What is the BlackBird?
The BlackBird reference platform is a multimedia platform environment for consumer electronic hardware and software developers. It integrates media handling, interactive graphics, and multiband communications on a single platform. The BlackBird platform allows development of applications that integrate interactive multimedia, graphics, audio, animation, and full-motion video.
Key components of
the BlackBird set-top unit (STU) include the following:
What part did the NUON processor play in the BlackBird architecture?
The BlackBird showcases the highly integrated NUON media processor developed jointly by Motorola and VM Labs. NUON provides support for Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) audio and video decode, 2-D and 3-D graphics, overlays and interactive audio Introduction to Blackbird synthesis. This media processor can also execute application software independent of the processor (i.e., standalone mode) with an operating frequency of 54MHz.
The media processor outputs video and audio to audio-visual peripherals, such as television, analog audio receivers, and Dolby® AC-3 decoders. The media processor also accepts high-level commands from the MPC860 for processing real-time nonlinear 3-D content. The highly scalable, flexible, and programmable MMP architecture is designed to include future standards and algorithms.
How is BlackBird different from the Streamaster 5000?
The BlackBird was intended for consumer electronic hardware and software developers, while the Streamaster 5000 was the device for the end-user. Companies such as Australia's TransACT Communications test-marketed the Streamaster 5000 with services such as Pay Television, Video-on-Demand, and Interactive Television, with NUON games being an option as well. Click here for an interview with TransACT about their rollout of the Streamaster platform.
What games and applications are available for the BlackBird?
A demonstration pack CD was included with the BlackBird that contained various demos, applications and games that could be run on the BlackBird system. In order to load the files, you need to connect the system to a PC either over a network or serial connection and transfer them via FTP. Once connected, there are a nice selection of applications you can try out, including:
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