TANDBERG Television MPEG-4 AVC to Power Delivery of New Zealand Digital Terrestrial TV

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007
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Kordia™ and TVWorks select TANDBERG Television’s iSIS 8000 IP head-end and MPEG-4 AVC encoders to drive New Zealand’s digital switchover

Southampton, UK — TANDBERG Television, part of the Ericsson Group, today announced that Kordia™ and TVWorks have selected its industry leading digital terrestrial television (DTT) head-end system for the delivery of the Freeview New Zealand DTT service.

New Zealand’s Freeview digital terrestrial network will deploy the latest MPEG-4 AVC solutions to provide around 75% of New Zealanders with a new HDTV service, as well as SD programming. Trials are set to commence early December, with a launch date set for early next year. Freeview New Zealand is a free-to-air digital TV service, currently transmitting standard definition (SD) programming in MPEG-2 across the country via a satellite direct to home (DTH) platform.

The state-of-the-art DTT system will use a range of TANDBERG Television’s proven solutions including the iSIS 8000 IP head-end and MPEG-4 AVC encoders. By using the latest MPEG-4 AVC video compression, and IP technologies, Kordia™ and TVWorks can cost-effectively deliver more channels in less bandwidth, while still maintaining high quality pictures. TANDBERG Television’s solutions, provided by its Business Partner Gencom, were selected for their best-in-class performance, in conjunction with Gencom and TANDBERG Television’s local expertise and strong customer service.

‘The introduction of TV and radio channels via DTT to homes in New Zealand is an important move and we needed to work with partners with a proven track record in digital television. The local expertise and integration skills of Gencom combined with TANDBERG Television’s global digital TV leadership give best-in-class solutions and the confidence on which we can grow our DTT offering,’ says Alan Turner, Project Director Kordia™.

‘We believe we can get consumers excited about the transition to digital TV when we show them the benefits that operators like ourselves are offering, such as a wider choice of programming as well as advanced features like interactive and HDTV. The bandwidth savings created through the use of TANDBERG Television’s DTT solutions enable these benefits to become a cost-effective reality,’ says John Allen, director of technology, TVWorks.

Advanced DTT infrastructure

At the heart of the DTT head-end solution is the TANDBERG iSIS 8000 which includes best-in-class video encoding, IP multiplexing and new receiver/decoders. The system is brought together under a single control and management system, nCompass. The TANDBERG MX8400 IP Multiplexer is a next generation solution which will provide Kordia™ and TVWorks with an open standards, IP based head-end. The combination of Reflex remote statistical multiplexing over IP and an advanced multiplexing architecture ensures maximum usage of available bit-rate.

Further bandwidth efficiencies are achieved by the use of the TANDBERG EN8000 MPEG-4 AVC encoders, based on the company’s next-generation compression platform. These award-winning encoders use a comprehensive tool-set of advanced compression video processing features, combined with new pre-processing techniques. They deliver the industry’s leading picture quality versus performance through bandwidth improvements of up to 50% over traditional MPEG-2 systems.

‘We are working closely with both Kordia™ and TVWorks to provide a digital terrestrial network that will future-proof both operators. The new DTT service will ultimately provide millions of consumers with a high quality, simple route to accessing the Freeview digital TV service, and enjoying the enhanced entertainment of HDTV,’ says Graham Cradock, executive VP and general manager of TANDBERG Television APAC.