Thomson Video Networks has announced that the BBC is ready to broadcast five high-quality general entertainment HD channels from a single DVB-T2 multiplex using Thomson Video Networks’ ViBE EM3000 encoders. Extensive technical trials conducted by the broadcaster in collaboration with Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the U.K. communications industries, confirmed that the ViBE EM3000 provides encoding improvements enabling the delivery of a fifth channel within DTT Multiplex B, while maintaining uncompromised picture quality on existing channels.
On July 22, 2011, the holder of the Multiplex B licence (BBC Free to View Limited) delivered a report to Ofcom setting out its view that five HD services could be accommodated in Multiplex B before the end of 2011. Following its own technical assessment, Ofcom published a report on Sept. 5, 2011, supporting the launch of a fifth service. Ofcom also stated that broadcasters involved in Freeview have been satisfied with the test method and have confirmed that five HD channels can be broadcast on a single DVB-T2 multiplex. The Ofcom document also notes Thomson Video Networks’ timely delivery of past and present developments, and the company’s track record of meeting schedule commitments. As a result, Ofcom sent out an invitation to apply for this fifth channel.
“The BBC’s report recognises the potential of continuing improvement in encoding technology, and the real-world benefits of Thomson’s ViBE EM3000,” said Christophe Delahousse, president of Thomson Video Networks. “Thomson Video Networks is the market leader in the field, and our efforts are constantly focused on developing ever-more efficient encoding to enable our customers to achieve higher-quality services and meet their business goals.”
Thomson’s ViBE EM3000 HD MPEG-2/MPEG-4 AVC encoder sets the benchmark for high-definition encoding for satellite and terrestrial broadcast, high-end IPTV operations, and other content aggregation applications. The EM3000 combines compression efficiency and advanced preprocessing to deliver clearer pictures with increased depth and clarity, broadcasting high-quality HD content at bit rates as low as 4 Mb/s. With new generation HD MPEG-2 encoding that supports double the number of MPEG-2 channels compared to older-generation encoders, the ViBE EM3000 helps to simplify headend infrastructure with features such as Dolby® E decoding, Dolby® Digital Plus, and HE-AAC surround sound encoding.