Tandberg Television MPEG-4 System Tapped for German Satellite HD

The HD MPEG-4 AVC video encoding and distribution system by Tandberg Television has been chosen by Digital Playout Center to bring satellite HD to Germany. DPC, which is owned by SES Astra, will provide its first HD service in November. The Munich pay-TV operator will transmit HD content on three dedicated channels (sports, movies, and documentaries) via Astra's satellite.

To create a bandwidth and operationally efficient HD delivery system, it plans to deploy Tandberg's HD video headend with statistical multiplexing and EN5990 HD MPEG-4 AVC encoders, according to DPC. Also, the encoding system will enable it to achieve highly efficient bandwidth while maintaining HD quality, even though it will use less than half the bit-rate required of MPEG-2.

Tandberg business partner, SHM Broadcast GmbH (Limited), is providing the system to DPC. DirecTV in the United States and BSkyB in the United Kingdom reportedly also plan to use Tandberg MPEG-4 AVC encoding for their HD services.