Motorola (NYSE:MOT) announced today that it has joined the Microsoft(R) Mediaroom(TM) Interoperability and Qualification Lab (IQ Lab) for digital video encoders, a program which will enable the ongoing interoperability and compliance of encoders used in deployments of the award-winning Microsoft Mediaroom multimedia and IPTV software platform. Entry to the program involved rigorous tests of Motorola’s MPEG-4 encoding platform to deliver full compatibility with the Microsoft Mediaroom platform.
As a result, Motorola’s telco customers planning to implement the highly efficient MPEG-4 compression technology now benefit from greatly reduced evaluation time through interoperability with the Microsoft Mediaroom environment.
“Microsoft Mediaroom’s interoperability with Motorola’s MPEG-4 encoder means that our global service provider customers will find it easier and faster to deliver advanced connected TV services,” said Christine Heckart, general manager of marketing for the Microsoft TV business at Microsoft. “As a result, more consumers will benefit from a rich and secure TV experience, with excellent video quality and smoothly running applications on their set top boxes.”
“We are building on our global IPTV leadership by ensuring that our customers have access to solutions that work flawlessly on their networks,” added Doug Means, Motorola corporate vice president and general manager. “As demand for IPTV continues to grow and markets transition from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 compression technologies, telcos can now have total confidence in the combined Motorola/Microsoft IPTV solution without the need for lengthy evaluation.”
The product that has passed the IQL interoperability tests is Motorola’s SE-5100 High Definition MPEG-4 AVC encoder. Designed for markets requiring high quality MPEG-4 compression to deliver real time content, it receives video content and converts it to MPEG-4 format for distribution on telco networks for IPTV services.
The inclusion of high speed general purpose processors allows the SE-5100 High Definition MPEG-4 AVC encoder to remain flexible as MPEG-4 optimization continues to mature over the next several years. Unlike MPEG-2, MPEG-4 has hundreds of tools to choose from to be applied within a fixed compute power environment. Carefully selecting the tools to use — as well as optimizing implementation of the tools over time — will enable the SE-5100 to provide excellent video quality over a long period of time.
In a DSL delivery architecture, maintaining a given level of video quality at the lowest possible bitrate can translate into more viewers per household and more viewers per DSLAM — both adding to rapid, deeper subscriber penetration, lower overall system capex and faster system payback. The Motorola solution provides high quality, low bitrate compression in an expandable, upgradeable, efficiently supportable package.
In addition to high quality HD encoding, the SE-5100 supports the Picture-in-Picture (PIP) mode where the encoder outputs the full resolution TV picture in addition to a small “thumbnail” that can be used in program guides or as a mosaic that is superimposed over the viewer’s main program. The Motorola implementation minimizes network and headend complexity by generating and distributing this low resolution proxy via the same IP interfaces as used for the primary picture.