French Open provides venue for HD demonstrations

The French Open earlier this month provided a venue for demonstrations of two important developments in HDTV: an experimental channel that broadcast the two-day event in HD and the transmission of live MPEG-4 compressed HDTV on an operational ADSL2+ network.

The former involved a collaboration of France Televisions, Sony, Eutelsat, the Fédération Française de Tennis, and GlobeCast working together to demonstrate that every link in the HD broadcasting chain, including acquisition, broadcast and reception, have been mastered. The demonstration is seen as an important milestone as momentum builds in Europe for HDTV programming.

France Televisions shot and transmitted French Open semifinals in HD on an experimental channel set up by the HD Forum. The broadcast was carried on a Eutelsat satellite with the participation from GlobeCast, which transmitted the HD video feed by fiber to the satellite uplink.

The latter involved Alcatel, Broadcom, France Telecom and TANDBERG Television, which collaborated on the HDTV-over-ADSL2+ technology demonstration. Together, the companies demonstrated live MPEG-4 compressed, HDTV over an operational ADSL2+ network. Broadcom supplied France Telecom with its latest generation IPTV set-top box reference design platform, which performed the HD MPEG-4/AVC decoding and audio/video delivery. This reference design builds on Broadcom's set-top technologies, enabling IPTV set-top box manufacturers to ramp into production and support video over DSL deployments. France Telecom orchestrated the demonstration, which relied upon the Broadcom BCM97398 IP set-top box reference design.

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