As the VC-1 compression scheme backed by Microsoft moves closer to adoption as an official SMPTE standard, further support for the competing MPEG-4 Advanced Video Codec has emerged at the NAB trade show in Las Vegas.
VC-1, the video codec based on Windows Media Video 9, has moved closer to the status of an industry standard, with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers recently declaring that it has met the requirements for what is known as Final Committee Draft status.
Meanwhile, considerable support has been shown for the competing MPEG-4 Advanced Video Codec at the annual NAB conference and exhibition.
Motorola will work with Modulus Video, a Californian start-up company founded in 2002, to provide standard and high-definition MPEG-4 AVC coder and decoder products to cable, satellite and telecom providers globally.
Modulus is a relative new comer on the compression macroblock, focusing solely on MPEG-4 AVC.
Motorola will resell Modulus MPEG-4 standard and high-definition encoders and the companies will also work to develop a line of Motorola-branded MPEG-4 AVC encoders, powered by Modulus technology. Motorola will integrate these products into its digital video head-end, and offer the systems as part of its solutions for IPTV through its worldwide sales channels.
“There is tremendous worldwide interest in using the high quality and bandwidth-saving benefits of MPEG-4 AVC video distribution systems to meet growing demand for new digital broadcast services,” said Bob Wilson, chairman and chief executive of Modulus Video.
“MPEG-4 AVC is gaining momentum as the encoding technology of choice for new SD and HD IPTV services,” said Doug Means of Motorola digital media solutions.
Rival company Scientific Atlanta is also showing MPEG-4 AVC products for high-definition television and IPTV.
However, the company is hedging its bets with both MPEG-4 products and the announcement of a future line of IP set-top boxes that will also support the competing VC1 compression scheme developed by Microsoft.
Harmonic, which also supports both MPEG-4 AVC and VC-1, announced a distributed statistical multiplexing system called DiviTrackIP. This allows video content to be aggregated form multiple sources across an internet protocol network and it is claimed will radically change the way in which video headends can be provisioned.
BSkyB confirmed that it has chosen a high-definition MPEG-4 AVC video encoding and distribution system from Tandberg Television for the forthcoming launch of its high-definition service.
The system will be based on the Tandberg EN5990 HD AVC Encoder and will employ statistical multiplexing and provide redundancy.
BSkyB was one of the early adopters of Tandberg MPEG-2 encoders for the original launch of their digital satellite service.