ESPN will use Motorola’s video distribution solution to transition all programming for ESPN and ESPN-2 networks to an MPEG-4 HD format, freeing up bandwidth to increase the number of HD services offered. Motorola’s solution also positions ESPN to offer both 1080p60 HD and 3D TV programming when service providers are ready for it.

Motorola’s solution is comprised of the SE-6601A MPEG-4 encoder that preserves video quality while decreasing bandwidth consumption, the DSR-6100 integrated receiver/decoder (IRD) that uses MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 transcoding to bridge to legacy operator services, and a flexible software control system.

As both ESPN and ESPN-2 transition to all MPEG-4 HD over the next several years, Motorola’s system will distribute full resolution HD programming while simultaneously providing legacy MPEG-2 HD and SD services to ESPN affiliate operators, all without requiring additional satellite bandwidth.

Motorola’s modular uplink and control system, coupled with the DSR-6100 IRD, enables agile management of ESPN’s content in order to deliver HD programming that is more relevant to consumers in a particular region.

As part of the migration, all ESPN and ESPN-2 programming will be processed with Motorola’s SE-6601A high definition MPEG-4 AVC encoder capable of 1080p60 and 3D encoding. Designed specifically for markets requiring high quality MPEG-4 compression of real-time content, the SE-6601A receives video content and converts it to the MPEG-4 format for distribution via satellite to ESPN’s affiliates. At the downlink sites, the content will be received and processed with Motorola’s DSR-6100, which receives MPEG-4 720p60 or 1080p60 video (including 3D), and then transcodes to MPEG-2 HD, SD and/or analog NTSC to support whatever video infrastructure the service provider has in place. The DSR-6100 uses the in-band active format descriptor (AFD) to translate input HD services to an appropriate standard definition (SD) service with proper aspect ratio, allowing for migration to HD-only distribution strategies.

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