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DIRECTV to launch HD expansion with TANDBERG TV HD encoders

DIRECTV has placed an order in excess of $9 million for TANDBERG Television EN5990 MPEG-4 encoders to support its HD expansion.

TANDBERG Television has confirmed that DIRECTV has selected its first-to-market high-definition advanced compression technology in a deal valued at more than $9 million.

DIRECTV will commission the first of 26 MPEG-4 AVC HD enabled transponders this summer, marking the first North American launch of advanced HD encoding technology by a satellite direct-to-home (DTH) provider.

The announcement follows DIRECTV’s recent news that it will launch four new satellites over the next three years to increase the number of local and national HD channels it carries.

The first two of these satellites, Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2, will launch in 2005 with the capacity for more than 500 local HD channels. The next two satellites, DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11, will launch in 2007 with the capacity for an additional 1000 local HD channels, more than 150 national HD channels and other new programming offerings.

Each fully redundant system will feature the TANDBERG EN5990, a real-time HD encoder for MPEG-4 AVC and a TANDBERG 1+1 HD multiplexing system. Introduced at IBC2004, the EN5990 operates in real-time TV delivery environments and guarantees no frame dropping. Key features include extensive video pre-processing for noise reduction and horizontal picture resolution resizing.

DIRECTV will begin launching new HD services to consumers in the second half of this year.

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