Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Broadcast International Announces Video Encoding Breakthrough

Broadcast International announced a new MPEG-4 H.264 encoding technology that it says will cut MPEG-4 H.264 encoding rates in half for both HD and SD content. It has developed a software encoder that will operate on IBM BladeCenter servers. It calls this product CodecSys and it is able to operate multiple codecs simultaneously, each based on different image assumptions, to identify the most efficient encoding. The company stated that its encoded MPEG-4 H.264 output can be rendered by most MPEG-4 IPTV set-top boxes.

While CodecSys running on a BladeCenter is expensive for a single stream, Broadcast International stated that it is competitive with hardware encoders for four streams and significantly less expensive for 20 streams.

Broadcast International has been providing systems for satellite video networks for 25 years. It demonstrated CodecSys at NAB in April 2008. The product will be in beta test in the summer of 2008 and will have its formal announcement at IBC.

Encoding rates are a key issue for broadband delivered IPTV. Cutting rates in half will have a significant effect on ADSL and VDSL delivered IPTV, especially where HD and multiple streams are involved. ATT should find this product to be quite interesting.

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