ABC Shifts MPEG-4

Network giant ABC is converting the distribution of its network programming from an MPEG-2-based system to more bandwidth-efficient MPEG-4 advanced compression using transmission equipment from Tandberg Television. The migration to MPEG-4 is due to begin next Monday and should be completed by mid-January as a part of ABC's "Accelerated HD Delivery" plan. Stations will decode the feeds and recompress them in MPEG-2 for local broadcast delivery. ABC would be the second major North American broadcaster to shift its program distribution to MPEG-4. The new MPEG-4 encoders and receivers, combined with DVB-S2 advanced modulation, will allow ABC to transmit three HD feeds in the same slice of satellite capacity that it currently uses to broadcast one HD feed.