IP-Prime HD-4 Gives Telcos Fast Ramp to HD

December 7, 2007
SES Americom has made available its IP-Prime HD-4, the MPEG-4 high definition television service for operators already delivering video using MPEG-2 technology.

HD-4 gives MPEG-2 video systems a quick route to providing subscribers HDTV over their existing networks, without upgrading their entire infrastructures. The result is rapid deployment of HDTV—the company said the HD-4 can deliver 32 HD channels within 60 days and can easily be scaled to add more HD programming.

The HD-4 equipment can then be fully utilized when the operator migrates to a complete MPEG-4 service in the future.

Many MPEG-2-based television operators cannot offer HDTV without first overhauling their networks to provide more bandwidth. The HD-4 adds an MPEG-4 service “layer” on top of an existing MPEG-2 deployment, without interrupting service. As subscribers sign up for the new HDTV service, the operator provides a new set-top box that decodes both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 signals, making HD-4 a simple way for existing video service providers to add HDTV to their feature lineup.

IP-Prime is working with set-top box provider Entone and others to facilitate the delivery of the HD-4 service.

“SES Americom has heard from dozens of MPEG-2 system operators across the country who feel competitive pressure to change their infrastructures so they can offer HDTV,” said Walt Davis, the IP-Prime product manager at SES Americom. “Some of these operators are smaller telcos that invested heavily in their MPEG-2 systems and cannot afford a wholesale change. Because HDTV is driving new subscribers, these systems are faced with either losing subscribers to competitors or investing money beyond their means. HD-4 solves this dilemma by giving these operators a third option which is not only faster and less expensive, but allows operators to continuously scale their HDTV offering with the growth in available HDTV programming.”

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