Rohde & Schwarz has announced a strategic contract win with major Swiss telecommunications company, Swisscom, that sees its encoding technology used in one of the most ambitious UHD playout roll-outs at this year’s Russia 2018 world soccer tournament.
Using Rohde & Schwarz’s R&S AVHE100 video encoding and multiplexing system, Swisscom will provide support for UHD channels over an IPTV network for Swiss public broadcaster, SRG, the official rights holder in Switzerland for the world soccer championships at Russia 2018.
Rohde & Schwarz will supply a fully redundant UHD encoding platform that will empower SRG to distribute three channels of live and pre-recorded soccer coverage throughout the Russian games. As well as supplying multiple R&S AVHE100 systems, Rohde & Schwarz will provide technical and operational support in the period running up to, and throughout the four-week Russia 2018 tournament.
Swisscom selected Rohde & Schwarz after extensive research and testing of various UHD-capable encoding systems. The Rohde & Schwarz option was chosen because of its exceptionally high image quality. Contributing to this high image quality, the encoder uses an HEVC algorithm developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute. As well as being 4K compatible, the R&S AVHE100 platform provides high dynamic range (HDR) content.
“It’s not just outstanding image quality that attracted us to Rohde & Schwarz – it employs the lowest possible bitrate, which presents major operational advantages,” stated Bruno Haug, Head of TV Development at Swisscom. “This efficiency enables us to provide UHD services to more viewers thanks to some unparalleled signal chain processing technology.”
The contract win is a major boost for Rohde & Schwarz’s major projects team, which has worked hard on its proof of concept. “The importance of this project to Rohde & Schwarz cannot be understated and to be selected as trusted technology partner by Swisscom is something that we are very proud of and take very seriously,” commented Stephan Krafft, Vice President, Marketing and Technical Sales at Rohde & Schwarz.
R&S AVHE100 encoding and multiplexing
The R&S AVHE100 is a compact, yet flexible and scalable transcoding, encoding and multiplexing solution, it offers best in class video quality for premium content distribution, including for today’s most advanced video coding standard HEVC and broadcast applications.
The platform provides COTS-based encoding and multiplexing. Its IP-based system workflow provides advanced redundancy options. At NAB, Rohde & Schwarz will demonstrate how the video headend solution integrates seamlessly with the company’s R&S PRISMON monitoring solution to ensure efficient monitoring of all streams received and generated, thereby minimizing customer stress in multi-signal environments that are commonly found in today’s broadcast solutions.