AMC Networks taps Arris for video compression, transcoding over satellite

The Arris ME-7000 Converged Compression Platform, which is being used by AMC Networks. (Arris)

AMC Networks has formed a technology partnership with Arris as the programmer looks to update its satellite distribution architecture.

The company—which runs AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, and WE tv—plans to use the Arris ME-7000 and DSR-7400 video compression and transcoding solutions.

The Arris ME-7000 uses HEVC compression technologies to increase video capacity over satellite transmission channels. The Arris DSR-7400 family of transcoders will allow AMC Networks to deliver services through its existing QAM networks and transcode HEVC services to MPEG-2/4 HD and SD in support of legacy set-tops. The transcoders also offer a multi-tuner capability that can simultaneously receive and process up to four input satellite transponder multiplexes.

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AMC is investing in a satellite architecture upgrade to better showcase and improve delivery of its programming to subscribers, said Steve Pontillo, executive vice president and CTO of technology and operations at AMC Networks, in a statement. "We selected Arris to power our network of the future because they have deep technical expertise in this space and an intimate understanding of our operations. Together, we're able to take advantage of the latest technology to make our existing network more efficient as we transition to delivering tomorrow's video experiences," he added.

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Pontillo clarified that AMC Networks is not building a satellite video network but rather replacing one as a result of encoding technology advancements that allow for more channels on a single satellite transponder.

Arris said its new AMC Networks partnership extends its global work in video network system deployments.

"This partnership leverages our expertise in integrating the latest bandwidth efficiencies and compression technologies to support AMC Networks' vision of the future. And, our work together highlights the capabilities of our ME-7000 and DSR-7400 in bridging the gap between today's networks and the next era of entertainment services,” said Dan Whalen, president of network and cloud at Arris, in a statement.