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Hybrid distribution solution?

Thomson Video Networks has announced the launch of the H2B2VS project, aimed at investigating the hybrid distribution of TV programs and services over heterogeneous broadcast and broadband networks using the upcoming HEVC video compression standard. As project coordinator, Thomson Video Networks is leading a consortium of 19 partners in five European countries — including France, Finland, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey — to address broadcasting challenges and make recommendations for HEVC standardization.

Today's broadcast networks have limited capacity that does not easily accommodate bandwidth-hungry new video formats such as 3D or 4K; thus, broadcasters face obstacles in adding these new services to their existing line-up. The H2B2VS innovation initiative is an example of Thomson Video Networks' commitment to supporting these customers during this complex transition.

A project of the Eureka/Celtic-Plus research initiative for telecommunications and new media, H2B2VS is also endorsed by the French "Images & Réseaux" research cluster. The 30-month project was launched in February 2013.

The H2B2VS project addresses broadcasters' requirements for hybrid distribution — as well as its impact on other technologies such as DASH, content protection and content distribution networks — with the goal of proposing solutions to ensure the best quality of experience for end users. Partners will share their recommendations from the H2B2VS project with relevant standards bodies in order to help drive future commercial product development. H2B2VS will provide the opportunity to prototype and test hybrid video services from both a technical and business point of view, with three demonstrations planned in Spain, Finland and France for satellite, cable and terrestrial services, respectively. For the French terrestrial demonstration, Thomson Video Networks will adapt its ViBE VS7000 multi-screen video encoding/transcoding platform to support HEVC encoding and streaming.