As China rolls out its HDTV format during preparations for this summer's Olympics, broadcasting to vehicles is a key requirement. The standard that came into use late last year will be deployed on thousands of buses and cars in Beijing during the Olympic games.
Broadcasters in Hong Kong have already switched to the China Digital Television Terrestrial Broadcasting (DTTB) System, as have main government stations. Receivers are seeing rapid growth, with vehicles leading the way.
"They plan to have 50,000 buses equipped for the Olympics, and there will also be a fleet of at least 2000 cars with HDTV receivers," said Lin Yang, Chairman of Legend Silicon Corp.
Legend helped develop the Chinese specification over the past eight years and now supplies chips for both transmission and reception. Transmission to vehicles was a key aspect when China developed its HDTV standard, according to Yang.
That is because many of the wealthy people and government officials who own cars today want mobile TV. Additionally, public transportation is often crowded with people, so broadcasting to them offers benefits for commuters, advertisers, and the government.
"They're putting two to four flat-panel TVs on each bus. Buses are often crowded and people are standing up, so TV is a natural for giving them something to do," said Raj Karamchedu, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Legend.
Fremont, CA-based Legend partnered with leading Chinese universities to help develop the specification and create related intellectual property (IP). The open standard, GB20600-2006, was completed in 2006, when it was released to the public. It uses Time Domain Synchronous - Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing technology to send a high-bandwidth data stream to mobile devices ranging from cars to cell phones.
A number of suppliers including Samsung, Sharp, and several Chinese companies are now shipping systems and boards that use Legend’s chips. Legend has also partnered with chipmakers Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics, Analog Devices, and Renesas, sharing IP used to design low-cost portable products for the Chinese market.