Fox Partners with Thomson to Launch HD Distribution System
In anticipation of its initial rollout of HD programming next fall, the Fox Network is partnering with Thomson to deploy a new splicing system to distribute hi-def video to its network affiliates. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The "Fox Splicer System" uses the Terayon BP 5100 Broadcast platform, customized by Thomson and Fox, to allow stations to splice between Fox's delivered 720p feed and their own local 720p ATSC encoder. The system will also include a logo inserter capable of branding at the station and network levels over the output transmission stream without requiring the decoding of the 720p MPEG stream back to basdband (HD-SDI). In addition to switching and logo insertion, the Fox Splicer will ensure the integrity of program information.
Thomson will begin the rollout of the Fox Splicer Systems within the next six months. This fall, Fox will begin 720p transmissions alongside widescreen transmissions during primetime. During this period, stations will transition from Fox widescreen to HD on Fox using the Splicer System.