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ST's sound processors improve flat-panel TV sound

Posted: 12 Jan 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processors  sound processor  flat-panel TV  ST  analogue broadcast 

TV audio chips from ST

STMicroelectronics' TV sound processor chips in the company's STV83xy family, an evolution of the company's STV82xy devices, provide high-end audio algorithms for supporting mainstream flat-panel TVs and U.S., European and Asian analogue broadcast standards.

"With automatic recognition of analogue broadcast standards, it has never been so easy to have great sound on flat TV, especially using our audio compensation algorithms," said Gabriel Guglielmi, general manager of the Home Display Peripherals Division. "This new sound processor family builds on the success of the STV82 processors and leverages ST's relationship with SRS Labs to develop leading-edge sound technology, bringing high-end audio performance to both analogue and digital flat-panel TV sets at every level."

As with the STV82xy devices, these new processors are a single-chip solution that provides all the resources required to detect, decode and process analogue audio transmissions or digital sources with multi-channel content and drive a range of audio channels from enhanced stereo up to full 5.1 surround sound.

Built-in audio delay
With a built-in audio delay of up to 100ms, the STV83xy family compensates for the video processing delay of flat-panel TVs without the need for external memory; the devices support the use of external delay if more than 100ms is required. The chips' high-end digital signal processor offers compensation for the smaller loudspeakers and less-than-ideal chassis acoustics often found in flat-screen sets as designs become thinner.

The digital outputs of the STV83xy can be connected to a digital audio amplifier, such as the company's STA333 Digital Class D amplifier, to create a fully digital audio processing chain. The chip supports up to five analogue inputs, and up to 5.1 analogue outputs that can be connected to analogue Class A/B or Class D audio amplifiers.

In addition to third-party processing and enhancement technologies from Dolby and SRS Labs, the STV83xy includes ST's royalty-free algorithms: ST Widesurround, ST Omnisurround (which are Virtual Dolby Surround and Virtual Dolby Digital compliant), ST Dynamic Bass, and ST Voice. An embedded sample rate converter (SRC) processes data at 48kHz. Audio processing options—with separate processing for headphone and loudspeaker channels—include Dolby Pro Logic I, Dolby Pro Logic II, SRS WOW and SRS TruSurround XT for full multi-channel environments, in addition to the newly released SRS TruSurround HD, which provides high frequency clarity enhancement.

Virtual Dolby digital
Enhancement technologies include Smart Volume Control (SVC), 5-band graphic equaliser, a 3-band parametric equaliser, and loudness control on loudspeaker signals. The independent headphone processors include SVC, bass, treble, loudness, ST Dynamic Bass, SRS TruBass and SRS Dialogue Clarity. One of the chips' two I²S interfaces, each with three inputs, enables Dolby Digital data from a high-definition MPEG decoder, such as the company's ST-D2000 single-chip worldwide iDTV processor, to be processed, allowing certification of the Virtual Dolby Digital function at TV set level.

Additionally, the multi-channel input allows TV manufacturers to upgrade their SRS TruSurround XT certification for SRS TruSurround XT 5.1 Digital and SRS TruSurround HD 5.1 Digital.

Separate processing channels for loudspeakers and headphones allow the end user to choose either two different sounds (for the picture in picture mode), or to experience high-end sound processing such as Virtualiser (Dolby and SRS Labs) for loudspeakers, and specific settings for headphones.

The STV83xy, available in a TQFP100 package, is priced at Rs.226.60 ($5) each in 1,000 pieces. It can also be supplied in a TQFP80 for users migrating from the STV82xy family.

- Vince Biancomano

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