Broadcom has announced a single-chip solution for DOCSIS cable modems that will combine the usual data and video with high-definition decoding for MPEG-4 AVC, VC1, and MPEG-2 formats. The chip also supports Dolby Digital , MP3, and AAC audio. It is intended for manufacturers to use in building cable modems that have a single integrated chipset with both the video and data decoding built in.
This should open the door for both built-in PVR functionality, as well as allowing for possible IPTV use. The modem could download content directly from the internet using the data services and then decode any of the new compression formats used in Blu-ray and HD DVD.
Manufacturers are quickly moving to embrace these newer codecs for compressing video over cable and the internet (and satellite), and it's good to see it becoming commoditized to the point where it's being built into a single chip. Will we see the cable companies get into FiOS-like content delivery soon?