Humax Looks Into Set-top Box Future

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Humax showed off some of what it has in store with a demonstration of the forthcoming iCORD Hybrid set-top box at the IFA electronics show in Berlin.

The product name comes from the set-top box's ability to work for both IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) and satellite TV, which will make it possible for satellite operators to add more data services to their offerings. At IFA Humax is, for example, demonstrating integration with YouTube, a feature aimed at a younger audience. "I don't think anyone will go into a store to buy it just for the YouTube support, but it will be a nice extra when customers are trying to decide between two models," said Humax spokesman Frank Scheibe.

Other data-centric services demonstrated are video on demand and photo sharing. Humax is also planning to add support for wireless networking (802.11n) and DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), to make it possible for the set-top box to connect to other devices.

Part of the networking functionality in the iCORD Hybrid is also the possibility of using one central set-top box with the main TV, and several simpler set-top boxes connected to other TV sets in the house. Humax's goal is to solve the problem of getting digital TV to all sets in a household, according to Scheibe, who didn't want to go into detail about how that will work.

Launch details are also sparse, but the iCORD Hybrid will become available in the next nine months, according to Scheibe.

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