Broadcom, a large semiconductor company, announced today that it will power what it claims is the first 4k-capable Android TV set top box on the market.
Made in tandem with Free, a broadband and IPTV service provider from France, the new Freebox set top box will come with Broadcom's BCM7252 SoC, which includes a dual-core Brahma15 10.5K DMIPS CPU, which is a powerful OpenGL ES 3.1 GPU that supports 4Kp60 or quad 1080p60 HEVC decode and dual HD AVC encode. It's also integrated with high-performance peripherals such as USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, PCIe and Gigabit Ethernet and supports both the LPDDR3 and LPDDR4 memory interfaces.
"We are very excited to be working with Freebox on this groundbreaking new platform," said Rich Nelson, Broadcom Senior Vice President of Marketing, Broadband & Connectivity Group. "Supporting Android TV, Broadcom's set-top box and connectivity devices enable Freebox to bring exciting 4K content to their subscribers in addition to all the benefits of the Android TV ecosystem."
The Freebox set top box runs a newer Lollipop-based version of Android TV, Google's successor to its own Google TV software. Although Google TV didn't have a good start nor a great ecosystem, Android TV seems to have been picked up by more companies already. It also supports the Play Store, so developers can make apps that are optimized for TVs and then deliver them to owners of Android TV set top boxes or consoles more easily.
Having Play Store support as well as a powerful OpenGL ES 3.1 GPU, the Freebox can also be used for gaming, although it's unlikely to come close to the performance of Nvidia's upcoming Shield console. Free will supply its Freebox device to its new customers in fiber and unbundled copper areas.
"As an early innovator with our triple play service for subscribers in France, Freebox has demonstrated its commitment to affordably deliver the latest in entertainment to our subscribers," said Sebastien Boutruche, Free General Manager. "With our new Ultra HD Android TV set-top box, our customers will enjoy the stunning clarity of Ultra HD 4K content right in their homes."