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Technology said to compress four HD channels into 6 MHz

Comcast Media Center, the cable operator’s Midwestern distribution center, is testing video compression that would squeeze four MPEG-2 signals into 6 MHz, reports indicate. Light Reading Cable’s Jeff Baumgartner said the Center already is using gear from Harmonic and Imagine Communications to do 3-to-1 compression of MPEG-2 HD feeds. He said the two, along with Arris and BigBand were involved in the 4-to-1 trials.

More intense compression would free up bandwidth on Comcast systems for broadband and voice services. However, image quality must be maintained, particularly since Comcast was slammed a few years ago on AVS Forum in a picture-quality comparison with Verizon FiOS, as Baumgartner notes. The Center has since initiated a team of viewers versed in detecting quality issues with digital video, he says.

Baumgartner’s full coverage is available at Light Reading Cable.