PBS Taps Ericsson for HD Content Delivery

PBS, the U.S. public broadcasting network, has selected a content distribution system from Ericsson to feed more High Definition content to its member stations across the United States and its territories. The landmark swap-out sees PBS transition from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC. The move enables nearly 360 public TV stations in the U.S. to receive a wide variety of popular content by delivering more High Definition programming, providing a richer, more enhanced viewing experience to the American TV audience.

PBS is a non-profit corporation, reaching nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online each month. Its members are America’s public TV stations – non-commercial, educational licensees that operate across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

“Our mission is to provide content to our members that educates, informs and inspires people, and a decisive factor in achieving this is the quality in which we distribute programming,” said Stefan Petrat, vice president, distribution operations & engineering, PBS. “Given the responsibility we have to provide our members with great content in premium quality, replacing our existing system with Ericsson’s was a crucial decision as part of our service roadmap. American viewers are increasingly demanding and expecting more content in High Definition and we are pleased to work with the Ericsson team in order to fulfil the requirements of our member stations.”

Ericsson has provided PBS with an MPEG-4 AVC distribution system to feed content to members with full redundancy. The system comprises the Ericsson Video Processor Chassis with EN8190 MPEG-4 AVC HD and EN8130 MPEG-4 AVC SD encoders, CE-XH40 Contribution Encoders, Ericsson MX8400 System Multiplexers, RX8200 receivers and RX8252 transcoders, and nCompass Control management system. A team of Ericsson engineers will also provide system installation and training, as well as post-deployment support to PBS.

“The move by PBS from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC marks a significant step forward in the quality of service it provides its member stations across America, while at the same time making important operational expenditure savings,” said Staffan Pehrson, vice president and head of TV, Ericsson. “Our experience in enabling next-generation TV services and our heritage in HD distribution, combined with a thorough understanding of what consumers want from their TV experience, is the reason so many service providers and broadcasters turn to us to meet their evolving needs. We are pleased to provide PBS with our market-leading video distribution solutions for this exciting deployment that will provide a great range of content to viewers with enhanced quality.”

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