RealTime IT News

Real's Helix Finds Big-Name Partners

Exactly three months after a surprising move to open-source parts of its technology, Seattle-based RealNetworks is set to unveil partnerships with big-name electronics and chipset firms using the Helix DNA client.

At an 11:00 a.m webcast, Real CEO Rob Glaser will announce deals with several electronics firms including Acer, Hitachi, NEC, Nokia, Philips STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments to deliver audio and video to consumers through the open-source Helix DNA Client and RealAudio/RealVideo.

Additionally, Real is expected to announce six CE chipset companies would start shipping with RealVideo support. The company said electronic chipset companies would integrate RealAudio, RealVideo and RealOne Player support into their offerings.

Already, the source code has been built into the NEC MobilePro P300 Series Pocket PC, which has been fitted a complete RealOne Player with support for RealAudio and RealVideo and the company said Nokia has included the RealOne Player as a standard within its Symbian-based mobile devices including the 3650 and 7650, and on the Nokia Series 60 platform.

The company announced Acer would optimize RealVideo and RealAudio for their chipsets targeted toward the DVD market while Hitachi would push RealAudio and RealVideo on its SuperH RISC processor series used in digital set-top boxes, PDAs, mobile phones, wearable internet appliances, digital cameras, car information systems and factory automation systems.

Real has also found a partner in NEC, which has optimized RealAudio and RealVideo for its 64-bit VR Series microprocessor platform for consumer electronics, satellite set-top boxes, personal video recorders and web pads.

Philips has also joined the party, tying the RealOne Player into its Nexperia platform and Trimedia-based processors, including the newly announced pnx 1500 for set top boxes. The company also said STMicroelectronics would tie RealVideo 9 into its family of devices targeting the set top box, mobile, and DVD markets. Texas Instruments has also optimized the RealOne Player Mobile for its popular OMAP platform and chipsets for mobile handsets.

With big-name partners to help with its launch on Tuesday, RealNetworks is gett ing down to business with the first official release of the Helix DNA Client, which officials say represents "a significant portion of the technology that goes into the RealOne Player and other RealNetworks products."

The Helix DNA Client includes the decoder for RealAudio/RealVideo as well as source code of the media engine for the company's RealOne Player.

The company also released the pricing on its licensing for the Helix DNA Client, which can be downloaded at the Helix Community site.

RealNetworks said companies or individuals looking to distribute the Helix DNA Client get free licensing for the first million units annually and $0.10/unit beyond that. Additional licensing terms for RealAudio and RealVideo distribution are $0.25/unit for non-PC products ($1M annual maximum payment). Broadband video-based devices, however, require a separate license.

Real said the pricing is "more affordable than MPEG-4, which in addition to costs for the video decoder, requires a storage and broadcast fee."

More than 2,000 developers have registered with Helix Community, which is running the open-source program. The Helix DNA Client being released Tuesday includes Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X clients that support RealAudio, RealVideo, MPEG-4, MP3, H.263 and 3GPP formats. Real plans to add Server and encoder code to the community in December.