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Hispasat wants to compete with SES Astra in launching HDTV signals. So Spain's satellite operator is now testing HDTV signals along with Sogecable and Telefónica Servicios Audiovisuales (TSA), Telefónica's broadcasting subsidiary.

At present Hispasat distributes in Europe several HDTV channels such as Canal+ HD, Canal+ Dcine HD and Canal+ Deportes HD, the three HDTV channels from Sogecable's satellite pay TV operator Digital+. It also distributes the Portuguese version of National Geographic HD, Sport TV HD and Mov HD of Zon TV Cabo and through Portuguese pay TV operator Meo Sat the channels Eurosport HD and
National Geographic HD. In the next few months the satellite operator will add new HDTV channels.

One of Hispasat's HD activities is the project called 'Palco HD'. Goals of that project are the investigation and development of tools for the control and measure of the quality of the HD signals, in the production and transmission process as well as in the reception by the users. Over the last few months a series of tests have been made by TSA and the University Politécnica of Madrid in order to evaluate different technologies for the compression and encoding of professional feeds via satellite in HDTV quality.

In the next few months the project will tackle a campaign of measures and tests in real collective installations where their state will be analyzed as well as its compatibility with the DVB-S2 standard. All of Hispasat's HDTV channels will be taken as a reference.

However, HDTV technology is not new for Hispasat since the operator began working on it in 1992 through the first European HD transmissions on the Hispasat 1A satellite with the 2HD-MAC standard.

© Rapid TV News 2009


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