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BET Goes High-Def With Motorola

Viacom's BET has implemented Motorola's high definition MPEG-4 AVC encoding system to deliver its programming in HD.

BET, which touts itself as the leading provider of TV programming for African-American audiences, will deploy a hybrid uplink system using Motorola's SE-5100 HD video encoder to distribute the network via satellite.

The programmer integrated the encoder with its existing DigiCipher II uplink systems, and opted to use the MPEG-4 format instead of MPEG-2 for its HD feed to save satellite bandwidth.

Affiliates will receive the program content using Motorola's DSR-6050, which transcodes MPEG-4 HD content into a MPEG-2 format for legacy cable subscribers with MPEG-2 set-tops.

"We have enjoyed excellent video quality and reliability using Motorola DigiCipher II over many years," BET senior vice president of technology and operations Deidre Jackson said in a statement. "Being able to merge this easily with Motorola's new MPEG-4 HD equipment has made this transition to HD transmission seamless for us."