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Canal+ embraces MPEG-4

Sun, 09/15/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

Canal+ Technologies Inc. is looking to embrace the next-generation MPEG-4 standard for multimedia content, and is partnering with Envivio on future interactive television projects.

Canal+ has agreed to work with the developer of MPEG-4 broadcast and streaming solutions to incorporate MPEG-4 functionality within its MediaHighway middleware in the future.

The MPEG-4 standard features audio, video and systems layers and offers variable bit rate encoding for both narrowband and broadband delivery in a single file.

The partnership calls for the companies to work together to deliver a complete commercial pay-TV system designed to deliver rich, multimedia content over IP, satellite and wireless connections.

In May, Envivio secured $14 million in funding. At the time of the announcement, the company said it planned to use the funds to develop products and to expand its marketing, sales channel and customer support capabilities. Envivio's product line includes Live Broadcaster, Broadcast Studio, Streaming Server, Encoding Station and EnvivioTV. The company's products are designed to manage, stream and playback interactive rich media.

Last week at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam, the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) and the MPEG-4 Industry Forum (M4IF) announced they would work together to facilitate interoperability testing of MPEG-4 streams and players. "To deliver on the promise of open MPEG-4 and IP standards, we must make sure that all elements in the ecosystem work together," said Tim Schaaff, a board member of ISMA and M4IF. "The market expects seamless interoperability between different products," he said.

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