Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
France Télévisions launches DTV services with Thomson headend
France Télévisions has launched DTV services across all French-administered overseas territories using Thomson Video Networks headend technology. French overseas territories have a combined population of 2.5 million, including locations in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans; the South American coast; and even a few sites in Antarctica. France Télévisions provides TV services to the overseas territories through French Overseas Network (Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère), the French foreign broadcasting organization.
Thomson Video Networks supplied the headend technology to French Overseas Network for SD/HD programming with MPEG-4 encoding. The solution encompasses a range of products including the Thomson ViBE EM1000 and EM3000 encoders, NetProcessor 9030 multiplexers, and Sapphire MPEG servers. Redundancy management is provided by Thomson Amethyst switchers, with advanced delivery-chain monitoring capability supplied by Thomson Granite Sentinel DTV probes. Reception of contributed feeds for rebroadcasting is handled by Thomson's RD5000 SD/HD MPEG-2/4 receiver/decoder.
French Overseas Network provides the services through six separate multiplexes, one per territory, starting as DVB-S2 transmissions from Paris. Local French Overseas Network channels and France Télévisions national channels are encoded in MPEG-4 in either SD or HD, before being multiplexed together and delayed before transmission depending on their time zone.