STB platforms to capture the growing number of high quality high-definition (HD) channels that are broadcast over the air in many cities. The operator’s costs to combine and re-transmit these signals over the existing satellite network can be prohibitively expensive. By integrating the ISDB-T tuner in the STB, satellite operators can free up valuable satellite bandwidth for additional pay TV channels and still offer packages with the “must have” local HD channels.
A key feature of Kaon Media’s new hybrid STB is its support for single-cable installations in which the satellite and terrestrial antenna feeds are combined onto a single cable from the rooftop to the STB. Homeowners prefer single-cable installations because they reduce the number of unsightly cables in the home. Single-cable installations also reduce installation costs for pay TV operators.
The radio-frequency (RF) design of hybrid STBs can be challenging for manufacturers because the satellite and terrestrial receivers must simultaneously receive the desired channels while also rejecting the strong, undesired interference signals. When both satellite and terrestrial RF signals are carried on the same cable, terrestrial tuners must have excellent harmonic rejection and linearity performance. In multiple-cable installations, a costly discrete filter is often required to improve the STB performance.
As 4G/LTE mobile broadband services become widely deployed throughout Latin America, interference with digital STBs will be a serious concern for both pay TV operators and TV/STB consumers. The Kaon Media STB, based on MaxLinear’s market-leading MxL683 receiver, is designed to handle strong and impulsive LTE signals while still achieving excellent protection ratio with high linearity.