NHK, ATEME Team on Ultra HD with MPEG-4 AVC

ATEME(TM) SA, an acknowledged leader in MPEG-4 video compression solutions, announced that ATEME’s world-leading encoding technology was selected for use in the first public Ultra HD demonstration with MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) by NHK in Tokyo. The company is cooperating closely with NHK Labs in the design and development of this next-generation standard.

NHK, which first began research into HD in 1964, has now started public testing of the next-generation Ultra HD standard in 2007. NHK’s Ultra HD technology includes a resolution of 7680 x 4320, which is up to 16X clearer than HDTV. The prototype super-fast cameras can capture data at a rate of 4,000 frames per second and the audio component is 22.2 (as compared to today’s 5.1 surround sound).

Ultra HD cameras, recorders, encoders and projectors are being developed now – 2009 will mark the introduction of the full specification for Ultra HD. NHK estimates that satellite transmission tests will begin in 2011, and by 2020, Ultra HD will be ready for broadcast to households.

Ultra HD broadcasting consumes a tremendous amount of bandwidth – 18 minutes of uncompressed footage consumes 3.5 terabytes of data and one minute of uncompressed footage consumes 194 gigabytes. The use of ATEME’s MPEG-4 AVC compression technology dramatically reduces the bandwidth requirements while maintaining the best quality.

“We are very excited to be partnered with NHK – the leading broadcaster in the world for advanced technology implementation – for Ultra HD,” said Benoit Fouchard, Vice President of Sales, Broadcast and Broadband for ATEME. “ATEME’s MPEG-4 AVC encoding has always been accepted as the world’s best, and NHK’s sole reliance on our technology proves we are fully capable of scaling to the ultimate in bandwidth and quality requirements for HD. We are very proud to be working with them and look forward to a continued partnership with NHK.”

ATEME is a world-leading provider of MPEG-4 / H.264 video compression solutions. ATEME’s renowned technology supports both standard and HD content, deployed across any platform – from mobile to Ultra HD. ATEME provides broadcasters, telcos and security providers with unmatched compression quality while simultaneously licensing its unique MPEG technology and expertise to select vendors.

ATEME(TM) is a trademark of ATEME SA.