Reliance BIG TV to launch 300 HD & SD channels

Mumbai: Reliance ADAG’s DTH service Reliance BIG TV will be launching 300 high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) channels, as well as 50 radio channels later this year. Reliance BIG TV will be the first to launch HD video services in India.

Reliance has selected Thomson’s solutions for launching and managing a hybrid distribution network of satellite direct to home (DTH) and IPTV over broadband, for HD and SD video services throughout India. Using Thomson’s video head ends, Reliance will be able to optimize its distribution network to launch a large number of channels, ensure excellent quality of service, and reach more viewers.

"This is an ambitious project and launching such a large bouquet of channels, including HD channels, over a dual-distribution network is a challenging proposition. Viewer quality expectations are high and satellite bandwidth over India is limited. We selected Thomson’s solutions as they indisputably offer best-in- class performance for picture quality and compression capacity," said Reliance BIG TV CEO Arun Kapoor.

"Our solutions have been specifically developed to reply to the pain points encountered by operators when choosing their systems for delivering video – notably quality of service, return on investment and network distribution optimisation for delivery of bandwidth heavy services such as HD," added Thomson senior executive vice president systems division Didier Trutt.

Reliance will offer customers a choice of satellite or broadband delivery platforms. To do this cost effectively demands a flexible head end, which can manage both DTH and IPTV platforms simultaneously and transparently.

Thomson has supplied Reliance with a complete video headend for hybrid networks, including its market-leading compression solutions featuring the Thomson ViBE Multi-channel MPEG-4 SD encoders, ViBE Premium MPEG-4 encoders for HD video, XMS monitoring equipment, and NetProcessor repurposing and multiplexing solutions. In addition Thomson is supplying full engineering, consulting and support services, including integrating the headend with Reliance’s existing equipment.

Thomson has also supported Reliance in creating a redundancy system on a larger scale, providing two separate uplinks which are 1,000 kilometers apart to protect viewing enjoyment being disrupted by exceptional weather factors such as monsoons.