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Japanese broadcasters adopt AVC/H.264 for mobile digital broadcasting

Japanese broadcasters NHK, TBS, NTV, TV Asahi, Fuji TV and TV Tokyo have adopted the AVC/H.264 video coding for mobile segment digital terrestrial broadcasting.

A basic agreement was also announced between the broadcasters and MPEG LA on royalties and other terms involving the technology. Under the agreement, the broadcasters will have the option of paying a 1-time fee of $2500 for each encoder used in transmitting AVC/H.264 video. The 1-time fees will be offered as an alternative to annual fees. They will cover the use of AVC/H.264 video for free cable, satellite and terrestrial broadcast television.

The agreement represents a major step forward in achieving mobile broadcast services, according to the broadcasters. Still to come is the establishment of specifications for receiver terminals, the development of mobile personal receivers by manufacturers and discussions with mobile communication operators. Estimates are that mobile broadcast services can begin in the first quarter of 2006.

AVC/H.264 video coding refers to the MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC/H.264 standard, an advanced video encoding and decoding technology jointly developed between the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) of the International Standards Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) and the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

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