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Swisscom TV 2.0 A New IPTV, Based On Android

Discussion in 'Google TV General Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Swisscom TV 2.0 a new IPTV, based on Android | Muktware (click for full article)

    by Sahil Kalloli - April 11, 2014

    -- Swisscom is Switzerland’s leading telecom provider with its headquarters in Ittigen, close to the capital city, Berne. With over 20,000 employees it generated turnover of CHF 11.43 billion in 2013. Swisscom is one of the most sustainable companies in Switzerland and Europe. Company serves more than 1 million subscribers, is offering the Set Top Box to its subscribers for 129 Swiss Francs, or about $147.


    The Swisscom TV 2.0 set-top box (STB) runs on the Armada 1500 Plus SoC by Marvell. The SoC is an upgrade to the Armada 1500, which was the designated SoC for Google TV 2.0 set-tops and smart TVs.


    The Android 4.2.2 stack runs on the dual Cortex-A9 cores supplied by the Armada 1500 Plus. The SoC boosts graphics and improves security compared to the original Armada 1500, which replaced the Intel Atom SoCs found in the original Google TV devices. The Vivante graphics subsystem combines a GC1000 3D core and a GC300 2D core. You can find detailed description here.


    According to manufacturer, The ARMADA 1500 Plus enables a broad range of powerful, innovative, and low cost form. As a key driver in enabling powerful and affordable devices with the latest Google services for Smart TVs as well as a vast array of smart video products based on Android JellyBean 4.2.2. The ARMADA 1500 Plus offers Android TV and Linux software development kits (SDK).


    See more at: Swisscom TV 2.0 a new IPTV, based on Android | Muktware
     
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Based on the article it sure seems like GTV Android 4.2.2 (Jellybean) is designed to optimally run on the new Marvell Armada1500 Plus chip (and vice versa). That doesn't mean it would be impossible for second generation GTV devices with the 'old' Marvell Armada 1500 chip to run Jellybean - but IMO the delay in the second generation devices being updated to Jellybean is because the engineers are trying to see if they can make it work good enough on the 'old' chip.
     
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  3. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    Well, that's what I've been saying for some time. And, this article further indicates that the main reason why the ARM Plus chip is needed to run the Android 4.2.2 and beyond, optimally, lies within the GPU horsepower. I think the GS7 chip was found to be lacking in graphics/streaming-capability, and won't be updated.

    Also, it's good to know that the Swiss like the ARM Plus chip. It seems to be a substantive endorsement if the Swiss like and invest in it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  4. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Google announced support for the 2nd generation boxes 13 months ago. Unless they were lying and they were actually developing on a pre-release version of the 1500 Plus, they've had it working for months. The bottom line is any of the 2nd generation manufacturers could release JellyBean for their devices, but it's not going to save the product, iand it's actually going to create a number of problems ... so why throw good money after bad?
     
  5. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    Post the quote where Sony stated that they're going to update the GS7/8. It doesn't exist. You're making that up.

    The closest any announcements came to stating anything about the 2nd generation boxes being updated was an announcement about LGTVs and then an ambiguous reference to "other devices later." It's never been specific.

    There is convincing evidence that, once Sony got a look at how the update software would work with the current GS7 chip, they found that it wasn't an optimal situation.
    That's why the LGTVs were updated: they have a quad core GPU to run the update optimally. It's why, any devices that are in fact updated have enhanced GPU capability as the ARM Plus chip in the the Pulse Pro box.
     
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  6. ericd

    ericd Active Member

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    https://plus.google.com/+GoogleTVDevelopers/posts/X5rmq6Yu8xG

    Although Sony (or even LG) were never mentioned by name in this announcement by GTVDevelopers, it is a bit misleading (to say the least).

    For Sony to remain silent, almost a full year after the GTV 4.2 update was announced, and allow consumers to continue purchasing GS series players, in anticipation of the update, isn't very honest. The reason I sold my 1st Gen NSX 40 GT1 was because it was announced the system couldn't run the update. I was able to get a good portion of my investment back because I acted quickly when that news was made public (an option that's not going to be available to current GS owners, because of Sony's stall tactics).

    Even if the update doesn't operate optimally, Sony should at least give the owners of the players the option of updating, with a caveat explaining the short-comings of the update. Just releasing NDK support portion of the update would easily double the amount of apps available on the device without requiring any more processing (GPU or CPU) power.

    As a sidenote, I found this quote from the announcement humerous
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
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  7. retroben

    retroben Active Member

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    One of the slides shown in the now ancient IO footage has various familiar devices including the Sony NSZ-GS7 listed as 2nd Gen devices that are supposedly eligible for the update.
    If it never yields an update,then Sony would be making them look bad for turning it into a lie.
     
  8. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    It's not only Sony that hasn't updated - every other box running the 'old' Marvell Armada 1500 chip hasn't received the update either. So Vizio, Asus, and Netgear all don't feel it's 'worth the bother' either? Sony did update the NSZ-GU1 to Jellybean and it doesn't sell well either - the difference being that it's a slightly newer device and has the new Marvell Armada 1500 Plus chip. Hmmm is all of that just a coincidence? Could be but it just seems strange to me.

    There were vague mentions in articles by reporters saying other GTV will be updated "later" or in the "coming months". But nothing official directly from Google ever stated specifically that Google TV 2.0 devices will receive the Jellybean update. Besides even if Google claimed second generation devices would get the update that wouldn't make their proclamation the holy grail. They also claimed that the Jellybean update would include Chromecast and the latest Chrome browser - well that hasn't happened either.

    If you read the official Marvell web site it's obvious that the 'old' Marvell Armada 1500 chip was specifically designed for GTV 2.0 devices with the Honeycomb OS in mind:

    Marvell - Digital Entertainment - ARMADA 1500 - Google TV

    From the above link:

    ** Using Marvell's award-winning Qdeo video processing technology, the Armada 1500 is designed to deliver superior 3D video, impressively rich audio, striking 3D graphics and TV-friendly Web content. In addition, the second-generation Google TV platforms feature a simpler design, more intuitive interface, and the new Android Honeycomb OS. Coupled with the powerful Armada 1500 processor, Google TV 2.0 solutions can provide unprecedented, seamless access to YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, Picasa, and the latest Android applications all optimized for your Smart TV. **

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now on the Marvell Armada 1500 Plus web page (see link below) they clearly state: **Latest generation SoC solution enables Google services for Smart TVs based on Android JellyBean 4.2.2**

    Marvell - Digital Entertainment - ARMADA 1500 Plus

    From the above link:

    As a key driver in enabling powerful and affordable devices with the latest Google services for Smart TVs as well as a vast array of smart video products based on Android JellyBean 4.2.2, the ARMADA 1500 Plus system-on-chip (SoC) platform truly delivers on the promise of a connected lifestyle.

    Latest generation SoC solution enables Google services for Smart TVs based on Android JellyBean 4.2.2
    Higher degree of integration that enables a cost effective price point
    An OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible graphics engine enables significantly improved graphics performance
    Real-time 1080p video encode capabilities allow the platform to function as a multi-screen source device
    An enhanced security engine that further facilitates adoption by service operators
    Marvell's award-winning Qdeo™ video processing for state-of-the-art HD and 3D video for an immersive viewing experience
    Integrated HDMI receiver and Gigabit Ethernet
    Over 6000 Dhrystone MIPS

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    en·a·ble
    enˈābəl/
    verb
    1.
    give (someone or something) the authority or means to do something.
    "the evidence would enable us to arrive at firm conclusions"
    synonyms: allow, permit, let, give the means, equip, empower, make able, fit; More
    antonyms: prevent
    make possible.
    "a number of courses are available to enable an understanding of a broad range of issues"
    2.
    COMPUTING
    make (a device or system) operational; activate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  9. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Sony was still a player in the market, so there was hope. I don't think there was ever much hope for the others.

    Anyway, please don't re-interpret what I said. Google announced that JellyBean was released to OEMs for 2nd generation Google TV devices, and that we should expect to start seeing it hit the streets in the upcoming months. This is a fact. I do not doubt that JellyBean runs better on the newer CPU. I imagine Honeycomb would as well. None of that means that the older hardware couldn't run JB, but there has to be a willingness on behalf of the manufacturer to release and support the update, to resolve any issues that came up in their testing, and justify it.

    That's really quite a lot ... so why assume that there has to be something more to it? And if the Marvell 1500 can't support JB why hasn't anyone just said that?

    Heck, have you even heard of a similar level Android devices that couldn't receive an upgrade to JellyBean due to the previous hardware lacking something?

    For instance, I've read that HTC refused to upgrade any devices with 512MB of RAM or less, but that didn't stop Google from releasing Jelly Bean for the Google Nexus S even though it only has 512MB RAM and 128MB of that is dedicated to the GPU.

    Finally, don't get confused by marketing verbiage. Of course the old chip was targeted at the operating systems that were available at the time, just like a new chip is going to be targeted at a newer operating system. But do you really think the 1500 plus is less suited to running KitKat just because Marvell didn't mention it than say some cheapy Chinese Android dongle that was successfully upgraded to KitKat by hackers who simply threw pieces and parts together from different kernels & roms?

    I don't by it.

    Even the decision to cut off the Intel CPUs was dubious. Not something done from a technical standpoint, but done because they didn't want to continue to support the old hardware. Android is based on a virtual machine architecture that is neither ARM nor x86 that runs on top of Linux. It simply doesn't care.
     
  10. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Jonw747 wrote: "Even the decision to cut off the Intel CPUs was dubious. Not something done from a technical standpoint, but done because they didn't want to continue to support the old hardware. Android is based on a virtual machine architecture that is neither ARM nor x86 that runs on top of Linux. It simply doesn't care."


    -- So if the powers to be have decided that they don't want to support the Jellybean update on second generation devices because the chips in those boxes don't run Jellybean as optimally as the new Marvell Armada 1500 Plus chip - isn't the end result the same? I think we're getting into semantics here. It would sure make sense for Sony to update the GS7/8 to Jellybean - (if they could do it in such a way that they thought performance would be acceptable). The positive PR would be worth their effort versus the negative ill-will that will be created by not updating. It's about positive PR for their brand. I don't buy into the 'excuse' that it's not 'worth their effort'.


    Sure theoretically the old chip could probably 'run' Jellybean - but maybe they feel performance is not satisfactory. For one thing there is increased DRM support with the new chip - so I'm not talking about current apps such as Netflix - but perhaps some new apps in the future such as (hypothetically) an NBC app might want the new security features. So that would mean the old boxes wouldn't get all the newest apps. And Google's new Android TV will have more of a focus on gaming. The new chip has a more powerful GPU that handles gaming better.


    GTV has been riddled with false promises since inception - so what if Google 'promised it'? I've learned to take Google promises related to GTV with a grain of salt - maybe you should too? -;)


    And do you have a link that Google actually released a version of the update (capable of running on the 'old' chip) to all OEMs? Unless you can confirm with a link - all we really know for "sure" is that Google released the update to LG and to Sony for the NSZ-GU1 (that runs the new chip). The 'proof' would be if ONE GTV box running the old chip gets updated. Thus far nada. Zippo........................................


    There is no evidence to prove that all of the second generation GTV boxes running the old chip haven't been updated simply because "they don't sell". On the other hand I posted the following with a link: **Latest generation SoC solution enables Google services for Smart TVs based on Android JellyBean 4.2.2**


    Asus came out with a version 2 of the Cube on August 7, 2013 - just 1 month before Sony released the NSZ-GU1. If Asus didn't plan on supporting the Cube why would they have bothered coming out with a version 2 fairly recently? And why hasn't the Asus Cube version 2 received the Jellybean update? It's only about 8 months old - however I believe it's still running the 'old' Marvell Armada 1500 chip. Officially the Asus response was that version 2 of the Cube has increased Wi-Fi performance. The Sony NSZ-GU1 came out 1 month after version 2 of the cube. It's a proven fact the NSZ-GU1 has the new Marvell Armada 1500 Plus chip - and it's been updated to Jellybean.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
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  11. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Catfish - where have you been? This has all been thrashed to death and discussed since Google first started making announcements back in March last year. Go look up their announcements and dissect them at your leisure. To help you out, you can start here:

    Google TV will receive Android 4.2.2 update as well as latest version of Chrome ? Tech News and Analysis

    As far as performance not being satisfactory, that's a given. Performance isn't satisfactory under Gingerbread or Honeycomb or whichever variation we're stuck on. Going to KitKat might help, but it's still not going to be satisfactory. And it's definitely not going to turn a market flop in to a success. But ... these are really completely different issues.

    Technically? Nothing has come up to indicate that we can't have this upgrade. Heck, Sony still hasn't officially ruled it out. That's it. That's all.

    There are still tons of non-technical reasons for Sony and other OEMs to not bother, but like I said, that's a separate topic.
     
  12. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Sure the Jellybean update is still a possibility. I haven't ruled it out completely. Just pointing out all the supporting evidence that seems to indicate the chip is at least part of the overall update scenario.

    I was well aware of Google's announcements. The link to the official GTV Jellybean announcement is here:

    https://plus.google.com/112249225796277470583/posts/X5rmq6Yu8xG

    First off the Google Jellybean announcement was from May 15th, 2013. Almost 1 year ago - so things could of certainly changed since then. Next if you read the full announcement thoroughly - nothing was ever mentioned specifically about Google TV 2.0 set top boxes receiving the Jellybean update. To me that official announcement from Google is all that matters - (subsequently there were several "unofficial re-wordings" of that announcement from internet writers that I don't pay any credence to).

    The official Google announcement makes reference to the 4.2.2 update and the "TV OEM partners". I take that to mean OEMs that put out televisions running GTV. Then later it says: "Google TV-powered devices in market will start to receive updates in the coming months." What updates for what devices?. Yeah the TV OEMS received the Jellybean update (LG & Hisense). Yeah the Google TV 2.0 boxes received 'some updates' - just not the Jellybean update. Also certain other things were mentioned that never came to fruition concerning the Chrome browser. And elsewhere in a separate post a GTV developer had stated in his Google+ posts that the Jellybean update would include Chromecast. That hasn't come to fruition yet either.

    The announcement also mentions that the Jellybean update has increased support for "hardware-based content protection". So it's possible the increased hardware-based content protection is an "issue" with the old Marvell Armada chip. It's been stated (by Marvell) that the new Marvell Armada 1500 Plus chip has increased support for hardware-based content protection. (LG doesn't use the Marvell Armada chip in their GTV televisions - and they are a TV OEM that received & released the Jellybean update). To me that is consistent with Google's announcement.


    Here's the full announcement:


    *** Over the past few months Google TV has gathered momentum by launching powerful features for our users such as the highest quality voice search of any TV product and strong manufacturer adoption of the platform. At Google I/O, it's time to talk about developers and enabling them to bring more great experiences to TV.

    Today, Google TV is moving to the latest version of Android (Jelly Bean, 4.2.2), and we've refactored Google TV so that our TV OEM partners can update to future versions of Android in a matter of weeks rather than months. For developers, this means you can build TV experiences using the latest Android APIs, including the NDK.


    Today Google TV is also moving to the latest version of Chrome, and from now on Google TV benefits from Chrome updates on the same six week cycle that you've come to expect from Chrome. In Chrome on Google TV, we've added support for hardware-based content protection, enabling developers to provide premium TV content in HD within their web apps.


    Google TV-powered devices in market will start to receive updates in the coming months, and we expect to see new devices launched later this year. If you are attending Google IO, please check out the "Android: As seen on TV!" session and stop by the Google TV Developer Sandbox area.
    https://developers.google.com/tv/ ***
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  13. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    This press release by Hisense that I just noticed states that the Pulse Pro comes with 2G of Flash. So, it's on the Android 4.2.2 upgrade with HTML5 but also has Flash? It's in the last paragraph of the press release.

    Hisense Press Releases
     
  14. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I believe you're referring to "Flash memory" as explained in the following article (it has nothing to do with the Adobe Flash platform):

    Flash memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    By the way I read the press release from your link and I didn't notice anything mentioned about 2GB of Flash. It says the Pulse Pro box has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of Flash memory.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  15. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    The key item would be the clarification (that I thought came from a Google source) that the update would be available for ARM based 2nd generation devices. Anyway, we don't need to retread all this over what's nothing more than speculation on both our behaves.

    Suffice it to say that the hurdles to releasing any product or upgrade in to the market are almost always steeper than the technical challenges and corporate decision making is always going to be motivated by $$$.
     
  16. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    IMO money wise it would make more sense for GTV OEMs to update to Jellybean (if performance would be acceptable). I'm taking into consideration the 'intangible' PR aspect of this for the overall brand. The negative "vibes" to Sony's brand name makes it worth their while to update (if it makes sense technically within the confines of hardware limitations). Sony updated the NSZ-GU1 and that's pretty much a "market dud" also. However we know with certainty that the NSZ-GU1 can handle the update "optimally" because it has the new chip. I'm through discussing this - until I see one device with the 'old' Marvell Armada 1500 updated to Jellybean nothing is going to change my mind.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  17. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    That's the rub. None of it makes sense. There hasn't even been a new review on Amazon for the NSZ-GU1 since January. There's only a total of 7.

    It's hard to resurrect a "failed" product, it's easier to move on and create a new buzz over a new product which doesn't seem tied to the old one. Once upon a time the market would let a product evolve and grow up, but there's little room for that anymore. There's no $$$ in making the few remaining fans of a failed product happy, especially when the thing you'd like to do is going to make many of them unhappy.

    IMO, Google made their intentions clear when they released Chromecast.
     
  18. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    Yes, i meant to use the number "4" not "2" with the quote "4G Flash."

    But here's the press release quote, and it states "4G Flash" but doesn't include the word "memory," and the "Flash" part just jumped out at me.

    "The Pulse PRO brings all of the SMART functionality you receive with the H6, including Netflix, Vudu HD Movies, Amazon Instant Video, Chrome™, YouTube™, Google Play™, Google Voice Search™, PrimeTime, Android-based TV v4 Media Streaming, a MARVELL BG2-CT board with 1G RAM and 4G Flash, HDMI-In/Out, IR-In/Out, DLNA, WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, USB and an air mouse remote with MIC and Motion Sensing"
     
  19. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Trust me it's not Adobe Flash. It means to say 4GB of Flash storage. You must believe in the Catfish -:)
     
  20. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    I meant that it was a mental error on my part, and just giving the reason why: I saw the word "Flash" as listed and made an impulsive post. Like "impulse buying," only that was an impulse post.
     

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