TV2GO Taps Adtec Encoders for World Junior Hockey Championships

TV2GO utilized Adtec Digital encoders during their run as the primary international distributor of the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships earlier this month in Canada.

Held in Saskatchewan, the Under-20 Championships featured 10 teams from around the world.  TV2GO was entrusted with the task of distributing the action to six nations on the opposite side of the Atlantic that had teams competing in the tournament – the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Slovakia.

During the qualifying rounds, Group A (USA, Canada, Latvia, Slovakia, Russia) was shot and distributed in HD from a facility in Saskatoon, SK, while Group B (Austria, Finland, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland) was featured in standard definition from Regina, SK.  The medal round games were all shot and distributed in HD from Saskatoon.

TV2Go took the domestic satellite feed for the medal games from TSN – Canada’s primary sports network – and transmitted it across the Atlantic entirely in MPEG4 compression format.

“The medal rounds were done entirely in MPEG 4 for international distribution,” says Adrian Hepes: Technical Director for TV2GO. I don’t have the courage to say this is the first time, but it’s definitely one of the first sporting events that I can think of that was entirely in MPEG 4 for international distribution. Usually we use a combination of MPEG2 and MPEG 4, but we did this event entirely in MPEG 4.”

When two HD medal round games took place at the same time, TV2Go multiplexed the two games into one stream and transmitted them over to Europe on the NSS7 satellite at 21.5 degrees west. For a single HD feed, Adrian and company used a data rate of 20.094 and a bandwidth of 13.5 mHz. However, for two simultaneous HD games they went up to 18 mHz bandwidth with each HD channel using 9 mHz at a 20.094 data rate.

“All the encoding and multiplexing technology was Adtec,” says Hepes. “Everyone was extremely happy with it. It’s just a good machine and it does a beautiful video. In terms of the quality of the picture, you could not ask for anything better.”

Although TV2Go sent the tournament to locations all over the world, the champion ended up coming from right next-door. In the end, team USA ended Canada’s five-year run as IIHF Under-20 champion with a 6-5 overtime victory in the tournament’s finale.

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