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BBC Shows Off HD Test

BBC Broadcast gave attendees at this year's International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam an up-close look at a technology the "beeb" is testing: the first-ever use of the MPEG-4 video format to deliver HDTV via satellite.

The technical side of BBC's network operations, BBC Broadcast is using the h.264 version of the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Codec (AVC) to deliver HD signals at 18 Mbps via Eutelsat's Eurobird 1 satellite. The test will continue through the end of the year.

MPEG-4 receivers at the BBC Broadcast's booth at IBC gave visitors an up-close look at the technology in action.

The BBC is under pressure to deliver an HD service. The UK pay satellite provider BSkyB is expected to roll out MPEG-4-based HD near the end of 2005 or in early 2006.