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Starz Entertainment to Increase HD Program Distribution with Motorola Encoding Technology and Advanced Modulation


High Demand Spurs Move to Expand HD Lineup and Improve Transponder Efficiency

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Motorola (NYSE:MOT) announced today that Starz Entertainment will utilize a Motorola four-channel, high-definition (HD) MPEG encoding system for the upcoming launch of its new HD channels – Starz Comedy, Starz Edge and Starz Kids & Family. The technology, offered by Motorola’s Home and Networks Mobility Group, compresses, encrypts, and modulates the HD signals within a single integrated transmission system.

The new HD system is configured for STARZ using Motorola’s Modular Uplink System which will support Starz’s planned future migration to MPEG-4 compression technology. Motorola’s MPEG-4 AVC technology has been optimized for today’s content requirements, handling both 1920 x 1080I and 1280 x 720P resolutions at approximately half the bandwidth required with similar MPEG-2 coded signals.

A key component of the enhanced content delivery chain is Motorola’s new DSR4410MD multi-program demodulator/decryptor. The new 1 RU product receives DVB-S2 modulated signals and decrypts up to 64 services from a single MPEG-2 transport stream. Testing with STARZ signals has shown reliable transmission at 77.5 Mbps using a 36 MHz, C-Band transponder – which translates into four-to-five MPEG-2 HD streams or as many as 10 MPEG-4/AVC HD streams.

“We were very pleased with the quality and efficiency offered by Motorola’s new modular uplink system,” said Ray Milius, senior vice president, programming operations for Starz Entertainment. "Both the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 HD encoders interfaced seamlessly with the access control and transmission system in use today, so adding current and future HD services is very straightforward.”

“We’re excited to be working with Starz Entertainment on this important industry project,” said Doug Means, corporate vice president and general manager for Motorola. "Starz has a reputation for delivering quality movie content in a variety of formats, so we are pleased that the flexibility of our modular system and our MPEG-4/AVC technology is in line with their distribution plans.”

Motorola has been a long-time leader in HD digital compression systems – having its foundations in early 1992 experimental transmissions, being a member of the Grand Alliance HD encoding effort, and having deployed hundreds of MPEG-2 HD encoding systems.


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