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7 February 2011
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About the AC078 ATLANTIC project

An important factor in containing the costs and maintaining the Technical Quality of future TV production will be the ability to handle and process the video and audio signals as much as possible in compressed form. This project aims to develop the technology which will enable the signal to be kept in compressed MPEG format throughout the complete broadcast chain. The main objectives of ATLANTIC are therefore :

  • To assemble and demonstrate the essential building blocks of a programme distribution chain based on compressed video signals from the input of a studio to the final display.

  • To pursue international standardisation, where appropriate, for the technology demonstrated by the project.

It is expected that this project will lay the foundations for the economic production of television programmes in an era when the number of television channels will be increasing dramatically. Through the development of equipment using strategic VLSI devices, the functionality required for handling the MPEG bitstream in programme production and distribution should become available at reasonable cost. The technology developed in this project should find use in both professional and consumer-based applications.

The technical tasks involved in this project are development and implementation of :

  • A disc-based, MPEG post production facility

  • A real-time presentation mixer unit for assembling a complete MPEG programme stream from a selection of MPEG input streams

  • A multi-programme statistical multiplexer giving optimum efficiency across all programmes within the multiplex

  • Motion-compensated receiver display up-conversion suitable for high-quality, final display in an MPEG distribution chain

  • A standard interface for the compressed signal for studio applications and for satellite, cable, and distribution equipment

  • Strategic VLSIs to enable economic implementation of the above functions

  • Audio techniques applicable to radio,as well as TV sound.

  • The project will also investigate interworking of production systems using component, composite and compressed formats.

Key issues

  • Low cost switching of the MPEG bitstream. This can only be achieved by the development of strategic VLSI components

  • Definition of standard interfaces for compressed bitstream which are applicable over a wide range of bitrates and which are compatible with computer and telecom networks.

  • Development and implementation of effective strategies to minimise the impairments of cascading bit-rate-reduction processing.

AC078 ATLANTIC and the ACTS programme.

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