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Thomson Video Networks Introduces New MD Series

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Thomson Video Networks has announced the launch of a range of innovative new products and capabilities in its integrated receiver/decoder (IRD) family.

At IBC2015, the company will introduce its all-new MD Series of modular, high-density IRDs/descramblers. In addition, Thomson Video Networks has added decoding based on the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)/H.265 standard to its industry-leading RD4000 and RD6000 IRDs, providing the ability to decode all video formats for even greater operational flexibility whatever the application.

With its new MD Series, Thomson Video Networks has repackaged advanced features from its RD1100, RD4000, and RD6000 IRDs into a modular and flexible form factor – making the series ideal for digital turnaround, monitoring, and contribution applications in terrestrial, DTH, cable, and IPTV/OTT systems.

The foundation for the MD series is the MD9000, a modular 2-RU platform that accommodates up to 10 hot-pluggable MD modules including: 
• The MD1100 receiver/descrambler, offering professional-quality reception and descrambling performance (BISS and DVB-CI). The MD1100 also includes advanced PID/service filtering capabilities for multi-channel digital turnaround and IP gateway applications.
• The MD4000, a professional receiver and multi-format decoder supporting MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/AVC 4:2:0 video in SD and HD quality. The MD4000 module offers a low-cost-per-channel decoding solution for distribution monitoring and re-encoding applications. 
• The MD6000, a professional receiver and multi-format decoder designed for the contribution market. Supporting up to MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/AVC 4:2:2 10-bit video decoding, this module is ideal for remote newsgathering and for receiving multiple feeds from large outdoor events.

Each MD module can behave as a stand-alone IRD with its own Web GUI for configuration and supervision, and the modules can be used in any environment thanks to a rich set of interfaces, including dual IP Gigabit Ethernet, satellite DVB-S/S2, and ASI in/out. Each module provides scalable video decoding capacity up to 4:2:2 10-bit compression, and up to eight channels of audio decoding, including support for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, AAC, and MPEG Audio.  

"With our new modular MD Series, operators now have a dense and scalable decoding/descrambling solution that can help them launch and grow new turnaround services rapidly and cost-effectively. When the channel lineup is growing, they can simply add a new module — and they can use any combination of descrambler or decoder modules to address all use cases," said Stéphane Cloirec, director, product management, Thomson Video Networks.

"Plus, the Web GUI for the MD Series is identical to the interface for our RD line, which means users that are familiar with our existing IRD products will be able to ramp up quickly with the new modules."

In addition to broadcast-quality decoding for SD/HD MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC, the RD4000 and RD6000 IRDs now offer the industry's best compression performance through HEVC/H.265 — up to 50 percent bandwidth savings compared with the current MPEG-4 AVC compression format for an enhanced viewer experience.

The RD4000 provides HEVC SD/HD 4:2:0 decoding for the distribution market, whereas the RD6000 implements HEVC SD/HD decoding up to 4:2:2 10-bit 1080p60 for the contribution market. To accommodate the full gamut of transmission media, both IRDs provide a rich set of optional inputs including satellite DVB-S/S2, IP Gigabit Ethernet, ASI, and the new terrestrial DVB-T/T2 inputs.

Combined with the ViBE® VS7000 and ViBE 4K HEVC encoders, the RD4000 and RD6000 enrich the end-to-end HEVC-based video transmission solutions offered by Thomson Video Networks.

Cloirec added: "By freeing bandwidth, HEVC enables operators to deliver more services over the same network, therefore driving down the costs of HD and SD service delivery while improving picture quality. By combining HEVC with traditional MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC content decoding in the same unit, the RD4000 and RD6000 address TV operators' requirements for flexibility and video compression efficiency both now and into the future."

Thomson Video Networks will demonstrate the new MD Series for the first time at IBC2015, along with the newly HEVC-enhanced RD6000. The MD Series is now available for purchase, and the upgraded RD4000 and RD6000 will be commercially available in the fourth quarter of 2015.
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