The home audio-video landscape is quickly transitioning from analog to digital, now providing several hundred channels of 24-hour coverage, Internet access, and other services. The convergence of functions provided by the television and the PC requires a platform to provide these services. With the arrival of several services, the set-top box is growing beyond its traditional function of enabling digital video. Future generations of set-top boxes will provide more services such as the ability to pause, record, store and replay live video; provide video on demand (VoD); provide Internet access; and control other consumer devices. Providing these services will require the relatively simple set-top box to add components such as flash memory, hard-disk drives, security chips, home networking chipsets, and so on. In this technical paper, Amit Dhir of Xilinx explains that programmable logic solutions will enable the integration of these services and components in future generations of set-top boxes.

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