are you lookin g at supporting 10Bit video and Hi10p in the future?
WDTV’s are “Hardware” decoders … 10Bit / Hi10p requires “Software” decoding (a min Quad-Core for 1080p & most probably, gigs of RAM)
so, the answer is “no” it’s not possible on any current WDTV.
P.S. the same applies to H.265 requires a lot of processing power which the the WDTV doesent have.
Here’s the specs of the WDTV Live Streaming… to put everything into perspective
Sigma Designs SMP8670AD 700 MHz processor with 512MB of DDR2 memory from Nanya
The WD TV boxes all use that Sigma Designs SMP8670AD chip to do the video and audio decoding. The set of codecs supported in the chip defines those supported by the WD TV boxes as they do not have enough CPU power of their own to decode anything, nothing like that of a modern Intel multi core beasty.
Hardware manufactures come up with a chip specification and sell it into companies with that feature list. It doesn’t get added to over the course of time, its hardware so its spec remains fixed.
However… (in the general case, not necessarily in Sigma 8670 case) there is a form of software running on this chip. And it can sometimes be patched (in the general case) by the surrounding system at startup, ie by the box’s CPU. Limited fixes to bugs can be patched into a chip but as a commercial rule: embedded chips to not get extra features even if this were possible. You buy a new model chip. All this patching did blow my mind when I discovered mate of mine preparing patches to a chip to ship out as chip mask has to go to production months before they finished debugging sw on it! So “hardware” can change, the Sigma I don’t know though.
I think the Sigma chip does the video and audio stream decoding and outputs HDMI/analog v&a. I think the WD CPU (ARM?) does the container (avi/mkv/mpeg) decoding and the graphics/apps and drives the networking (partly thru other chips) I guess.
The WD box and Sigma seem to support H264 up to the level of a BluRay player, which makes sense for a home orientated product from some years back.
4K support with H265 would require significant extra silicon, clock rates etc and Sigma probably have a chip in development/out which cost a small fortune as of now. Separately quite what WD’s commitment to TV streaming products in the future is, is anyone’s guess. The big players have moved in (Google, Amazon) I just wish WD would give out one more decent release of firmware to the now dead WD TV Live (Streaming) product before they drop support for it completely.
The WDTV’s are not “ARM” based IFAIK … but
Ironically, the now “Legacy Product” (aka. no longer under active development) " WDTV Play"
was the only WDTV player not to have Sigma Chipset , it had a MediaTek ARM MT8653 chipset
I guess the reality is … yes there are players out there (and future players) that will do 10Bit, H.265, 3D frame packing etc.
But you’ll have to spend a lot more than a $80-$100 for those features.
Yes it looks like the Sigma ( http://www.sigmadesigns.com/products.php?id=137) is a SoC (system on a chip) so it IS the main CPU. But it also has surrounding DSPs on board to do other stuff like the audio/video decoding. So its like Russian dolls, just rename the outer doll to the Sigma and my above analyis sort fits! Though which CPU core they are using is not made clear on the site.
Interesting the Play had different chipset, I guess they were trying to reduce box hw and sw costs substantially. Didnt work though as it didnt sell enough to continue with so ditched - I guess.
The TV Live should be established 2K level TV that is bread and butter mainstream now. I just wished the darn software in the middle was!