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Intelsat Feeds Hi-Def Live Earth

Satellite giant Intelsat is sponsoring Live Earth, a series of concerts that will be held across the world on July 7 to raise awareness about climate change, by providing free, turnkey transmission services including both standard- and high-definition broadcast feeds.

Live Earth is being billed as the largest HD music event ever and will feature 24 hours straight of live music from New York, London, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Hamburg, with performances from acts like Madonna, Akon, Missy Higgins, Kumi Koda, UB40, The Police, Shakira, Joss Stone and Snoop Dogg.

Two billion global viewers are expected for the event, which is being broadcast in the U.S. by NBC Universal’s myriad broadcast and cable networks including round-the-clock hi-def coverage on Universal HD.

As the official satellite capacity sponsor, Intelsat will deliver the standard and high definition program feeds from the eight international venues to the Live Earth production center in London. From there, the post-production world feed will be transmitted across Intelsat's GlobalConnex network to three of Intelsat's teleports, which in turn will distribute it to the “video neighborhoods” on Intelsat’s satellites, as well as points-of-presence for Internet distribution.

The Live Earth broadcast represents the biggest high-definition transmission project yet for Intelsat, with the FIFA World Cup being second. The global scale of the event, with eight separate uplink sites, makes it a much larger proposition than the World Cup, where Intelsat provided HD uplinks from a single region, according to an Intelsat spokeswoman.

"Live Earth has the potential to be the world's largest high definition event, so our production standard requirements are obviously going to be complex and widespread," said Kevin Wall, founder and producer of Live Earth, in a statement. “Intelsat's turnkey transmission services provide us the capacity we need to successfully broadcast this event around the world.”

Other corporate sponsors of Live Earth include Philips, automaker smart, PepsiCo, Esurance and Absolut Spirits Company.