Ericsson Solution Sends MLB Net’s All-Star Feed Out to the World

Ericsson’s HD video processing solution was selected by MLB Network for its live coverage at the 2010 MLB All-Star Game, including the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, MLB Tonight All-Star Batting Practice, and MLB Tonight All-Star Edition. The solution allows MLB Network to use less bandwidth and simultaneously improve picture quality.

Ericsson’s MPEG-4 AVC HD encoders placed at Angel Stadium and Disneyland feed streams into a multiplexer that combines the signals into a single multiservice stream for transmission back to Secaucus, NJ for re-distribution to MLB Network.

The game will be played on Tuesday, July 13 in Anaheim, CA, and televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet, Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau de Sport, and around the world by Major League Baseball International. MLB Network programming is also streamed for viewing on MLB.com.

“We’ve been able to expand our network operations center out into the field with the equipment provided by Ericsson so that we can seamlessly control the product from capture through delivery,” says Brad Cheney, Director of Engineering, MLB Network. “We’ve given our engineers and technicians the ability to control the video, audio and multiservice stream throughout the entire transmission process.”

“When a consumer purchases an HDTV, they expect live sporting events to have amazing picture quality. To make that happen the entire process from venue to viewer must support the capture and delivery of the event,” says Matthew Goldman, Head of Compression Technology at Ericsson. “Working with sports partners like MLB Network challenges us to create the best solutions for the market. It is an honor to have been selected to support coverage of these exciting All-Star events.”

The complete solution includes Ericsson encoders, multiplexers and multi-format receivers (decoders). As part of the production and monitoring process, encoders and decoders placed at Angel Stadium and Disneyland provide the onsite crew with two router feeds (video from MLB Network edit rooms and other production sources) and two confidence feeds (network programming).

“Through the use of MPEG-4 AVC based transmission technologies, like the Ericsson solution featuring MPEG-4 AVC encoder and decoders, we have been able to streamline and enhance the quality of service we are providing to ourselves and our partners, including MLB International,” says Cheney. “With the added use of multiplexing multiple feeds into a single stream, we’re able to provide more product to our users, which is higher quality at a lower cost.”

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