Tandberg Introduces Next-Gen HD Encoders

Tandberg Television has unveiled new HD-encoding products
that it says offer significant advances in the delivery of MPEG-4 H.264 high
definition video.

For the contribution and distribution market -- which would
include signal backhauling from live sporting events -- Tandberg has rolled out
what it bills as the first end-to-end MPEG-4 H.264 solution with 4:2:2 chroma
sampling and 10-bit video processing that supports HD encoding as high as the
1080p/60 frames-per-second format.

"You can get 4:2:2, eight-bit products from some of the
Japanese vendors and you can get 10-bit products from at least one vendor, but
you can't get a solution that is 10-bit and 1080p60," said Tandberg vice
president of product management and marketing Carl Furgusson.

The new product is designed to make it easier to move from
MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 and work in 1080p 60 frames per second, which is the highest-quality
HD format supported under current TV standards.

"We don't see many people doing 1080p 60 right now, but we
believe that over the next two years a large amount of the initial content
capture and distribution will be shot in 1080p 60 and edited in 1080p 60 before
being reduced down to either 1080p or 1080i in the home," said Furgusson, who
is responsible for advanced video-compression solutions.

Tandberg's new MPEG-4 encoder also offers a significant
bit-rate reduction of about 25% compared to the MPEG-2 encoders with 4:2:2
chroma sampling that are the most widely used in contribution and distribution
today, Furgusson said.

In addition, the higher 10-bit processing power provides
improved color gradation and quality.

For the satellite-TV and IPTV market, Tandberg has introduced
another new MPEG-4 encoder that also conserves bandwidth for HD offerings.

The EN8190 HD encoder
with MPEG-4 compression and 4:2:0 chroma sampling offers 20% to 25% savings in
bit rates from the company's previous offerings, Furgusson noted.

"For most operators that means they can add at least one and
maybe two extra HDTV channels onto the
transmission bandwidth they are using today," he said.

For IPTV operators, Furgusson noted the product would also
help bandwidth strapped IPTV operators add more HD channels and deploy DVR

"With MPEG-4 encoding we are getting an acceptable HD
picture at 6 Mbps and below," he noted. "Even if you only have 12 Mbps, you can
now offer two HD streams to serve two TV sets in the home or have a [digital
video recorder] recording one HD programming while watching another. That is
very important for telcos trying to keep up with satellite operators."