02.16.2005 12:00 AM
DirecTV Inks $9M Deal to Purchase Tandberg AVC Gear
It's official. Several weeks after announcing a multimillion dollar deal with an "unidentified North American satellite provider," Tandberg Television announced the customer--DirecTV--has agreed to purchase $9 million of AVC (also known as MPEG-4 Part 10) gear to transition its HD platform to the new standard.

The first of 26 AVC HD enabled transponders will be commissioned by DirecTV by this summer and marks the first North American launch of advanced HD encoding technology by a direct-to-home satellite provider.

Last fall, DirecTV announced its plans to launch four new satellites over the next three years to vastly increase the number of local and national HD channels it carries. The first two of these satellites, Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2, will launch this year with capacity for more than 500 local HD channels. The next two satellites, DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11, will launch in 2007 with capacity for an additional 1,000 HD channels, more than 150 national HD channels and other new programming offerings.

Each fully redundant system will feature the Tandberg EN5990 real-time HD encoder for MPEG-4 AVC along with a Tandberg 1+1 HD multiplexing system. The multiplexes will combine the MPEG-4 AVC encoded HD channels into one bandwidth efficient stream for transmission over satellite. The encoding systems will be installed at DirecTV's Los Angeles Broadcast Center and Castle Rock, Co. Broadcast Center along with multiple Tandberg nCompass control systems between the two sites.

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