GlobeCast to bring London Olympics to Asia in HD with ATEME

Video compression specialist ATEME is setting up the first HD video head-end that will relay coverage of the London Olympics to Asia Pacific. ATEME’s Kyrion encoders have been selected by GlobeCast for deployment with a major cable operator in the region. GlobeCast will use the video head-end, firstly at the European Football championships in Poland starting in June, before moving the platform to London for the Olympics in July. The video will be transmitted to GlobeCast distribution hub in Hong-Kong over optical fiber, to serve its client’s Asian subscribers. After the Olympics, the platform will be will be retained at Globecast’s Singapore premises for future deployment, either in the field or at its facilities.

GlobeCast evaluated a number of encoding vendors, and chose ATEME partly because of its strong presence and support on the ground over the period of the Olympic Games in London. But the biggest factor was the quality of ATEME’s HD encoding, which will give GlobeCast a competitive edge in the future over other content distribution companies in the region, according to Shakunt Malhotra, its Senior Director, Engineering & Projects. This is even though for the Olympics itself the Kyrion encoders will be configured for the lower MPEG-4 4:2:0 8-bit profile, which will still provide top quality HD pictures.

“Although we are going to use 4:2:0 for these exclusive Olympics channels, the main feature that attracted us to select Kyrion is the broad range of profiles it can support, all the way to 4:2:2 10-bit,” said Malhotra. “This allows us to provide new features for transmission, and this value addition will put us ahead of other service providers.”

GlobeCast was also impressed with ATEME’s high level of overall support, which it believes will help attract other TV operators in the region to take its Olympic service. “We sometimes get last minute requests just one or two months before an event begins,” said Malhotra. “Our presence there and support from ATEME is going to be crucial for that.” The head-end turnkey design includes ATEME Kyrion encoders, IRDs (Integrated Receiver Decoders), multiplexers, routers, all with in-built redundancy controlled by an open vendor Dataminer Network Management System.

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