SkyStream Demos MPEG-4, EVE

SkyStream demonstrates broadcast-quality MPEG-4 encoding capability of its Mediaplex-20 video delivery platform; launches edge video encoder

April 19, 2004

3 Min Read

LAS VEGAS -- SkyStream Networks(R), the leader in IP video delivery, today announced it will demonstrate the real-time, broadcast-quality MPEG-4 (AVC/H.264) encoding capability of its Mediaplex-20(TM) video delivery platform in its NAB Booth #SL2484, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 19 - 22.

SkyStream is showing a first-of-its-kind demonstration of advances in video compression techniques at NAB. As part of the demo, the company's flagship Mediaplex-20 encodes digital video in both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 format in the same chassis. MPEG-4 (AVC/H.264) is a next-generation compression technology standard that allows high-quality video content to be delivered at lower encoding rates, with less bandwidth. MPEG-4 allows high-bandwidth applications like HDTV to be delivered over existing DSL and existing cable networks.

SkyStream's Mediaplex-20 is the only delivery platform to allow reliable IP video delivery with forward error correction (FEC), transrating, video stream replication to different platforms simultaneously, bandwidth rate reduction, and MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 encoding and transcoding, all in the same high-density, multi-channel chassis.

"The benefits of MPEG-4 are significant -- especially for telco operators who want to extend their reach further in the loop and offer more channels to the home -- but so are the challenges associated with delivering it," said Claude Dupuis, vice president of engineering for SkyStream. "Service providers expect MPEG-4 to be delivered live, in broadcast quality, alongside existing compression techniques, like MPEG-2. Our demonstration will showcase the benefits of hybrid MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 solutions for the delivery of video services over cable, satellite or telecom networks."

SkyStream's blueprint for MPEG-4 migration assumes that the average household has 3 television sets, with each potentially showing a different channel or "stream" simultaneously. This scenario places heavy bandwidth demands on the DSL line to the home, particularly for bandwidth-intensive programming like sports or music videos. MPEG-4 makes it far easier for telcos to use existing lines for video delivery by significantly reducing the amount of bandwidth required to deliver each video stream.

"Our NAB demo will show how MPEG-4 (AVC/H.264) can improve a service provider's bandwidth allocation by as much as 50 percent to reliably deliver three channels to each home, and offer new services like HDTV and content on demand to more subscribers," Mr. Dupuis added.

In a separate release:

LAS VEGAS -- SkyStream Networks, the leader in IP video solutions, introduced a new edge video encoder (EVE) product today at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention that allows cable, satellite and telephone companies to encode video content at an extremely low cost, making it affordable for small service providers to offer original, high quality video content.

"EVE delivers a real breakthrough for service providers who want to improve efficiency and lower operational cost by moving content encoding to the source instead of relying solely on a large central head-end to offer high-quality video services," said Jim Olson, chief executive officer of SkyStream. "EVE makes it profitable for even the smallest service providers to deliver high-quality specialized video content focused on select demographics."

EVE is ideally suited for situations where customers need to encode a small number of channels, or programming that is only of interest to a small constituency or set of subscribers in a remote location. Regional service providers can use the product to encode local television channels and advertisements and deliver them to subscribers inexpensively. Government and military organizations can use EVE for surveillance and video reconnaissance. Satellite service providers can use EVE to deliver "Business TV" and other content customized for specific audiences.

SkyStream Networks Inc.

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