AfterDawn: Tech news

MPEG-4 goes to cable

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 30 Mar 2002 0:53

Seven companies have agreed to build a cable-box using standardized MPEG-4 video format. Companies aim to replace now-standard MPEG-2 in cable networks with MPEG-4 which takes less bandwidth with same quality. This would ultimately allow cable operators to offer more channels using their existing infrastructure.
The task is huge, since MPEG-2 is de facto industry standard among broadcasters and cable companies -- virtually all content editing, storage and delivery is done in MPEG-2. And digital TV is built on MPEG-2 as well, so companies would need to change the whole foodchain in order to replace MPEG-2 with MPEG-4.

Companies involved with the project are Pioneer, Sharp, National Semiconductor, Sigma Designs, CMC Magnetics, Modern VideoFilm and iVast. America's third biggest cable operator, Comcast Cable, has agreed to join the specifications negotiations and has also agreed to test the system once its ready.

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