SeaChange International has announced that OnDemand TV, Inc. is launching the world's first IPTV on-demand service to offer HD programming encoded in the H.264 video compression standard. As a result, from next month subscribers around Tokyo and Osaka will have access to on-demand libraries of HD movies, sports and other programming.
Also known as MPEG4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding), the H.264 standard enables television operators to deliver HD video streams in less than half the bandwidth required by MPEG2 and other standards over a wide variety of network environments including DSL and wireless. Among its chief advantages, H.264 empowers OnDemand TV to slash bandwidth usage to 8mb/s for HD on-demand assets.
"Higher compression ratios are allowing network operators to efficiently push multiple services through a single home connection and our use of H.264 now makes long-anticipated HD content a leading feature of our competitive offering," said Yasuyuki Taniguchi, chief manager, Engineering Department, OnDemand TV.
The rapid development of broadband networks throughout Asia is spurring a range of telecommunications and cable providers to offer video services to attract new subscribers and capture a larger share of the steadily growing pay-television market, which is forecast to reach $32 billion within four years. With Japan's FTTH subscribers projected to grow to 33 million by 2010, driven in part by the government's recent approval for the re-transmission of HD terrestrial broadcasts over FTTH, the country is cited as the region's top growth and revenue generating market.
OnDemand TV and SeaChange are also collaborating to bring on-demand services to hotels and other multi-dwelling units.