Silicon Optix puts HD quality in standard TVs

San Jose (CA) - A new name in the chip industry says that it can approach HD quality television on standard TVs and channels: Silicon Optix announced its Realta chip, based on technology in the past only available in Hollywood quality video systems.

The technology foundation of the new chip was developed by Silicon Optix and Teranex, which it acquired a month ago. Teranex has been known for offering a $60,000-expensive high-end home entertainment system and professional large-area digital display systems for six years. According to Silicon Optix, the Realta chip is capable exceeding performance data of this professional system.

"The Realta chip incorporates revolutionary technologies that will drive the next wave of digital video processing, and is targeted to set a new standard in video quality," said Paul Russo, chairman and CEO of the company.

According to Silicon Optix, the Realta chip combines Teranex's trillion operation per second broadcast quality video processing with Silicon Optix' proprietary geometric scaling technology to create a new standard for image quality, a standard Silicon Optix is calling "Hollywood Quality Video", or HQV. As a new generation of video processing unit, it includes Teranex' software algorithms and customers of Hollywood post production and broadcast including NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, WB and Turner networks, the company said.

According to Silicon Optix spokesman Brian Hentschel, the TV picture quality can be greatly improved with the Realta chip. "We can approach HD quality on standard TVs," he said. Also HD TV systems will be able to take advantage of the technology. Rather displaying a HD quality picture, with data pushed through one instead of the needed two pipes, we can preserve the full image quality." A technology named "HQV True 1080i to 1080p/QXGA De-interlacing" uses the full four-field processing window for HD video de-interlacing and cadence detection, rather than discarding half the resolution of high-definition (HD) images as today's image processors typically do.

Other features include a true 10-bit diagonal interpolator that removes any "jaggies" and/or stair-stepping artifacts from de-interlaced video sources without blurring the image as well as noise reduction which works as automatic per-pixel adaptive software algorithm.

Silicon Optix plans to showcase the technology for the first time at the next Consumer Electronics Show in January. Algolith will demonstrate its Dragonfly set-top box equipped with the technology. Pricing for the system is expected to be about $3500. Hentschel said that the technology will also be available in rear projection TVs, home theater systems as well as other set-top boxes.