Thomson Encoders Speed Up Channel Surfing

The ViBE system promises to speed up DTV channel changing time by 50 percent.
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Thomson has updated its ViBE encoder system to tackle the annoying problem of latency when digital channels are changed.

ViBE now allows simultaneous compression and encoding of two streams—high- and low-resolution—of the same program content (channel). This allows set top decoder boxes to quickly process the low res version and provide the viewer with an accelerated look at what’s being offered. Should he/she decide to stop on that channel, the box switches seamlessly to full resolution decoding.

“A differentiator of Thomson's fast zapping [channel surfing] solution is that there is no need for additional investments in infrastructure to be made—as competing systems on the market require the installation of a large bank of servers” said Graham Cradock, general manager of Thomson’s video headend solutions. “All of this means enhanced services for the end user, and reduced investment and IP overheads for the operator.”

The upgraded ViBE system promises to speed up DTV channel changing time by 50 percent.

The system can accommodate up to three HD digital television receivers per home and will be offered to appropriate groups in 2009 as part of the equipment standardization process.