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Comcast’s HITS squeezes more HD out of MPEG-2

Mon, 07/29/2013 - 11:59am
Mike Robuck

HITS, a division of Comcast Wholesale, is utilizing advanced video compression technology to further expand its HITS Q2 MPEG-2 satellite-based content distribution platform.

The improved technology allowed HITS to bolster its HITS Quantum SD/HD platform with the addition of 10 HD channels and three new SD channels. With the latest additions,  the total number of HD channels on HITS Quantum now stands at 34, which was a 42 percent increase in the number of HD networks available to cable operators.

The 10 new HD channels will be added to the HITS Quantum HD lineup in the third quarter of this year. The new channels are: Bio HD, Bravo HD, CNBC HD+, DIY Network HD, E! HD, Hub HD, Investigation Discovery HD, MSNBC HD, Nat Geo Wild HD and OWN HD.  

HITS announced the launch of three new SD services, including Fuel TV, Nick2 and MSG National, as part of a recent Q2 upgrade. 

“The advanced video compression technology used on the upgraded HITS Quantum platform allows cable operators to offer more HD channels using significantly less bandwidth, without compromising the viewing experience,” said Leslie Russell, vice president and general manager for HITS. “In addition to creating an opportunity for expanding HD channel lineups, these savings in bandwidth can free up valuable spectrum on the local cable plant so operators can allocate more capacity to new business applications.”

The Q2 platform was first announced in February while the new programmers were announced in April.

The Q2 upgrade, which was also in April, uses 256 QAM DVB-S2 technology on 75 percent of the HITS multiplexes. By freeing up as much as 25 percent of local bandwidth using existing MPEG-2 architecture, the upgrade enables cable operators to add more SD and HD signals using fewer satellite receivers and their existing customer premise equipment (CPE).

Last month Comcast announced the reorganization of several operations dedicated to managing services on behalf of customers, which included folding the previously separate IP services operation with the Comcast Media Center (CMC) under an umbrella unit called Comcast Wholesale.

Comcast Wholesale incorporated CMC units including Content Solutions, HITS and AdDelivery, with the IP Services unit, which provides data and voice services. Comcast Wholesale is a wholly owned subsidiary of Comcast. 

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