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The MPEG-4 wave is starting to build with broadcasters. Today Motorola said that it will provide an HD MPEG-4 AVC encoding system for the Smithsonian Channel, which plans to show all of its programs in HD.

Showtime Networks will distribute the MPEG-4 programming for the Smithsonian Channel starting in the fourth quarter of this year. Motorola has also announced similar deals for AVC platforms with HBO and Starz.

The Smithsonian Channel will use Motorola’s SE-5100 MPEG-4 AVC HD encoders to encode video content into the MPEG-4 format, which will then be distributed via satellite.

The signals will then be sent to the Smithsonian Channel’s cable or telco affiliates who have installed Motorola’s DSR-6050 Digital Satellite Receiver-Transcoder at their headends. In some cases, the content will be converted back to MPEG-2.

"Motorola's MPEG-4 solution allows us to deliver this programming with the superb video quality that really does the content justice," said Jim Occhiuto, vice president, engineering, Showtime Networks, in a statement. "The system's flexibility and efficiency will allow us to roll out even more HD channels during the coming years."

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