Norway readies for 2007 HD launch

Telenor Broadcast Holding AS has taken its first step to going HD this week, deciding to use Tandberg Television HD encoding, monitoring and multiplexing technology.

The system will include TANDBERG Television’s next generation EN8030 MPEG-4 AVC encoders, the new TANDBERG iSIS 8000 IP multiplex system and its field proven nCompass control and monitoring.

Roger Bolton, Tandberg Television EMEA VP of Business Development, says the equipment will be installed at the end of December in time for trials that will begin in January, 2007.

The system will be used by Norges Television (of which Telenor is a one-third owner) and also NRK and TV2 to distribute HD content in either 720p or 1080i to Norwegian viewers.

Torkel Aamodt Thoresen, technical product manager at Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, says he was attracted to Tandberg because of its flexible DTV infrastructure that allows for adding more channels and services. The DTT platform will use the MPEG-4 AVC video compression standard which will allow NTV to take advantage of bandwidth saving benefits of up to 50% over MPEG-2.

“All channels will be SD to start with although there will be one HD channel in the trial to test bandwidth performance/picture quality,” says Bolton. “The amount of channels the service will offer is not yet confirmed so they are building a flexible system that can be easily upgraded to more services as and when required.”

Tandberg’s EN8030 will compress SDI signals to H.264 streams and deliver them together with external feed to a fully redundant data network.

Tandberg’s iSIS multiplexer will then combine the services from the data network to different channel service bouquets and also scramble the content for security before passing them on to transmission.