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MPEG-4 level streaming technology for IPTV

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NewSat Networks, a division of the Australian-owned and operated satellite communications provider Multiemedia Limited , today announced that it has successfully implemented the latest MPEG-4 streaming technology allowing it to carry Australia's first customisable, multicast Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) program that will commence broadcasting into Australia's pubs and clubs next month.

CEO Adrian Ballintine said Multiemedia had worked with current Set-Top-Box (STB) providers to adapt existing terrestrial streaming technology to work over its satellite network.

“This challenge, now a reality, means that we can offer a cost-effective solution due to our ability to stream content, using the latest MPEG-4 compression, at half the bandwidth, without a reduction in quality."

The impact of this advance, developed at NewSat Network's Melbourne headquarters, is a high speed multicast to outlets, via satellite, at a rate which requires approximately half the bandwidth of current digital broadcast technology, delivering huge cost savings.

The benefit of this industry breakthrough is to make satellite distribution even more affordable, so that more IPTV content providers and IPTV entrepreneurs will turn to the advantages of satellite to multicast their programs.

NewSat Networks uses the growing capacity of the world's satellite system to deliver high speed programming, through its Mediaports in Adelaide and Perth. Via satellite, IPTV can be easily transmitted to many sites simultaneously over vast areas, including geographically remote locations.

IPTV is an Internet Protocol (IP) data stream or file that is capable of generating a TV image. For broadcasts, the data stream has historically been compressed using MPEG-2, an established global transmission standard. This new successful implementation will migrate services to the latest MPEG-4 transmission standard.

This advance to the higher compression rate only requires half the satellite bandwidth to transmit broadcast quality video.

ETV will be Australia's first IPTV satellite television service when it is broadcast into Australia's pubs and clubs via the WA-based ETV Media network. Initially focusing on sports bars, hotels and motels on the eastern seaboard, it could be available in 500 pubs and clubs around the country before Christmas.

ETV Media managing director Gary Allen said the initial channel would include programming such as high energy action extreme sports, live sporting events, sporting highlights, result updates and a 'programming on demand' facility, exclusively for pubs and clubs.

"With the capacity to provide a minimum of 20 channels tailored to a variety of formats, we can show surfing, motor cross, all types of motor sports, gossip, bloopers or anything that may be in demand in the hospitality environment," he added.

"We chose to work with NewSat Networks to launch ETV as they had the right combination of the broad reach of satellite transmission through their Mediaports and the in-house technical expertise needed to support our requirements."

In addition to IPTV services, NewSat Networks provides a full range of voice, video and data communications solutions, via satellite, through its Mediaports in Adelaide and Perth, to Australia, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

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