HD Broadcast To Take Off Courtesy of H.264?

Twice the compression in first successful trials.

The problem with owning a High Definition TV is simple: there’s still not enough content. Sure you can sign up to Sky HD, buy an HD DVD, Blu-ray or even HD DVD/Blu-ray player but the vast majority of channels still broadcast in standard definition and that pretty much sucks.

The reason for this is simple: bandwidth. With most programmes filmed in HD these days the library is there but since they are broadcast in the bulky Mpeg2 format the bandwidth to deliver them isn’t. Thankfully then the ever smart Japanese could have come up with a potential solution…

The answer is obvious really: broadcast in a format with better compression and now they have, after Fujitsu designed an HD encoder which successfully enabled station to station transmission of H.264 compressed broadcasts between two stations: ‘All Nippon Network’ and ‘TV Asahi’ (great name). Being a far more modern format H.264 apparently scaled the content twice as well as Mpeg2 opening up a wealth of possibilities.

The knock on effect is that potentially twice as many High Definition channels could be sent over satellite systems like Sky HD while, potentially, it could bring hope of HD broadcasts via standard broadband connections or even over Freeview (a delivery medium already being investigated by the BBC).

So why don’t we just swap over? Well, at this stage it is unclear what changes would need to be made to our digiboxes to decode H.264 content, but surely the step is a logical one…

Out with the old…

Press Release

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