Cable Show 2009: C-SPAN To Start All-Digital Move

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C-SPAN Networks this summer will start migrating to all-digital video distribution, using Motorola's Digicipher-II video-encoding systems and satellite receivers.

In June, C-SPAN will begin deploying Motorola's modular uplink system and commercial receiver/decoders (IRDs) to make all three C-SPAN standard-definition services available to affiliates in a digital format.

C-SPAN will continue to operate two satellite transponders: The first will carry C-SPAN in the legacy analog format to ensure reception by all existing affiliates, while the current C-SPAN2 transponder will change from analog to digital to carry C-SPAN, C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3 digital programming.

The transition will enable C-SPAN to optimize the efficiency of its infrastructure to deliver more compelling opportunities to view government activities, including the future delivery of high-definition services.

"We've been planning to move to digital for some time to help us deliver the high-quality experiences that our affiliates and viewers now expect," C-SPAN co-president Rob Kennedy said in a prepared statement. "In Motorola, we have a partner that we can rely on to enable us to optimize the bandwidth available to us and with the breadth of portfolio to give us to provide flexibility as we roll out different services."

Initially, C-SPAN's digital feed will be carried as MPEG-2 SD video but will expand to include MPEG-4 as the programmer enhances its lineup with three HD channels.