ESPN puts fiber network to test for World Cup; uses MPEG-4 to trim bandwidth needs

ESPN, which is launching its ESPN 3D network on DirecTV and Comcast with coverage of Friday's World Cup opener between South Africa and Mexico, says it's using Erricsson's new CExH42 MPEG-4 encoders to backhaul the expected heavy traffic from South Africa. ESPN says it's seen a 25 percent bitrate reduction using MPEG-4 compared to MPEG-2.

Bill Lamb, VP of transmission and transport for ESPN told Broadcast & Cable, "We're able to do quality feeds at 30 megabits per second, and we'll increase it to 40 once we get out there and fine-tune the pipe. When we get back to the States, we'll definitely use higher rates."

Broadcast & Cable reports the ESPN's private network will be linked with temporary studios in South Africa via a 622-Mbps pipe.

For more:
- see this B&C report

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