Arqiva to offer international HD platform

Arqiva is to provide broadcasters with international distribution of high definition video and sound on an occasional-use basis for the first time.

The platform is aimed at enabling more HD coverage of major events such as sport and elections. Arqiva said it would be "flexible and cost-effective" and "allow standard definition broadcasters to begin a progressive transition to HD satellite delivery".

Arqiva said it would make use of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 compression technologies and DVB-S2 transmission to increase capacity. The company said: "The new platform will apply the latest technologies to provide wide-ranging services including up-and-down-conversions between standard and high definition."

The platform will be available from July 2008. Simon Thrush, the firm's senior vice president in the US, said: "This will be an invaluable resource for any broadcaster looking to transmit in HD on an occasional-use basis.

"The process will be automated and seamless, with the added advantage of unrivalled connectivity through Arqiva's worldwide infrastructure—especially into the UK and Europe.

"With so many important political, sporting and cultural events scheduled for the second half of 2008, we are very excited to be delivering a service which makes life simpler for our occasional use customers, giving them cost-effective access to HD's superior picture and sound quality whenever they need it."

The platform will make use of Arqiva's US teleport in Washington, ten teleports overseas and terrestrial fibre network.