Ericsson Helps PSSI Take NASCAR from the Track to the Studio in HD

Ericsson and NASCAR

NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in 20 languages 
Rated the #2 regular-season sport on television in the US
Ericsson HD video processing solution delivers highest picture quality

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NASCAR Media Group (NMG) provides multiple streams of HD content captured live at the races for viewing by its 75 million loyal fans throughout the world. To accomplish this, PSSI Global Services LLC, (PSSI), a leading provider of mobile satellite transmission, production and streaming services, transports various HD sources over satellite to NMG’s new studio facilities in Charlotte, NC. Once there, those sources are switched live for distribution to DTV services providers.

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) provided PSSI with a solution featuring its MPEG-4 AVC HD encoders and receivers to support NMG and PSSI’s other clients. From track to studio, the solution allows HD content to be captured and transported using techniques to maximize the available bandwidth usage and provide the highest possible picture quality. This allows production teams to prepare and edit from pristine quality footage to create the best viewing experience for fans viewing at home.

"The ongoing success of this project depends on the Ericsson solution. The company has proven to be a reliable business partner that we can trust," said Brian Nelles, senior vice president, PSSI Global Services. "The technical team is exceptionally knowledgeable and provided us with a solution that yields a flawless video transmission."

"HDTV is now considered an essential part of the television viewing experience. The number of programming options continues to grow to meet the ever increasing viewer appetite," said Matthew Goldman, head of compression technology at Ericsson. "Having companies like PSSI place their trust in us is an honor that drives us to keep creating the best solutions for the market."

The NASCAR project requires the most bit rate efficient MPEG-4 AVC encoding in order to send six paths of HD material along with forty eight channels of team communications audio down one 36 MHz satellite transponder. The Ericsson EN8090 AVC encoders perform this task at bit rates ranging from 15.50 Mbps to as low as 7.00 Mbps for key signals, providing PSSI with highly efficient bandwidth usage while still delivering the highest possible picture quality.

"The timing of the sources arriving to the switcher in Charlotte at the same time for live switching is mandatory. This was easily handled on the Ericsson encoders by placing them in a variable seamless delay mode," added Nelles.

Reception of these HD sources is handled with Ericsson RX1290 decoders. A second transmission pathway is used for various clients including The SPEED Channel, and finally a third pathway is utilized to carry a five channel MCPC feed of HD video for DIRECTV Hot Pass. These other services are encoded with Ericsson E5788 MPEG-2 HD encoders.

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