Showtime Networks to deliver Smithsonian Channel in HD using Motorola MPEG-4 technology

Motorola will provide an HD MPEG-4 AVC encoding system for the Smithsonian Channel, which plans to broadcast all programming in HD. Motorola’s Home & Networks Mobility business will provide an MPEG-4 encoding system that compresses, encrypts, modulates and receives HD signals within a single integrated transmission system.

The new Smithsonian Channel system will employ Motorola’s SE-5100 MPEG-4 AVC HD encoders to encode video content into the MPEG-4 AVC format for distribution over satellite. The Smithsonian Channel’s cable or telco affiliates will be able to install Motorola’s new DSR-6050 Digital Satellite Receiver-Transcoder at their headends to receive the signals, and, in some cases, convert them to MPEG-2 for distribution. The solution provides greater flexibility and efficiency for programmers by allowing the broadcast of a single MPEG-4 HD signal for each service sent to cable operator and service provider customers. By supporting both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 outputs, the DSR-6050 enables programmers to transition to the more efficient MPEG-4 format, maintain the quality of their signal and support the transmission format preference of their affiliates.

The announcement follows HBO and Starz’s recent selection of Motorola’s MPEG-4 AVC platform to deliver their HD programming. Showtime Networks is planning to begin distributing the Smithsonian Channel in HD in Q4 2007.

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