Technology

Australians to get digital free-to-air TV

MUMBAI: Hundreds of thousands of Australians living in rural communities are currently unable to access the same free-to-air, high-quality, digital TV experience as their urban counterparts.


A new five-year deal between Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, and Ericsson will help address this issue. Thanks to Ericsson’s latest satellite video compression technology, the ABC will be able to expand the reach of its high-definition and standard-definition digital TV programming across the country.
 
As Australia undergoes the switch from analogue to digital free-to-air TV, the Australian government is funding a new satellite service to provide digital television to viewers in remote areas where free-to-air digital TV can’t be received by TV antennas. About 247,000 Australian households in these "digital black spots" will benefit from the initiative.


Ericsson Australia and New Zealand head Sam Saba says, "According to a recent study, all Australian households watch free-to-air TV and spend almost three hours a day watching it on average. Since this service is central in the life of Australians, we value being part of digitalizing it and ensuring that all Australians can enjoy a rich, high-quality television experience."  
 
The system uses a range of Ericsson head-end equipment including bandwidth-saving MPEG-4 AVC EN8190 HD and EN8130 SD encoders, Reflex statistical multiplexing for channel bitrate allocation and management, and nCompass Control and Monitoring. Managing bandwidth and maintaining high-quality pictures is critical in such a major digital TV rollout.


Deployment of the technology will start in December.

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