DiviCom Inc. is adding a new, high-end digital-video
encoder to its lineup, touting a new technology for providing clearer video from
The "MediaView MV45" encoder, which is being
introduced this week, uses an encoding chip not incorporated into previous models to
filter out signal noise that can degrade the quality of MPEG video streams. The
device's other encoders compress the content to optimize bandwidth.
"For many service providers, bandwidth is a precious,
limited resource," DiviCom president Tom Lookabaugh said in a prepared statement.
"To remain competitive, they must continuously increase their services, which
requires additional bandwidth. The MV45 allows service providers to compress broadcast
signals, maintain high quality and deliver more channels to consumers."
DiviCom's "ClearMotion" technology is based
on a process called "motion-compensated temporal low-pass filtering," using
three "Dvxpert" processors from the company's parent, C-Cube Microsystems
"Noise is a big problem for MPEG. It's hard to
distinguish from motion," DiviCom director of encoder marketing Eric Norton said in
an interview. Motion-compensated temporal low-pass filtering "is designed to look at
motion and look at noise and try to draw a distinction between the two -- get rid of the
noise and keep the motion."
DiviCom said the new technology advances that of its
previous flagship encoder, the "MV40," by adding ClearMotion noise reduction to
the company's "DiviTrack" statistical-multiplexing capability, which uses
two complete C-Cube "E-4" encoding chips.
The first chip examines incoming content to determine how
much bandwidth it requires, while the second encodes the video with the appropriate bit
rate determined by the first chip.
The ClearMotion capability is added through the third E-4
chip, Norton said, which uses noise and motion statistics culled from the other two chips.
The noise reduction is performed during the video-compression process; filtering content
before the encoder tends to cause blurring by removing picture entropy, Norton said.
"It's tricky. Filtering generally means you
soften the picture and hope the viewer is comfortable with that," he said. "We
still supply those types of filters, as well, but motion-compensated is a tremendous
The MV-45 is aimed primarily at satellite and terrestrial
broadcasters, which, Norton said, were less cost-sensitive by and large than cable
operators as far as technology focused on maximizing channel capacity. Satellite customers
under service contracts with DiviCom will have their MV40s upgraded to MV45s
free-of-charge, he added.
"We still provide the MV40 with DiviTrack for the
cable market," Norton said.
The MV40 costs in the range of $70,000, but Norton would
not disclose the price of the new MV45.
DiviCom -- which claims more than 6,000 encoder deployments
worldwide -- will unveil and demonstrate the new model, along with the rest of its lineup,
at this week's IBC trade show in Amsterdam, Netherlands.