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Starz Picks Motorola for HD Encoding

Starz Entertainment will use a Motorola MPEG encoding system as part of next month’s launch of three new high-definition channels -- Starz Comedy, Starz Edge and Starz Kids & Family.

The four-channel system that Motorola built for Starz compresses, encrypts and modulates HD signals and will use the vendor’s Modular Uplink System to support Starz’s planned future migration to MPEG-4 compression.

According to Starz, a key component of the system is Motorola’s DSR4410MD multiprogram demodulator/decryptor, which receives DVB-S2 modulated signals and can decrypt up to 64 services from a single MPEG-2 transport stream.

In testing the Motorola equipment, Starz found “reliable transmission” of its signals at 77.5 megabits per second using a 36-Megahertz C-Band satellite transponder. That translates into four or five MPEG-2 HD streams, or up to 10 MPEG-4 HD streams.

Earlier this month HBO said it would use Motorola HD gear to offer all of its 26 channels as MPEG-4 HD signals, and to continue offering the four primary HBO and Cinemax feeds in MPEG-2.