TVs have played an important role in providing entertainment and diverse content to households for decades. They are capable of receiving broadcast signals from wired and wireless TV stations, and displaying audio and video signals transmitted by external devices (such as STBs and DVDs) through various analog and digital interfaces. In 2007, the first generation of networked smart TVs came into being, representing a new, innovative paradigm for TV products. These smart TVs supported the installation of wide-ranging apps, and enabled consumers to watch live and on-demand video from the Internet. They also allowed TV content to be actively selected, rather than simply passively received. These smart TVs supported signal reception (wireless and wired), as well as diverse digital/analog interfaces, network interfaces (wireless and wired), audio/video signal processing, and image display.
With the emergence of smartphones, mobile phone functions now far transcend basic communications capabilities. Smart TVs have developed in a similar manner, now not just serving as the media and entertainment center of the household, but also as an information sharing center, the household control hub, and a medium for human-machine interaction. The latest generation of smart TVs offers superb audiovisuals, supporting 4K/8K content, premium audio, and high dynamic range (HDR) content, while also integrates AI cameras and neural-network processing units (NPUs) to provide diverse network access capabilities such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Their main processors now integrate high-performance CPU, GPU, NPU, 4K/8K codec, image signal processors (ISP), and premium audio digital signal processors (DSP). Notably, the HiSilicon smart TV solution supports the proprietary HiStreaming technology. With HiStreaming, smart TVs can quickly identify peripheral devices that support HiStreaming as well, implement seamless connection for lower latency and higher safety, and support structured transmission of AI data. This enables peripheral devices to be virtually operated and controlled as local devices, providing every member of the household with the best possible experience for consumers.
HiSilicon has nearly a decade of experience in researching and manufacturing smart TV SoCs. Tens of millions of TVs around the world already use HiSilicon technologies to provide consumers with optimal audiovisual quality. As the global leader in the smart TV SoC sector, HiSilicon offers a full range of smart TV SoCs that support HDR, AI picture quality (AI-PQ), motion estimation/motion compensation (MEMC), and a wide range of different resolutions, from full high definition (FHD) to 4K/8K. All HiSilicon solutions support HarmonyOS, Linux, Android, and other mainstream operating systems. In addition, HiSilicon SoCs come equipped with the following peripheral chips:
A set-top box (STB) is a media device connected to a TV. It decodes audio and video signals and sends the signals to the TV, which compensates for the TV's shortcomings in data processing and app extension. There are two types of STBs currently on the market: Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) STB and over-the-top (OTT) STB. IPTV STBs provide live streaming services through a carrier-controlled private network, while OTT STBs achieve this through the public Internet. As restricted by relevant policies, OTT STBs can only provide live streaming services after a third-party app is installed. All types of STBs consist of logical modules such as those related to network connections, digital signal processing, and video signal output.
With rapid technological and practical progress of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), STB functions have evolved from simply decoding audio and video to gradually encompassing all major smart home features, such as camera capabilities, ultra-high-definition (UHD) encoding/decoding, access technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, high-quality audio playback, and local video display.
The STB SoC is no longer a mere decoding chip, as it now integrates high-performance CPU, NPU, UHD codec, ISP, and premium audio DSP.
In recent years, online video content has become a major cultural phenomenon, with easily accessible TV and variety shows. New short video and live streaming paradigms have also emerged. With such a diverse range of content and varying daily routines, it is difficult to meet the entertainment needs of the entire household with just a single TV screen. The intelligent STB has been developed as a remedy which integrates high-quality audio and video output devices to provide more convenient and flexible video playback modes for consumers. In addition, with the high-performance CPU, GPU, NPU, ISP, and DSP, the intelligent STB is a suitable entry for implementing smart home controls.
HiSilicon launched its first STB SoC in 2007. Over the past decade, HiSilicon and its partners have blazed a trail in such fields as HD, intelligence and 4K/8K. Hundreds of millions of STBs based on HiSilicon SoCs have been brought online thus far. In addition to providing high-quality audio and video services for consumers, they also represent highly reliable and easy-to-manage solutions, capable of serving multiple carriers. HiSilicon STB SoCs feature industry-leading image quality enhancement, alongside robust system performance. Some mid- and high-end products will integrate the Da Vinci AI NPU module and support in-depth integration into the HarmonyOS ecosystem. By offering diverse external interfaces and working with camera and Wi-Fi chips, such SoCs provide consumers with seamless home connections and smart home services.