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Bluetooth comes to set-top boxes

Time to rename the zapper?

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Broadcom, manufacturer of set-top box chip sets and Qualcomm annoyer, has added Bluetooth to its set-top box reference platform; which should see the death of the infrared remote control within a couple of years.

Broadcom sees non-line-of-sight remote control as just one capability Bluetooth adds. Connecting to inconveniently located phone sockets, a set of Bluetooth headphones or speakers, collecting content from mobiles and even the "synchronization of calendars, meetings, etc" are all within Bluetooth's capabilities, according to the company.

It has always been possible, using the WAP profile, to deliver a customised interface to the screen of any Bluetooth phone or remote control handset, but the advantages of being able to control your TV from another room never seemed to justify the expense*.

But the addition of the Audio Visual Remote Control Profile makes standard remotes possible, and proliferation of Bluetooth speakers offers a revenue stream for electronics manufactures looking to value-add, ultimately selling more electronics into homes.®

* Your reporter created just such a bespoke system many years ago, but strangely is still seeking a backer to commercialise on the development.

Top three mobile application threats

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