Tandberg TV & Microsoft ink deal for IPTV collaboration

MUMBAI: Tandberg Television and Microsoft Corp. have announced that they have entered into a development and cooperation agreement to integrate Tandberg TV's encoding technologies with Microsoft TV's award-winning Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform.

As a further demonstration of the collaboration between the two companies, Tandberg Television will enhance its EN5900 range of advanced video encoders that has been integrated with the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform by incorporating picture-in- picture (PIP) generation functionality into the encoder itself.

The enhanced solution marks the next step in Tandberg TV and Microsoft's long- term relationship and demonstrates the companies' commitment to collaborate on ways to propel the IPTV industry forward.

Enabling PIP functionality without requiring additional hardware-based tuners in the set-top box is one of the unique features of Microsoft TV IPTV Edition. By incorporating PIP capabilities into the encoding solution, Tandberg TV and Microsoft TV are looking at maximising system efficiencies, because PIP encoding is handled at the encoder. This eliminates processing demands on the acquisition server, which otherwise would need to decode and re-encode the PIP stream, thus reducing the overall cost of the solution and improving the user experience.

The PIP stream will be generated from the same video source and will consist of a lower-resolution version encoded at a much lower bit-rate than the main stream. Resolution reduction is achieved within the encoder and no additional external components are needed. This solution provides the ability to offer very efficient system design including reliable and effective fail-over to ensure high availability of the TV channel.

At Supercomm in Chicago, Tandberg TV will have a live, fully integrated IPTV demonstration combining the Tandberg EN5290 standard definition encoder for Windows Media® 9 Series (proposed SMPTE VC-1) with Microsoft TV IPTV edition. This demonstration will showcase the outstanding video quality produced by Tandberg TV's superior advanced encoding combined with the next-generation user experiences enabled by the Microsoft software platform.

"To deliver on the promise of IPTV, network operators need to not only give their subscribers the most compelling and competitive digital TV offerings, but also maintain high service quality and low operational costs," said Tandberg Television director of strategic development Tim Sheppard. "By adding PIP capabilities to our encoding solutions, Tandberg Television continues to innovate and offer more advanced digital TV technology while keeping the needs and priorities of service providers in mind."

"Our long-term collaboration with Tandanberg TV is the result of our shared passion for IPTV," said Microsoft TV Division , director of worldwide partner development Phil Corman. "By adding PIP functionality to Tandberg's real-time encoders, Tandberg Television and Microsoft TV take another step toward advancing the next-generation television capabilities of IPTV."

Microsoft TV IPTV edition is a software platform that allows broadband service providers to deliver compelling digital TV services using their existing IP networks. Leading service providers worldwide -- including Bell Canada, BellSouth Corp., Reliance Infocomm Limited, SBC Communications Inc., Swisscom/Bluewin and Telecom Italia -- are conducting trials or planning to deploy IPTV services based on the Microsoft TV IPTV edition platform.

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