Picture quality leads TalkTalk to ATEME

TalkTalk has specified ATEME’s TITAN video compression technology for use with its new UK TV service, which is delivering live multicast and on-demand content via the recently released YouView connected TV STB.

The communications giant selected TITAN having been impressed by the picture quality delivered by its underlying software encoder, EAVC4.

Brian Paxton, TalkTalk’s Director of TV technology, commented: “We needed to upgrade our current broadcast head-end to allow us to expand our channel line-up, and looked at all the main encoding vendors. After evaluating these options we selected ATEME as the impressive picture quality achieved by the new ATEME EAVC4 technology exceeded that of the other vendors.”

TalkTalk has been using ATEME products since 2007, starting with offline encoders for preparing movie and other on-demand content. “Even then we were impressed by the quality of the product,” said Paxton.

The EAVC4 video encoding architecture exploits a combination of multi-processor and multi-core 64-bit architecture, and multi-threading from slice level up through macro block level, to achieve its efficiency gains. This has involved a complete redesign by ATEME, resulting in up to 20% bandwidth gains for progressive and interlaced content based on objective measures, and even higher gains based on visual perception.

TalkTalk’s new TV service is free to existing broadband customers after payment of a £50 ($80) installation fee for the YouView set top box, and provides access to over 100 broadcast channels, including free-to-air programming from the BBC, ITV and many others, as well as extra paid premium channels such as Sky Sports.

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