Cyfrowy Polsat selects ATEME’s Kyrion encoder platform
Cyfrowy Polsat S.A., the largest DTH operator in Poland and fourth largest in Europe, has chosen ATEME’s Kyrion encoder platform for a video and radio head end delivering a pay mobile TV service over DVB-T technology across the country. This is a significant development for Cyfrowy Polsat, adding mobile TV to its existing satellite delivery option, with the potential to reach new customers as well as its more than 3.5 million existing pay TV subscribers in Poland.
The service, launched in June 2012 after installation and testing earlier in the year, is based on a new DVB-T multiplex delivering simultaneously in MPEG-4 Standard Definition (SD) to Set Top Boxes, and at lower resolutions to smartphones or other mobiles via a DVB-T/Wi-Fi gateway. The mobile TV service will also give access to Free To Air digital multiplexes in addition to Cyfrowy Polsat’s pay TV multiplexes, to maximize its appeal to new customers.
This was a major contract win for ATEME, being the first deployment of its SR1000 rate allocator featuring statistical multiplexing for optimal multiple channel delivery within a confined bandwidth; in this case, 24.88 Mbps for 8 TV channels in SD, 14 TV channels compressed in lower resolution for mobile devices, and 12 radio programs. ATEME was one of only two shortlisted encoder vendors capable of meeting Cyfrowy Polsat’s demanding requirements, including support for AES encryption used in mobile devices, according to Cyfrowy Polsat’s CTO Dariusz Działkowski.
“ATEME was able to deliver a ready solution faster than the other vendor,” said Dariusz Działkowski. “We also gave a lot of attention to the operational point of view in terms of maintenance, service and support where ATEME was much better.”
Technical Director Marcin Bukowski was pleased with the contribution made by DTS, ATEME’s local reseller partner. “It was a collaboration between DTS and ATEME engineers,” said Bukowski. “They both did a good job, and the cooperation with my team was easy.”
The new head end comprises Kyrion AM2102 encoders, which met all Cyfrowy Polsat’s requirements, including complete interoperability through support for MPEG-4 part 10/ H.264 standards, and also ability to be upgraded to HD when required in the field, just by uploading a license file. It also has several features that exceeded Cyfrowy Polsat’s immediate requirements but gave the operator confidence that the encoders are future proof and will meet ever rising expectations for video quality. These include FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) technology, which ensures that encoder video quality can be field upgraded, and also the integration of encoding, rate allocation, multiplexing, scrambling and electronic program guide insertion within a single turnkey solution.
The deployment provides further evidence of ATEME’s rising status as a major encoding vendor being chosen by leading tier 1 operators for business critical services. The ATEME encoders deployed at Cyfrowy Polsat for mobile TV services in DVB-T can also be used by satellite operators for their DVB-S head ends, bringing the same operational and performance benefits.