Hallmark Transcodes HD With Cisco

Hallmark Channel this week will launch its first high-definition service, and is using Cisco Systems’ MPEG-4-to-MPEG-2 transcoding technology to offer the channel to cable operators.

Hallmark Movie Channel HD simulcast is scheduled to debut April 2.

The programmer has not announced distribution partners for the HD channel. DirecTV and Time Warner Cable recently renewed distribution agreements with Hallmark, and both agreements give the providers the option to carry the HD movie channel.

Andrita Studios, Hallmark's video service provider, has selected Cisco’s D9054, an MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) HD encoder, for origination of the HD signal. Andrita Studios will deliver the encoded HD signal via a terrestrial link to Denver, where the Hallmark Movie Channel HD feed will be added to the Hallmark programming multiplex.

Cable operators that distribute the Hallmark HD channel will use Cisco’s D9858 single-rack-unit transceiver and transcoder to convert the feed to MPEG-2.

The Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group (the recently renamed Scientific Atlanta) introduced the D9858 transcoder last year.