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Hallmark Movie Channel HD to Launch with Cisco Transcoding Technology


Cisco® today announced that Hallmark Channel will deploy Cisco’s MPEG Advanced Video Coding (AVC)-to-MPEG-2 transcoding technology and use its MPEG AVC encoder to launch high-definition (HD) service in the United States.

“The launch of Hallmark Movie Channel HD in April 2008 will come at a time of high demand from our distribution partners who are hungry for family-friendly content,” said Jim Bennett, vice president, engineering at Hallmark Channel. “Our new HD service will also help us meet the needs of consumers who want more HD content to enjoy with their HDTVs. With 50 percent of all cable or satellite television homes expected to have purchased an HDTV by the end of 2007, we couldn’t be more in demand.”

The Cisco Advanced Receiver Transcoder (Model D9858 ) will provide vital transcoding capabilities to support the efficient satellite delivery of HD content using MPEG AVC video compression and DVB-S/S-2 technology. Using the single-rack-unit transcoder to receive the MPEG AVC signal and convert it to MPEG-2 allows Hallmark Channel to take advantage of the bandwidth savings delivered by AVC encoding and to help protect the cable operators’ investment in the installed base of MPEG-2-based set-tops. Additionally, support for Digital Video Broadcast - Satellite (DVB-S2) forward error coding and modulation helps deliver higher throughputs and improved satellite bandwidth use to support efficient HD content delivery.

Hallmark Channel’s video service provider, Andrita Studios, has selected the Cisco MPEG AVC HD Encoder (Model D9054) for origination of the AVC HD signal. Andrita Studios will deliver the encoded HD signal via a terrestrial link to Denver, where the Hallmark Movie Channel HD feed will be added to the Hallmark programming multiplex.

“Our new transcoder, which received a Broadcast Engineering ”Pick Hit“ award at IBC2007 in Europe, provides programmers and broadcasters with powerful capabilities for the delivery of considerably more HD content over today’s satellite transponders,” said Dean Rockwell, vice president and general manager, Digital Media Networks at Scientific Atlanta, a Cisco company. “The Cisco D9858 transcoder allows programming to be delivered to the headend using the most up-to-date, bandwidth-saving technology.”


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