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Global HD Tests Show ‘Great Strides’ in Interoperability

As a means to help ensure that HD video feeds can be routinely transmitted seamlessly via a wide array of systems globally, the World Broadcasting Unions’ International Satellite Operations Group has released the results of an 18-month interoperability testing program. The tests were conducted using equipment donated by a dozen HD encoder/decoder vendors.

Test results indicated that HD vendors “have made great strides in permitting HD feeds to be transmitted globally using encoders and decoders of different vendors,” according to a statement released after the results were announced recently in New York City. “The WBU-ISOG test program has undoubtedly made it easier to transmit live HD video news and sports around the world, especially from remote locations.”

Test results showed most MPEG-4 encoders could be used with most MPEG-4 decoders. (MPEG-4 is a relatively new compression standard that allows HD transmissions to be fed more efficiently than MPEG-2.)

But, according to Tom Gibbon, who chairs the WBU-ISOG and works for NHK of Japan, while test results were generally positive, “The tests showed there was still much work to do.” They were conducted in Ottawa, Canada, by Telesat, a fixed-satellite operator, with the support of the Canadian government’s Communications Research Center.

Vendors participating in the tests included: ADTEC, ATEME S.E., Cisco, Comtech TV, Evertz Microsystems, Fujitsu, Harmonic, International Datacasting, NTT Electronics, Sencore, Tandberg Television and Thomson Grass Valley.

Test results are at