Playcast’s HD Games-On-Demand System

Posted by at 12:27 pm on May 19, 2010

Playcast Media Systems has anounced its first High Definition system. The release follows months of development and trials with Playcast’s technology partners to ensure the highest quality of video signal with bandwidth-efficient delivery using optimized low bit rates.

The new version enables Playcast to match the video and graphics quality of next-generation games consoles and to align itself firmly with the ubiquitous take-up of HD television. Put simply, this means playing ones favorite next-gen video games in HD through the cable or IPTV set-top box – without the need for any console. The first live HD integration is scheduled for later this month with a leading European operator.

“The HD version supports all of Playcast’s games library”, said Alon Shtruzman, Playcast’s COO, “it allows us to bring titles from the world’s major game publishers”. Mr. Shtruzman, a seasoned TV executive adds: “This upgraded solution would allow our PayTV platform partners to provide an additional, premium service, which would further enhance the offering to the user. In a world of fierce competition between platforms, and shrinking gross margins, that’s very important”.

This new version supports HD at 720p resolution, and is available for both MPEG2 and H.264 codec formats. With MPEG2, a single stream requires 4 Mbps, compared to the standard 15 Mbps of natural video. Using the H.264 codec, a single HD stream requires 3 Mbps. Further expansion to 1080i is scheduled for later this year. “We have achieved new levels of compression efficiency”, said Dr. Natan Peterfreund, Playcast’s CTO.”Using this the new system, HD games can be streamed even on legacy MPEG2 cable set top boxes, at the same bandwidth footprint of standard definition video”. Dr. Natan Peterfreund, who was also one of the authors of the H264 standard, adds:” While standard definition is by far the dominant TV transmission technology, many high end gamers expect to play next generation titles in HD. It was quite an engineering feat to provide such a leap in game performance and video quality, while reducing the network resources by more than 60%”.

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