Swisscom\’s Bluewin Selects TANDBERG Television Windows Media 9 Series

TANDBERG Television announced that it has secured a contract with Swisscom’s Bluewin for the world’s first deployment of advanced compression technology based on dedicated hardware. As the premier broadband services provider to Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecommunications company, Bluewin will be the first company in the world to conduct a commercial trial of TV services over an IP broadband network using IPTV technology from Microsoft TV and TANDBERG’s EN5920 encoder for Windows Media(TM) 9 Series.

The EN5920 is based on TANDBERG’s Intelligent Compression Engine (ICE), a powerful and sophisticated video and audio compression platform that provides a modular and upgradeable solution for high quality implementations of Windows Media 9 Series and MPEG-4 part 10 technologies.

TANDBERG Television will deliver and commission the system in April for the commencement of Bluewin’s commercial trial.

The trial will provide 30 channels of live television, video on demand and PVR (personal video recorder) services presented through an Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) as part of a Triple Play mix of TV, telephony and high speed internet to several hundred paying customers in the German speaking part of Switzerland.

Bluewin’s decision to deploy the TANDBERG EN5920 will enable the operator to deliver quality TV services across the DSL network – a groundbreaking move given that until recently the bandwidth limitations of such a network meant that the required picture quality of a professional broadcasting service could simply not be met.

“The TANDBERG EN5920 provides us with the ability to deliver a viewing experience that meets our customers’ expectations, with broadcast quality TV at bit-rates below 1.5Mbt/s, a saving of approximately 50% when compared to traditional compression methods.

What’s more, TANDBERG Television’s professional broadcast track record and video delivery knowledge will be invaluable as we make our first moves into TV delivery,” says Mike Zumsteg, Head of Expanded Business of Bluewin.

“We are delighted to be working with Swisscom’s Bluewin as it rolls-out these innovative and important trials of TV over DSL.

It is becoming increasingly clear that video-based services will be a key driver for Telco revenues and broadband customer retention in the future.
True commercial trials will help to more fully understand the potential and also mould service offerings to meet consumer’s expectations,” says Eric Cooney, President and CEO of TANDBERG Television.

“The bandwidth limitations inherent with existing DSL platforms create a challenge for operators in providing a broadcast quality video service to their customers.
By deploying the Windows Media 9 Series solution, with its superior compression performance and operational benefits, operators can now offer broadcast quality TV and video on demand services to their DSL customers.”

The TANDBERG EN5920 real-time hardware encoder for Windows Media 9 Series is a result of TANDBERG Television and Microsoft Corp’s engineering collaboration, which provides the highest picture quality at the very lowest possible bit-rate available on the market today.

The EN5920 is a 1RU (rack-unit) encoder that packs a massive range of broadcast-level features. These include video pre-processing, noise reduction, low latency, flexible resolutions (up to full D1) and bit-rates (up to 3 Mbit/s), PAL and NTSC support, no frame dropping, accurate rate control, broadcast industry quality and reliability.
The bit-rate efficiencies provided by the EN5920 enables greater DSL reach (and so increased subscribers) and/or improved picture quality.

“Throughout the last decade TANDBERG Television has repeatedly been first to innovate in digital television delivery. Our vision continues to be the development of world leading video and audio compression systems that are both innovative and practical to deploy. We were first to market with a professional real-time encoding platform for Windows Media 9 Series and today we are extremely proud to announce our partnership with Swisscom and Microsoft on the world’s first professional-grade advanced encoding deployment,” adds Tim Sheppard, Director of Strategic Development at TANDBERG Television.