Sky Italia to introduce an additional HD channel to subscribers without increasing transponder capacity. First satellite direct to home provider in Europe to deploy Ericsson AVP 4000 platform, powered by Ericsson’s first in-house professional video chip. Deployment delivers considerable cost savings and increases sustainability of operations due to power savings.

Consumer consumption habits are changing, and an ever growing demand for high quality video and greater content choice is driving many broadcasters and TV services providers to upgrade their existing delivery infrastructures. Choice, control and convenience are three vital components for service providers looking to increase their competitive positioning by delivering more services and content variety. In recognition of this evolving trend, Sky Italia has selected the Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) AVP 4000 platform to increase its HD channel offering and the cost-efficiency of its output.

Sky Italia is the first European satellite direct to home (DTH) customer to deploy the Ericsson AVP 4000 compression platform, which is powered by the company’s first in-house programmable video processing chip. The increased efficiency offered by the new Ericsson HD head-end will enable Sky Italia to launch additional HD channels of the same high quality and at no extra cost.

The Ericsson chip has been designed with TV video processing in mind and the dedicated nature of the architecture means that it can produce the highest performance with the lowest power consumption. This will support Sky Italia in its efforts to reduce its energy consumption and deliver more sustainable operations.

"Our subscribers demand high quality as part of their overall experience. The compression performance of the Ericsson AVP 4000 allows us to extend our service in a very cost-effective way with a rapid return on investment. What’s more, this entire upgrade took less than two months from order to on-air which enabled us to be very fast to market with this new content offering," said Massimo Bertolotti, Head of Platform Engineering and Innovation, Sky Italia.

The Ericsson AVP 4000 system encoder is built on the company’s own technology and enables operators to remain innovative and responsive by leveraging leading technology and a professional relationship. The Ericsson AVP platform offers the highest performance and broadest capability in the industry on a single platform across all applications, from SD to HD, 1080p50/60 and Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV), and all codecs MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC and JPEG 2000, 4:2:0 and 4:2:2, 8-bit and 10-bit. The Ericsson AVP family of products offers the necessary performance and control to develop and implement the algorithms required to achieve the highest bandwidth efficiency across all delivery networks.

"The Ericsson AVP 4000 is not only the most powerful compression platform of its kind, it is also a truly multi-platform solution which does not compromise on picture quality or development flexibility," said Dr. Giles Wilson, Head of TV Compression, Ericsson. "With this latest compression solution deployment, we are providing an extremely agile platform which will allow Sky Italia to use the same transponder to deliver an additional HD channel, while also reducing its annual spending."

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