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Canalsat upgrades to all-HD with Thomson Video Networks

Thomson's ViBE EM4000

Thomson’s ViBE EM4000

Canal+ Group has tapped Thomson Video Networks to supply encoders for the transition of the entire Canalsat line-up of channels to an all-HD offering in H.264.

Thomson is supplying its ViBE EM4000 HD/SD encoder to power the migration of the platform to HD, along with its NetProcessor multiplexer/video processor, Amethyst III high-density redundancy switch, and MediaFlex network management system.

The ViBE EM4000 has recently been upgraded with an all-new, broadcast-grade SD-to-HD conversion capability, according to Thomson. The company said that, by combining HD MPEG-4 compression with the ability to upscale an SD video source to HD in a single platform, the EM4000 has enabled Canal+ to move Canalsat quickly to an all-HD operation.

For the migration project, known as Tout HD, Canal+ has modified its headend architecture to build an all-HD MPEG-4 satellite platform for Canalsat, with the new all-HD offering going live on July 1.

“The migration of Canalsat to an all-HD offering is a significant milestone for our company. It was critical that we deploy encoding technology that could provide powerful upscaling capabilities, high density, and features for DVB subtitles and Dolby E transcoding. The ViBE EM4000 is the perfect fit for our requirements,” said Frederic Vincent, EVP, technology and information systems, Canal+ Group.

“And as a long-time Thomson Video Networks customer, we knew we could count on them to provide outstanding support and product development to meet our needs.”

Eric Louvet, vice president, worldwide sales and field services, Thomson Video Networks, said, “With its global footprint and industry leadership in premium content, themed networks and pay-TV offerings, Canal+ Group is the perfect customer – and the Canalsat migration is the perfect project – with which to demonstrate the efficiencies and cost savings of our ViBE EM4000’s new upscaling function. Media enterprises like Canal+ understand that the ability to broadcast in HD is not only a key differentiator, but it’s critical to meeting viewer demand for premium picture quality. With its seamless ability to upscale SD sources and encode HD MPEG-4, in addition to its industry-leading channel density and streamlined management of DVB subtitles, the ViBE EM4000 is the ideal solution for these requirements.”