NASCAR Media Group delivers multiple live HD streams to 75 million fans

NASCAR Media Group (NMG) provides multiple streams of HD content captured live at races for viewing by 75 million loyal fans worldwide.

To do so mobile satellite transmission provider PSSI Global Services (PSSI) transports various HD sources over satellite to NMG's new studio facilities in Charlotte, N.C., where they are switched live for distribution to DTV services providers.

PSSI is relying on Ericsson MPEG-4 AVC HD encoders and receivers to support the NMG job. From track to studio, the solution allows HD content to be captured and transported using techniques to maximize the available bandwidth usage and provide the highest possible picture quality. This allows production teams to prepare and edit from high-quality footage to create the best viewing experience for fans viewing at home.

The NASCAR project requires efficient MPEG-4 AVC encoding to send six paths of HD material along with 48 channels of team communications audio across one 36MHz satellite transponder. The Ericsson EN8090 AVC encoders perform this task at bit rates ranging from 15.5Mb/s to as low as 7Mb/s for key signals.

Reception of the HD sources is handled with Ericsson RX1290 decoders. A second transmission pathway is used for various clients, including The SPEED Channel, and finally a third pathway is used to carry a five-channel MCPC feed of HD video for DIRECTV Hot Pass. These other services are encoded with Ericsson E5788 MPEG-2 HD encoders.