UK Broadcaster Channel 4 Encodes for VoD, Mobile and More with StreamZ
by Andy Bell, VoD Project Manager, Channel 4
originally published in TV Technology Europe, July/August 2007
"StreamZ has been instrumental in enabling the fast deployment of VoD for Channel 4."
"…we trust [Digital Rapids] to provide flexible, reliable technology, a broad suite of codecs and good support."
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Channel 4 has just ordered eleven new upgrades for our Digital Rapids StreamZ encoders, together with another StreamZ encoder. In total we now have twenty three StreamZ encoders, sixteen of which are used for Video on Demand (VoD), and seven of which are used for other services, including mobile TV and streaming.
The main customers for the VoD services are Virgin Media, BT Vision and Homechoice, along with Channel 4’s own 4oD PC-based Internet service. BT Vision & Homechoice utilise ADSL broadband circuits to offer their customers both access to large amounts of Channel 4’s TV transmission and an archive service for content that has been previously transmitted. Once the content has been transcoded by the StreamZ units, it is combined with metadata and sent to the VoD service providers to offer to the end user.
Virgin Media, BT Vision & Homechoice offer a huge library of movies, comedy, music and kids’ shows from numerous content providers. Channel 4 has negotiated a dedicated area called 4 on Demand. These systems offer consumers the ability to either ‘Catch Up’ on shows that were transmitted through the week or watch a choice of Channel 4’s most popular series previously transmitted.