Bob Wilson Modulus Video Chairman/CEO

Making Converts Out of All of Us

Modulus Video this week introduced the ME2000 MPEG-4 AVC encoding platform, a next-generation encoding system that will make it easier for broadcasters and others to distribute HD content in the MPEG-4 AVC format. The result? Bandwidth savings and less latency in transmission. Bob Wilson, Modulus Video chairman and CEO, discussed the new system with B&C HD Update.

Q.What does this new system mean for the HD market?

A. We’ve been working on this for a long time and we think it’s a powerful machine that is lightweight and has low power consumption and will encode video into MPEG-4 AVC. It’s also only 20-inches deep and fits in one rack unit, making it great for both SD and HD needs.

The real key is that since NAB a couple of other manufacturers, like Sencore and Wegner, introduced professional-level integrated MPEG-4 AVC receiver and decoders (IRD) and that has been the missing link. So now MPEG-4 can be used for high-quality point-to-point distribution over satellite or the Internet. We’re hearing people looking to more HD over the general Internet network if they can get a reliable 1 or 1.5 Mbps link.

Q. Modulus is also involved with IPTV. Can you give us an update on how the telcos are progressing?

A. Right now we’re the only company whose gear works with Microsoft’s IPTV system in HD so telcos working with Microsoft, like AT&T, are aggressively buying and deploying our encoders. We’re also working with Harmonic on some larger IPTV systems.

And while AT&T is more aggressive and visible in its buildout there are hundreds of other telcos deploying IPTV over the next year or two. And MPEG-4 is the format of choice with the exception of Verizon who is using MPEG-2 today but will switch to MPEG-4 in the future.

Q. What other markets are embracing MPEG-4?

A.We’ve recently begun getting a lot of requests from Hollywood to create MPEG-4 systems for telco VOD servers. Right now they don’t have a way to encode a movie or other event in realtime, and it can take four to 10 times realtime to do an SD encode. And if you lose a frame you need to start over. But our new system simplifies that workflow, taking the files from the workstations and encoding them in real time. We think that’s a big deal.