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USDTV Switching to MPEG-4 AVC Compression

USDTV is converting its entire terrestrial DTV transmission network to MPEG-4 AVC compression, starting this summer. USDTV currently uses bandwidth of local broadcast DTV stations to transmit up to 30 DTV channels to subscribers with a USDTV set-top box. The company says that MPEG-4 requires less than half the data bandwidth per channel, as compared with MPEG-2. USDTV will demonstrate live MPEG-4 AVC broadcasts over its terrestrial DTV network at ATSC DTV Hot Spot at the NAB2006.

Richard Johnson, co-founder and COO of USDTV said, "Leveraging new technology is at the heart of what we do at USDTV. Since our inception we have been building a team of highly experienced engineers in digital TV technology including MPEG-4 AVC. Our ability to launch an all MPEG-4 AVC end-to-end network in less than 12 months of development is evidence of our commitment to technology."

USDTV customers won't have to buy new set-top boxes to receive the MPEG-4 channels. Garry Paxinos, senior vice president of engineering and chief technologist said, "We set our sights early on to create proprietary technology that would leverage the significant compression capabilities of MPEG-4 AVC. Our engineers have designed an innovative plug-and-play device that connects to the USB port of our existing boxes and provides real-time transcoding from MPEG-4 AVC to MPEG-2, all without compromising video quality or security."