Ericsson Technology To Help Extend Free-to-Air DTV to Rural Australia

A new five-year deal between Ericsson and Australian national broadcaster the ABC will help provide free-to-air, high-quality, digital TV to rural Australians. Thanks to Ericsson’s latest satellite video-compression technology, the ABC will be able to expand the reach of its high-definition and standard-definition digital-TV programming across the country.

As Australia transitions from analog to digital TV, the government is funding a new satellite service to provide digital television to viewers in remote areas where free-to-air digital TV can’t be received by TV antennas. About 247,000 Australian households in these “digital black spots” will benefit.

Says Sam Saba, head of Ericsson Australia & New Zealand, “According to a recent study, all Australian households watch free-to-air TV and spend almost three hours a day watching it on average. Since this service is central in the life of Australians, we value being part of digitalizing it and ensuring that all Australians can enjoy a rich, high-quality television experience.”

The system uses a range of Ericsson headend equipment, including bandwidth-saving MPEG-4 AVC EN8190 HD and EN8130 SD encoders, Reflex statistical multiplexing for channel-bitrate allocation and management, and nCompass control and monitoring. Managing bandwidth and maintaining high-quality pictures are critical in such a major digital-TV rollout. Deployment of the technology will start in December.