The quest to deliver more HD content impacts everything along the video delivery chain. Operators are constantly looking for ways to tweak the system, from switching channels, to reclaiming bandwidth from analog channels, to splitting fiber nodes and driving fiber deeper into the network. However, one of the most efficient ways to increase and improve delivery is to optimize transport of the actual video signal. Motorola introduced a new integrated satellite receiver/decoder (IRD) today that uses statistical multiplexing to deliver three HD programs in a single QAM channel. The result is an increase of up to 50 percent in HD throughput. More room for more HD.
The new Motorola DSR-6300 is an update to the DSR-6000 product line launched (very successfully) at the end of 2007. It can deliver content using either MPEG-4 AVC or MPEG-2 compression and transcodes content from MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 when necessary. Video compression using MPEG-4 reduces the amount of bandwidth needed for delivering HD content, but most deployed set-tops today aren’t MPEG-4 capable, hence the transcoding to MPEG-2. The shift to MPEG-4 in consumer homes is just starting to happen. The DSR-6300 can also simultaneously translate three HD programs from HD to SD using AFD for output to the right format. (See earlier blog post on AFD)
Regarding the statistical multiplexing (or statmuxing) used by the DSR-6300, it’s a Motorola Emmy-award-winning technology that dynamically allocates bandwidth based on what each HD program needs, adjusting bit rates depending on how difficult a video asset is to encode.
The most recent customer announcement for the DSR-6000 product line was back in December, when FOX selected Motorola’s receiver/decoder for its transition to all-HD broadcasting.
More news to come in the run-up to next week’s Cable Show.