Tandberg Launches MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 HD Transcoder

A new cable HD program transcoder that enables programmers to harness the bandwidth efficiencies of MPEG-4 AVC HD and DVB-S2 satellite distribution is available from Tandberg as the company looks to make conversion of MPEG-4 material to MPEG-2 HD at the headend easier.
The RX8250 program transcoder is part of an end-to-end Tandberg Television cable HD distribution solution that enables content providers to carry six to eight MPEG-4 AVC HDTV channels on a satellite transponder. This represents a doubling in the number of channels to be carried per transponder compared with today’s best MPEG-2/DVB-S HD satellite distribution solutions. Moreover, the RX8250 overcomes the legacy barrier to MPEG-4 AVC HD content for operators whose cable networks have a large installed base of MPEG-2 HDTV set-top boxes by enabling efficient transcoding of MPEG-4 AVC/DVB-S2 distributed content into high-quality MPEG-2 HD.
“The RX8250 completes an end-to-end HD cable distribution solution that changes the economics of HD program distribution and enables programmers to add a significant number of new HD channels to their lineups,” says Lisa Hobbs, VP of Business Development for satellite and broadcast at Tandberg Television.
Tandberg Television’s cable HD distribution solution combines the company’s award-winning HD MPEG-4 AVC encoding and Tandberg PREKOR satellite modulation, which uses dynamic pre-correction to improve the received-signal quality. The high-performance transcode functions of the RX8250 guarantee the high-quality MPEG-2 HD program streams that cable operators demand. The new RX8250 HD program transcoder also performs HD-to-SD downconversion to generate analog video and audio outputs, providing compatibility with both digital and analog tiers. By offering automatic picture aspect-ratio conversion and signaling via active format description (AFD), the RX8250 ensures widescreen HD video is correctly displayed when downconverted to 4:3 video. Full support is provided to ensure that closed captions, TV Guide data, and program-rating (V-chip) services continue to be supported.
The RX8250 also supports MPEG-4 AVC HD output into the cable network, providing operators with the option to introduce MPEG-4 AVC set-top boxes without further investment at the headend. It can be used in combination with the Tandberg Director receiver control and network-management system, which includes a highly secure encryption/conditional-access system. The product will be available commercially in first quarter 2009.