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October 22, 2007

TANDBERG Television Launches iPlex UltraCompression Transcoding

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributing Editor

TANDBERG Television, part of the Ericsson (News - Alert) Group has announced plans to show its award-winning iPlex UltraCompression IPTV video processing platform and debut its high performance integrated transcoding capabilities for the first time in North America at Telco TV 2007.
Furthering TANDBERG Television’s market leadership in the IPTV (News - Alert) space, the new iPlex UltraCompression transcoder supports multi-format MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC SD and HD input streams, and uses TANDBERG Television’s next generation AVC platform to transcode them to either MPEG-4 AVC SD or HD output.
As up to 4 UltraCompression transcoders are supported in the 1RU iPlex video processing platform, it gives the iPlex market leading density. The iPlex video processing platform supports the transcoding, ensuring the integrity of metadata in the transport streams (closed captioning, teletext etc.) and maximizing the performance of lip sync issues with subtitles. The iPlex transcoding architecture reduces the cost of the overall head-end design and improves video quality when used in conjunction with bulk descrambling receivers.
Ian Tapp, senior vice president, business development, TANDBERG Television (News - Alert), Inc. said that building on the success of the iPlex UltraCompression platform, their transcoding capability sets a new industry performance benchmark. Tapp explained that it offers an elegant and cost-effective way for service providers to take advantage of the bit-rate savings associated with MPEG-4 AVC while using either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 AVC compressed programming from content providers.
“The integrated approach in the iPlex not only simplifies system architectures, but also enables the increase in IPTV picture quality that we know our North American customers want,” said Tapp in a statement.
The company further explains that their integrated transcoding solution offers a broad range of advantages over disparate, multiple unit solutions. The solution converts an incoming HD or SD MPEG-2 transport stream to digital baseband. This capability avoids the composite video interconnection common in multi-box approaches, performs pre-processing for picture and compression optimization, and then encodes the stream into MPEG-4 AVC on a single submodule.
Increased signal processing control is possible due to the integrated design, which in turn significantly enhances the compression performance. Ancillary data such as Teletext and Closed Captions is left intact. This allows the solution to conform with country-specific requirements.
According to TANDBERG Television, an increasing number of HDTV operations are using MPEG-4 AVC systems. The UltraCompression transcoder also provides a simple solution for MPEG-4 to MPEG-4 rate conversion by enabling the operator to take this new content off-air and adapt it to the needs of their IPTV network. Additionally, Picture-in-Picture (PiP) images are generated alongside the main video stream. Thanks to increased density, a service provider’s upfront equipment costs are lowered, which eliminates cabling, reduces power costs, improves overall system reliability and minimizes rack space.
Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering call centers, CRM and information technology. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
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