September 19, 2001

Metro Link, Stream Machine, Sigma Designs support personal video recording for set-top boxes

Author: JT Smith

Metro Link announced today that
they will provide integrated support for the newly introduced Harmony
reference design into their Metro Media PVR architecture. Metro Link
will be working with both Stream Machine and Sigma Designs to support
mutual customers developing Advanced Set-Top Boxes and PVR products
using the Harmony reference design. Metro Media support for the Harmony
Reference Design will allow customers to retain a proprietary branded
look and feel for their PVR products in an open hardware and software
environment without sacrificing functionality or performance.

Advanced Set-Top Boxes, alternately known as "convergence" products
because they bring together video, voice, and data features in one
package, offer consumers full control over their viewing experience by
providing pause, instant record and other time-shifting features during
live broadcasts, as well as offering the ability to record one or more
programs at specified times in the future. The Harmony reference design
cost-effectively adds this functionality by providing a high-quality
viewing experience on low cost x86 platforms running LINUX. It is
able to do this by leveraging the power of Stream Machine's SM2288
MPEG audio/video codec and the flexibility of Sigma Designs' EM8475
DVD/MPEG-4 decoder.

This advanced hardware will be optimized by Metro Link, who will provide
dedicated support and integration for the Harmony reference design
within their Metro-Media PVR architecture. This modular architecture
conveniently provides an easily customizable user interface which is
integrated with a full media infrastructure layer. Metro Link will be
working with both Stream Machine and Sigma Designs to support mutual
customers developing set-top boxes and PVR devices using the Harmony
reference design.

"The complete solution offered by the Harmony reference design is a key
piece in promoting full-scale PVR deployment in set top boxes," said
Greg Lafferty, Vice-President of Sales for Metro Link. "Our Metro Media
Toolkit for the Harmony Reference Design offers an integrated turn-key
PVR solution which provides customers with a powerful, flexible way
to offer a branded look and feel. We look forward to working with the
customers of Stream Machine and Sigma Designs to bring a new class of
product into the mainstream."

"Metro Link's support of the Harmony Reference Design will ensure
dedicated customer support, integration and rapid deployment of our
hardware in advanced set top boxes," said Ken Lowe, Vice-President of
Business Development for Sigma Designs. "Adding PVR functionality to the
set-top box offers service providers the opportunity to roll out potential
revenue-generating services such as personal video recording and video on
demand, and our solution is timed perfectly for the needs of this market."

"The Harmony solution is ideal for OEMs who wish to capitalize on the
convergence wave by building custom-branded products on top of an open
x86 hardware and LINUX software environment," stated Brian Heuckroth,
Vice-President of Marketing for Stream Machine. "We are convinced that
there is world-wide demand for this technology, and that our combination
of chips, system design, and middleware will enable OEMs to offer the
most cost-effective, branded solution with the highest-quality video

Metro Link's Metro-Media PVR Tool Kit

Metro-Media with PVR is a modular and flexible software toolkit that
can be custom-built to individual specifications. The toolkit allows
you to build full-featured PVR solutions quickly without worrying about
the hardware details during application development. The Metro-Media PVR
Tool Kit includes the Metro-Media Device Connection (MMDC) server, and
a variety of hardware support. A typical PVR application will include
modules supporting: Audio/video capture/compression and decompression;
TV tuning (DVB,NTSC,ATSC); TV picture control; User input device; and
Disk Storage; Electronic Program Guides; and PVR Engine.

The MMDC server acts as a communications hub. It routes commands between
the various plug-in modules and provides a unified interface through
which other system components communicate with hardware drivers and with
each other. The PVR engine coordinates activity of the various hardware
modules in order to host PVR functionality, such as: Time-Shifting,
Program Recording, and Disk Space Management. There is also an EPG
Manager, which provides integrated support for TV listing information,
and a complete TV Tool Kit designed to simplify development of user
interfaces optimized for TV output. The optional Universal Plug 'n Play
module allows remote devices to control the PVR and access the Electronic
Program Guide data using standard UPnP services.

About Stream Machine

Stream Machine is at the heart of digital home entertainment, providing
cost-effective semiconductor solutions that enable industry-leading video
and audio compression. Stream Machine's proprietary compression technology
offers the highest quality video at the lowest possible bit-rates and is
compatible with all the important consumer standards, including MPEG-2,
MP3, and Dolby Digital. Stream Machine's high level of integration
provides the low system cost necessary to bring top-quality digital
video and audio entertainment to consumers at a price they can't resist.
Cirrus Logic recently announced a definitive agreement to purchase Stream
Machine which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. For
more information, please visit Phone 408.435.9166
(USA) or 86-10-8453-4071/4075 (Beijing, China).

About Sigma Designs, Inc.

Sigma Designs specializes in silicon-based MPEG decoding for streaming
video, progressive DVD playback, and advanced digital Set-Top Boxes.
The company's award-winning REALmagic( Video Streaming Technology is used
in both commercial and consumer applications providing highly integrated
solutions for high-quality decoding of MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4.
Headquartered in Milpitas, California, the company also has sales
offices in China, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. For more
information, please visit the company's web site at
Phone 408.262.9003

About Metro Link, Inc.

Metro Link specializes in analog/digital video software solutions,
customer integration support and 2D/3D2d/3d and MPEG support for embedded
systems. Metro Link's solutions are deployed in single board computers,
system on chip (SOC) devices, internet appliances and set top boxes. Metro
Link also offers a suite of device connectivity solutions focusing on
Universal Plug n Play for consumer electronics, home appliances, white
goods, micro controllers, and computer networking products.

Metro Link's multi-media infrastructure solutions include Metro-Media
PVR and DVD multimedia software, which provides a complete and scalable
PVR/DVR media support layer and extensible architecture supporting
simultaneous record/playback of video with synchronized audio. To learn
more, visit For more information, please contact Greg Lafferty at, 1-800-821-8315; phone 954-660-2500; fax 954-938-1982.All trademarks are property of their respective holders.


Brian Heuckroth
Stream Machine

Ken Lowe
Sigma Designs

Greg Lafferty
Metro Link, Inc.

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