Motorola, Tandberg Show Off 1080p HD Encoders

Motorola and Tandberg Television are both introducing encoders designed to provide 1080p HDTV -- the highest-quality high-definition video that's widely supported today.

The vendors are demonstrating the new encoders at IBC 2009, which is being held Sept. 11-15 at the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam.

Currently, the highest-quality HDTV content for linear television services is 1080i, although DirecTV  and Dish Network tout some video-on-demand selections in 1080p. The "full HD" 1080p standard provides better video quality because it uses a "progressive" scan, rather than the "interlace" method.

Motorola's next-generation encoding platform, the SE-6000, supports both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 standard-definition and high-definition (HD) encoding and transcoding. The SE-6000 has been designed to be capable of meeting "future processing demands" of both 1080p at 50Hz and 1080p at 60Hz resolutions using the MPEG-4 format, the company said.

"Growing consumer demand for higher quality and richer video experiences dictates the need for rapid technology innovation and service provider evolution," said Bob Wilson, vice president and general manager for Motorola's Networked Video Solutions, in a statement. "The introduction of this advanced encoding platform is just one example of how Motorola is protecting our customers' investment in technology as they begin a critical transition to the next generation of high-quality video services such as 1080p and 3D in support of multiple device and content formats."

Meanwhile, Tandberg Television is introducing an MPEG-4 AVC HD 4:2:2 encoder and receiver with support for up to 1080p50/60 HD encoding. The new system offers 10-bit precision, which Tandberg said provides a noticeable improvement in color gradation on plain backgrounds compared with 8-bit systems.

"Our aim is to help broadcasters and platform operators to meet consumer expectations for more HDTV channels and better quality HDTV," Roger Bolton, Tandberg Television executive vice president of compression, said in a statement.

Two years ago, Harmonic claimed to have the first 1080p HD MPEG-4 real-time encoder with the capability supported in the DiviCom Electra 7000 platform.