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Broadcom Chips Away at DBS

Broadcom Corp. announced separate chip-set deals with direct-broadcast satellite leaders DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Thursday.

DirecTV will use Broadcom’s MPEG-4/AVC (Moving Picture Expert Group/Advanced Video Compression) silicon, featuring new video-compression functionality, as the core technology in its digital HDTV set-tops.

Broadcom said its MPEG-4/AVC chips were provided to LG Electronics Inc. in October, allowing DirecTV to become the first provider in the world to launch a set-top with HDTV MPEG4/AVC technology.

And EchoStar will use the chip maker’s MPEG-4/AVC chip-set solutions for two MPEG-4-specific set-top products currently in volume production.

The Dish Network “ViP 211,” the DBS provider’s first ever MPEG-4/AVC set-top, launched in December, and it supports HD and standard-definition video in both the future format of MPEG-4/AVC and MPEG-2 for legacy services.

The second set-top, announced Thursday at the CES, is EchoStar's flagship “ViP 622,” an MPEG-4/AVC set-top with dual HD decoding capable of supporting multiple televisions within the home, which also incorporates digital-video-recording capabilities.