The traditional passive television could well be a thing of the past.
Broadcom and Myriad Group have teamed up to deliver a new set-top box called Alien Vue, bringing Android interactivity to home theater systems. What ”sets” Myriad’s solution apart (pun intended) from a typical Android-powered smartphone is the operating system itself: Alien Vue runs a virtual engine called Dalvik, normally responsible for launching programs within the Android OS.
Broadcom understands the power and memory demands from modern cell phone processors and, in response, has altered the common Android source code to run on its SoC (system-on-a-chip).
Myriad started with the Dalvik engine and devised a way to strip it from the rest of the system, eventually mapping it to Broadcom’s hardware.
The end result is a fluid, high-definition, app-based experience.
Popular games like “Angry Birds” can still be run at a consistent 60 frames per second, even without the Android subsystem. These apps are identical in every way to the standard apps from the Android Market. Since the Alien Vue is a self-containing system, the set-top box does not have to be concerned with security or malicious applications; basic Android iterations would instead require a resource-intensive security mechanism.
The product is also compatible with Myriad’s Connect & Share, which enables music, photos and videos to seamlessly stream between multiple devices.
Broadcom and Myriad have achieved efficiency by separating necessary software from unnecessary hurdles; low power and high-fidelity is the name of this connectivity game.
Prashant is a student at University of California, San Diego, while also working as an intern for Broadcom’s Mobile and Wireless Group. He’s an experienced writer who started as the editor of his high school newspaper, then created a blog-styled database of challenging roads across the country for his last job at Automotive.com: http://www.bestroadsbyhonda.com/