But can we afford the necessary television to go with it...?!
Pace is a name you may or may not recognise? If the name rings a bell you probably have Sky or Sky+ since the manufacturer makes the large majority of their digiboxes. Well, the company looks set to blaze a whole new trail after announcing the world’s first H.264 decoding set-top-box.
Called the IP215, it uses the latest silicon technology to enable MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression decoding to take place in hardware, replacing the traditionally more expensive software based solutions. It has 490 MIPs of processing power, optical audio output, support for all popular conditional access (CA) providers and promises a cutting edge user interface including possible browser integration. (I’ve spliced in some Finding Nemo H.264 shots below to wet the appetite – and even then stills don’t do it justice!)
Remarkably, considering the cutting edge nature of this device, Pace is targeting the IP215 at the entry level market. “(It) could even represent a sub-$100 set-top-box solution, thanks to the modular way the technology has been designed,” said David Gilles, the company’s Director of Technology.
Pace will be demonstrating the IP215 for the first time at the ANGA Cable 2005 Event in Germany which runs this week. A full product launch is anticipated for September. Now we just need a £5,000 television to take advantage of this £50 set-top-box…
Furthermore, if you want a demonstration of the stunning quality of H.264, check out the movie trailers here. Be warned, you’ll need a top notch Mac G5 to watch them on. Compatible PC trailers are due soon.