DIRECTV demonstrated its first live MPEG-4 AVC/DVB-S2 HD transmission via satellite at the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show.
The new standard in transmission and video compression was demonstrated on an HD television set in the company’s CES booth. It plans to use the technology to expand its video offering by launching hundreds of local and national HD channels later this year and in 2007.
This advanced video compression and satellite coding technology reduces the amount of bandwidth required to deliver HD via satellite. It will continue to use MPEG-2 for standard definition broadcasts and will eventually convert all existing HD customers to the new technology.
Last September the company announced plans to expand its local and national HD programming over the next two years via four new Ka-band satellites. The satellites will support the carriage of 1500 local and 150 CONUS HDTV channels. The satellites are under construction. Two will be launched early this year.
Separately, TANDBERG Television announced last month that it had received an order, valued at more than $9 million from a North American satellite broadcaster. The contract is one of the first orders to be announced for an MPEG-4 AVC HDTV video headend. TANDBERG will deploy its EN5990 encoder within fully redundant systems complete with its Reflex statistical multiplexing software. TANDBERG declined to name the customer.