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Estonia’s Levira Selects TANDBERG Television for MPEG-4 AVC Digital Terrestrial Roll-Out


Thursday, May 18, 2006

TANDBERG Television and partner Finnsat provide MPEG-4 AVC DTT system for nationwide digital terrestrial infrastructure

Southampton, UK, - TANDBERG Television (Oslo:TAT.OL) today announced that together with its business partner Finnsat, it has been select by Estonia’s Levira to provide the MPEG-4 AVC digital head-end system for Europe’s first dedicated advanced compression based digital terrestrial (DTT) service. Based on the decision of the Estonian Government, Levira will launch DTT services in Estonia by the end of 2006. Broadcast network operator Levira, the former Estonian Broadcasting Transmission Center Ltd is 51% state owned and 49% owned by the French telecom and broadcasting company, TDF.

The digital terrestrial service will provide digital video and audio content from the country’s main television and radio broadcasters as well as international channels to over 85% of TV households across Estonia. A combination of free-to-air and pay services will be offered. Working with TANDBERG Television, Levira will roll-out two multiplexes this year while a third multiplex will be launched in 2007-2008. Analog switch-off has been set for 2012, although it may begin in some regions as early as 2010.

“We are excited about the roll-out of digital television across Estonia, a project that will create a next-generation communications infrastructure for our country. We are pleased to be able to work with TANDBERG Television because of the company’s proven expertise in digital broadcasting, the high quality of its MPEG-4 AVC technology solution and the local experience of its partner Finnsat,” says Tiit Tamm, COO of Levira.

By adopting MPEG-4 AVC as the compression standard for its network, Levira can take advantage of bandwidth saving benefits of up to 50% over MPEG-2. This enables Levira to deliver better quality pictures and more channels within the available terrestrial spectrum.

“To be able to complete the successful migration from analog to digital, terrestrial operators must be able to offer a strong viewer proposition with high quality pictures and broad content choices. A challenge for digital terrestrial operators is the relatively limited bandwidth of the terrestrial spectrum in most countries. The bandwidth savings of MPEG-4 AVC mean that terrestrial business models can now roll-out more efficiently and that operators such as Levira can look forward to introducing compelling consumer services such as interactive, on-demand and high definition television in the future,” says Roger Bolton, VP of Business Development at TANDBERG Television.

TANDBERG Television and Finnsat will provide a complete broadcast head-end system based on TANDBERG Television’s industry-leading MPEG-4 AVC compression technology. The fully integrated 24+2 MPEG-4 AVC standard definition (SD) system will comprise of TANDBERG EN5930 encoders with Reflex™ statistical multiplexing, MX5640 multiplexers and nCompass control. Levira has already had experience of working with TANDBERG Television and Finnsat through its DVB-T pilot trial which started in December 2003 in the capital city of Tallinn. The trial used TANDBERG Television’s digital TV system and reached over 200,000 households.

“We are excited to be helping Levira make this historic move to digital TV. We are pleased to be once again working with TANDBERG Television to enable our customers to meet their business objectives through a combination of industry leading technology and proven expertise in digital terrestrial broadcasting,” says Leif Saarela, CEO of Finnsat.

About TANDBERG Television

Whether it’s advanced compression systems, on-demand or interactive television, TANDBERG Television (TAT.OL) delivers the technology and expertise that is moving digital video forward. The company’s award-winning solutions are used by the world’s leading network operators, broadcasters and content owners to deliver new viewer experiences and advertising opportunities. With a broad suite of open, standards-based products, TANDBERG Television offers the highest quality digital TV solutions including IPTV, HDTV, video-on-demand, advertising on-demand, and interactive TV applications to customers in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa. For more information, please visit


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