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Realtek bowing out

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
so looks like realtek is bowing out of the Media player market 1186 was there last chip

http://translate.google.com/translat...2Farticle03642

or so the rumors have it. We have now lost intel ce, realtek all that remains is sigma and the ARM chips from various people. Sad days for the media player world
post #2 of 50
wow... sigma is having problems with their next gen chip too. I thought intel released a new chipset for this market though. Interesting, not sure what to make of it
post #3 of 50
Thread Starter 
Wonder what all the realtek player companies will switch to. If they switch to sigma they need to higher more devs, or goto marvell or somethign.
post #4 of 50
Scary if true. ARM chips to date are lacking (no hd audio, etc.). If Sigma bows out too, we'll have little choice but to move to HTPC's once our existing players die. Re: Intel CE chips, I don't have much confidence, not yet anyway. Just look at hd audio issues with Boxee Box and them not even delivering the new SDK that supposedly addresses that and other issues to Boxee.
post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

Scary if true. ARM chips to date are lacking (no hd audio, etc.). If Sigma bows out too, we'll have little choice but to move to HTPC's once our existing players die. Re: Intel CE chips, I don't have much confidence, not yet anyway. Just look at hd audio issues with Boxee Box and them not even delivering the new SDK that supposedly addresses that and other issues to Boxee.

The marvell chips like the ARMADA 1000 have HD audio, And as for intel Im pretty sure they dropped the CE line might be why no sdk ever came they announced the 4200 but it never saw the light and nothing out of them since 2010.
post #6 of 50
Intel certainly abandoned he CE4200 series and I'm sure that is why no SDK has come to fruition. However, take a look at these links.

http://scoop.intel.com/new-choices-f...edia-gateways/

http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/20/28...-set-top-boxes
post #7 of 50
Re: Intel/New Chips
Those will be used for MSOs and Telcos..not dedicated media streamers.
post #8 of 50
That is what the article says but dedicated streamers could also pick this chipset up don't you think? Not sure anyone would put their eggs back in their market considering how crappy they supported the 4200.
post #9 of 50
I don't think any reasonable company would...but first Intel would have to agree to ship the product, which I also doubt would happen.
post #10 of 50
Thread Starter 
The main issue with intel is they want to play with big boys, Most media players I would say sell 250,000 units which is not a big enough investment for intel. They want to multi million contracts from tv manufactures and cell phone companies to bring in millions of customers.
post #11 of 50
^ Exactly! So when will we see a Marvell solution? Personally, I would like to see this happen.
post #12 of 50
there are already marvell solutions
post #13 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVS View Post

^ Exactly! So when will we see a Marvell solution? Personally, I would like to see this happen.

The nixeus fusion xs is based off the marvell, I own it it needs a lot of work though.
post #14 of 50
^mostly firmware, or do you feel hardware related?
post #15 of 50
This is based on rumors and horrifically broken English. I doubt Realtek would kill any cash cow. You think they'd drop ethernet chipsets? No. Media streamers which are increasingly popular? No. Sound? No. Money is money. It makes no financial sense to kill off popular chips.
post #16 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

This is based on rumors and horrifically broken English. I doubt Realtek would kill any cash cow. You think they'd drop ethernet chipsets? No. Media streamers which are increasingly popular? No. Sound? No. Money is money. It makes no financial sense to kill off popular chips.

The original article was not in English that was through google translate so it is broken English. And how much of a cash cow do you think it is? Sigma stocks have dropped over the last year, companies like HDX, divco have came and went rumor mill is still hinting at hdi and xtreamer in money troubles, Syabas had to down staff. You had intel drop out when they were the supplier for boxee box backed by d-link which was even in big stores like bestbuy, All signs point to this market as going down hill not uphill like you believe If you can post information pointing to this market being a cash cow by all means post it.

I dropped jack@micca a pm to ask if he could comment on the issue he should know if there is any truth to it although he might not be allowed to say.
post #17 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVS View Post

^mostly firmware, or do you feel hardware related?

two parts to it. there marvell sdk is not mature enough. I did not get working audio for the first 3 months I owned the box, they got that working now but lots of little things, Everything could be done in firmware and software though to make it a decent player. But being being marvell there is no iso/nfs support
post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfelite View Post

But being being marvell there is no iso/nfs support

this would be deal breaker for me...
post #19 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVS View Post

this would be deal breaker for me...

Seems like a lot of the players are going no ISO support, but maybe if some of the big media players companies step in like syabas,dune they can get it done, As of right now with the realtek solutions and the arm/marvell units the companies usually only have 1-2 devs as all the player work comes from realtek/marvell. And they only focus on the UI part of it, So maybe with the dev power that dune and syabas has as it takes a lot more devs to work with sigma products they could implement there own ISO support into the ARM chips, Would be nice.
post #20 of 50
Arm chips are improving at lot lately with chips from All Winner and Amlogic the stuff from Amlogic can go toe to toe with any Sigma/Realtek player. The problem is their is no software development for these so they stick Android on them which is not an ideal software environment.

XBMC is being ported to both of those Arm platforms so when that eventually happens they will kill off many in the media player market anyway so Realtek's exit could have happened regardless.

Marvells Armada 1500 is a pretty nice chipset but again it's all down to software development but with 1500 being the chipset for second generation GoogleTV's it seems Google will be responsible for development on those boxes at least and better media players (even basic XBMC clones) have been appearing in GoogleTV market.
post #21 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

Arm chips are improving at lot lately with chips from All Winner and Amlogic the stuff from Amlogic can go toe to toe with any Sigma/Realtek player. The problem is their is no software development for these so they stick Android on them which is not an ideal software environment.

XBMC is being ported to both of those Arm platforms so when that eventually happens they will kill off many in the media player market anyway so Realtek's exit could have happened regardless.

Marvells Armada 1500 is a pretty nice chipset but again it's all down to software development but with 1500 being the chipset for second generation GoogleTV's it seems Google will be responsible for development on those boxes at least and better media players (even basic XBMC clones) have been appearing in GoogleTV market.

The basic issue with the ARM market is its so fragmented, No to boxes are alike, Some are coming with rf some are coming with bluetooth and no one knows what they can really do, Sure they have an h264 decoder for video but what happens when you start decoding audio and running subtitle engines on them with say a usenet download running in the background. None of them will have full bluray support like players now. So while yes they can be a contender for some of the cheaper player solutions it still leaves a lot to be desired for most.
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfelite View Post

The basic issue with the ARM market is its so fragmented, No to boxes are alike, Some are coming with rf some are coming with bluetooth and no one knows what they can really do, Sure they have an h264 decoder for video but what happens when you start decoding audio and running subtitle engines on them with say a usenet download running in the background. None of them will have full bluray support like players now. So while yes they can be a contender for some of the cheaper player solutions it still leaves a lot to be desired for most.


Yes there are a few different competing chipsets out there but their is really only one who dominates the market and that is Amlogic and soon to be All Winner. Both chipsets are pretty similar to each other and can easily handle Blu-ray video streams, Amlogics newest chip can handle 3D Blu-rays and WebM video. They sell their all in one Arm SoC's to tablets/phones/stb/tv's etc so their is no shortage of clients. It's not like Marvell's Armada 1500 which is a dedicated chipset for just certain tasks.

Many of those in media player context are running Android OS which is really not suitable for media centers though people make do with it, and you'd be surprised more people buy the cheap and nasty stuff then the good stuff. Android doesn't really allow the hardware to shine with the limitations it has.

XBMC has been ported to Amlogic 8726 chipsets and can be seen here (7:28), demoed by Pivos no less who have hinted at a XBMC coming to their XIOS DS player. So that shows what these chips are really capable of.

VLC has made progress with open source Blu-ray menu support which will be integrated into XBMC eventually, while it wont give you the total full Blu-ray menu experience (no BD Live features) it's better than a player forced to use Cinavia DRM or no BD menus at all.

None of this will happen over night it's still a ways off but it is in the works at least.
post #23 of 50
Of course it is all speculation at this point. Media players are very low sellers except for ATV, Roku and WD. Even the Boxee Box did not sell that well. The 250k figure mentioned would be a dream come true for most media player companies.

I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of the general media player. Online streaming, DRM, premium channels, Smart TV's, game consoles, portability requirements and copyright laws are taking a toll. Relative sales of physical disks are dropping and outlets for purchasing them are in trouble (for example, Best Buy). Backing up disks to disk images or equivalent will become harder to do and then playback will be hindered by copy protection. It's happening now. HDMI is just the tip of the iceberg.

The driving force in all of this is that content producers and providers want a sustainable industry. You can't really blame them They are not the most likable folks around but they also aren't the demons that many make them out to be. What is coming will make Apple's walled garden seem open source.

Philip
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of the general media player. Online streaming, DRM, premium channels, Smart TV's, game consoles, portability requirements and copyright laws are taking a toll. Relative sales of physical disks are dropping and outlets for purchasing them are in trouble (for example, Best Buy). Backing up disks to disk images or equivalent will become harder to do and then playback will be hindered by copy protection. It's happening now. HDMI is just the tip of the iceberg.

What is coming will make Apple's walled garden seem open source.

Philip

ROFL. Every single form of DRM has been and will be cracked. Even Diablo 3 will eventually be reverse engineered. Nothing will be harder to do. Companies like DVD Fab will always exist and .nzb's and torrent's will still carry on. Look at all the webrips and VOD rips - what DRM? what premium channels? what copyright junk is taking a toll? Put all that together with a HTPC and what you are predicting is rubbish. Nothing will change . . . .
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post


ROFL. Every single form of DRM has been and will be cracked. Even Diablo 3 will eventually be reverse engineered. Nothing will be harder to do. Companies like DVD Fab will always exist and .nzb's and torrent's will still carry on. Look at all the webrips and VOD rips - what DRM? what premium channels? what copyright junk is taking a toll? Put all that together with a HTPC and what you are predicting is rubbish. Nothing will change . . . .

No doubt you will find a lot of stuff cracked. So what? Most people above a certain age couldn't be bothered. They want to buy something legal and have it work. I agree there will always be some people who can get around these restrictions. When you are talking markets in the millions for the ATV3 which can't be cracked at this point do you really think that anyone cares about the 50k market?

Philip
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

No doubt you will find a lot of stuff cracked. So what? Most people above a certain age couldn't be bothered. They want to buy something legal and have it work. I agree there will always be some people who can get around these restrictions. When you are talking markets in the millions for the ATV3 which can't be cracked at this point do you really think that anyone cares about the 50k market?

Philip

Couldn't be bothered because they don't have a clue? Anything cracked works just as well as the legal version if you know what you are doing. I'd also say the 50k market is quite a bit bigger than that.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post


Couldn't be bothered because they don't have a clue? Anything cracked works just as well as the legal version if you know what you are doing. I'd also say the 50k market is quite a bit bigger than that.

You can be as snarky as you like. Some people couldn't be bothered because it's not a hobby or they don't have a lot of time to look into these things or they don't want to deal in a grey area or whatever ... That 50k figure is generous, but obviously not worldwide.

Philip
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

. . . I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of the general media player. Online streaming, DRM, premium channels, Smart TV's, game consoles, portability requirements and copyright laws are taking a toll.

I agree, the standalone media player market is in decline. DRM aside, the reasons Philip mentioned are all factors. If your smart-TV, STB or game console can also stream from your library, why would you need another box? The hardware exist in those other boxes already, so it is just a matter of rolling in firmware, like Plex or XBMC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Couldn't be bothered because they don't have a clue? Anything cracked works just as well as the legal version if you know what you are doing. I'd also say the 50k market is quite a bit bigger than that.

But how much of the mass-market knows what they are doing? For many reasons the 'cracked' market is small, and will remain so.
post #29 of 50
I received the same 'rumor' from another source right after the 1186 was released.

I think the problem for Realtek was that they consumed too much power for the functionality they provided (same for Sigma). What actually prevents these companies from making a tablet platform which can also be fitted with media streamer functionality? Now, don't give me c**p about how BD-J and HD audio and other stuff is going to consume a lot of power. When SoCs with 1 - 2 W power consumption can run demanding Android apps based on Dalvik / Java, and HD audio passthrough is a minor aspect of the HDMI implementation, Sigma and Realtek have absolutely no excuse for making huge chips consuming 8 - 10 W for media streamer functionality.

Now, Marvell is doing the same thing (the ARMADA 1000 is basically for AC-powered STBs).

Unfortunately, the market for media streamers is just not big enough for companies like NVIDIA and Qualcomm to care about. However, I hope to see companies like Broadcom or even AMLogic / Rockchip etc. make SoCs for the tablet market and repurpose them for innovative media streamers (like, a STB on-the-go type product).
post #30 of 50
There may be another reason why Realtek is bowing out. DRM and other restrictions from the film companies make it more and more difficult to make a chip without getting into legal issues. It is just not worth it any more for the limited number of possible sales.
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