XBMC might be most famous for spawning Boxee, but the original project is still going strong -- and it just got a big boost from Sigma Design, which will support it directly on its new TV streamer SoCs. Sigma chips are already used in streamers like the Popcorn Hour and WDTV Live, so we'd expect to see similar products make use of XBMC directly in the future -- just another sign that the connected TV space is growing by leaps and bounds. Sigma's demoing its XBMC port here at CES, we'll let you know when we go check it out. PR after the break

[Thanks, Chris]

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SIGMA DESIGNS UPGRADES THE FRONT OF SCREEN EXPERIENCE

Showcases Latest Connected Media Platforms on Sigma's Popular Media
Processors at CES 2011

MILPITAS, California - January 4, 2010 - Sigma Designs (NASDAQ: SIGM), a leading provider
of System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions for delivering entertainment and control throughout the
home, today announced that it has upgraded the customer's front of screen experience with its
new SoCs: the SMP8910 and the SMP8670 Secure Media Processors™ (see related announcement
regarding Sigma's SMP8910). The company also announced support for four exciting new TV
development environments: Adobe® AIR® for TV, the Espial Browser with support for Adobe
Flash® Player, a Hardware Accelerated Open GL ES 3D UI Framework, and XBMC (XBMC Media
Center). These solutions will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the
company's private suite, located in the Las Vegas Hilton, room 2921.
"The TV has become a platform through which consumers desire to access a wider variety of
entertainment and media, including videos, games, user-generated content, music, and social
networking content," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst at Parks Associates.
"New development environments such as Adobe AIR for TV, and XBMC will enable consumers to
download applications, play games, watch HDTV and visit TV-optimized sites – all from the
comfort of their couch. A flexible and easy-to-use interface is a critical factor in how
consumers will enjoy these new experiences, and Sigma Designs is smart to provide OEMs such
a complete tool chest of rich user interface options."
At CES 2011, Sigma Designs will showcase four state-of-the-art environments:
• Adobe AIR for TV running media-rich music and video applications
• A preview of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 for the latest Espial TV web browser
• XBMC with its rich user interface and ability to download applications onto the
platform
• A rich 3D graphics framework for next generation hybrid platforms
"The XBMC team welcomes Sigma Designs, a leading provider in the embedded player market,
to our list of working hardware platforms," said Cory Fields, XBMC Business Relations Manager.
"Together we will give manufacturers a robust solution for development and innovation, which
will in turn bring our highly acclaimed user experience to a new audience of media
enthusiasts."
The SMP8910 is the first studio-grade SoC for advanced connected media players. It integrates
the popular VXP post-processing technology used in most Hollywood post-production equipment
into mainstream media processors. This new high-performance chip delivers an unparalleled
full resolution 1080p 3DTV viewing experience, eliminates video artifacts caused by
compression and transmission, and can handle more TV platform features concurrently. At the
same time, it can decode more high definition videos than rival systems – leading to a better
viewing experience for consumers.
The SMP8670 is a new thin-client SoC optimized to run over-the-top application environments
such as the XBMC, Adobe AIR for TV, Adobe Flash Player and other graphically-rich
environments. The chip is 40% faster than previous Sigma thin-client solutions and dramatically
improves the responsiveness of these new, advanced user interfaces.