France Télévisions Launches DTV Services for Overseas Territories

Friday, April 1st, 2011 
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RENNES, France — Thomson Video Networks announced today that France Télévisions has launched DTV services for French-administered overseas territories, using an extensive and flexible Thomson headend technology solution.

French overseas territories include locations in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans; the South American coast; and as far as Antarctica, with a combined population of more than 2.5 million. France Télévisions provides television services to the overseas territories through Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère, the French foreign broadcasting organization.

Thomson Video Networks provided the headend technology for Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère to deliver its programming in SD and HD with MPEG-4 encoding. The solution encompasses a range of technologies from the extensive Thomson Video Networks product portfolio including: the Thomson ViBE EM1000 and EM3000 encoders, NetProcessor 9030 Multiplexers, and Sapphire MPEG servers. Redundancy management is provided by Thomson Amethyst switchers, with advanced delivery-chain monitoring capability supplied by Thomson Granite Sentinel digital TV probes. Reception of contributed feeds for rebroadcasting is handled by Thomson’s RD5000 SD/HD MPEG-2/4 receiver/decoder.

Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère provides the services through six separate multiplexes — one per territory — carried through DVB-S2 transmissions from Paris. Local Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère channels and France Télévisions national channels are encoded in MPEG-4 in either SD or HD, before being multiplexed together and delayed before transmission depending on their time zone.

“The installation of Thomson technology gives Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère a very flexible infrastructure for these overseas services, with excellent picture quality and the outstanding management features we need,” said Christian Augereau, technical director, Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère.

The Thomson ViBE HD and SD MPEG-2/MPEG-4 AVC encoders set the benchmark for standard definition and high-definition encoding, thanks to its Mustang compression engine. Combined with the powerful, highly integrated NetProcessor 9030 and the frame-accurate Sapphire MPEG/H.264 time-shifting and disaster recovery servers, the complete solution delivers unprecedented quality with efficiency, and the highest levels of service availability.

“This installation — our second major project with France Télévisions in 2010 and 2011 — has provided a state-of-the-art platform for extremely bandwidth-efficient DTV operations serving a widely dispersed audience around the globe,” said Christophe Delahousse, president of Thomson Video Networks. “We are very pleased with the results of our continuing collaboration with France Télévisions and the successful outcome of this initiative.”

Visit Thomson Video Networks at the 2011 NAB Show, Booth SU4917.