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MPEG-2 encoding advancements make Mobile ATSC possible for broadcasters, Aitken says

Mark Aitken, director of advanced technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group, sees Mobile ATSC as a large part of the broadcaster’s “bright future.”

The station group, working with in conjunction with the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), is committed to putting 11 Mobile ATSC stations on the air this year. According to Aitken, advancements in MPEG-2 encoding will allow Sinclair to do so without impinging on the quality of its stations’ HD channels.

With the latest generation of Harmonic MPEG-2 encoders, Sinclair is able to reduce the number of bits allocated to its HD channels by up to 15 percent without diminishing the way its HD channels look and sound. That efficiency frees up more the of broadcaster’s 19.4Mb/s digital pipe for Mobile ATSC service.

In this, the first of a two-part conversation, Aitken discusses the importance of Mobile ATSC to Sinclair, the station group’s plans for its initial rollout and the technology that makes the new mobile service possible without harming the quality of the broadcaster’s HD image.

Special note to podcast listeners: The second part of this podcast interview will run as part of the “RF Update” newsletter that blasts to subscribers June 18. It also will be available on the Broadcast Engineering Web site.

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