The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers announced the approval of a technical standard defining the transmission of video in MPEG-4 format in cable systems, an encoding technology that promises to cut operators’ bandwidth needs in half.
Advanced Video Coding MPEG-4 encoding is more efficient than MPEG-2, which the cable industry uses ubiquitously to deliver digital video today. However, cable operators would need to install set-top boxes capable of decoding AVC MPEG-4 to realize those bandwidth gains to subscribers’ homes – an expensive proposition.
The SCTE 128 2007 standard, AVC Video Systems and Transport Constraints for Cable Television, specifically describes the transmission of AVC-coded streams in an MPEG-2 service multiplex. Developed by the organization’s Digital Video Subcommittee, the standard is available to download at http://www.scte.org/documents/pdf/SCTE1282007.pdf.
The SCTE’s nine-member Engineering Committee has issued 67 standards approvals in 2007, more than any year in the group’s history.