Azerbaijan to Transfer to Digital Broadcasting via MPEG-4 Standard

Azerbaijan to Transfer to Digital Broadcasting via MPEG-4 Standard

Azerbaijan, Baku, 23 June /corr. Trend S.Babayeva / Azerbaijan will transfer to the digital broadcasting via MPEG-4 technology instead of formerly planned MPEG-2 standards, Gulam Abdullayev, Head Consultant of the Department for Co-ordination of Activities of State Enterprises of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Communications & Information Technologies, said on 23 June.

"During the meeting of the Ministry, we decided to transfer to the contemporary technology - MPEG-4 despite that certain MPEG-2 equipment was installed earlier," a source at the Ministry said.

MPEG-4 is a collection of methods defining compression of audio and visual (AV) digital data. It was introduced in late 1998 and designated a standard for a group of audio and video coding formats and related technology agreed upon by the ISO / IEC Moving Picture Experts Group ( MPEG ) under the formal standard ISO/IEC 14496. Uses of MPEG-4 include compression of AV data for web ( streaming media ) and CD distribution , voice ( telephone , videophone ) and broadcast television applications.

MPEG-4 absorbs many of the features of MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 and other related standards, adding new features such as (extended) VRML support for 3D rendering, object -oriented composite files (including audio, video and VRML objects), support for externally-specified Digital Rights Management and various types of interactivity. AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) was standardized as an adjunct to MPEG-2 (as Part 7) before MPEG-4 was issued.

Согласно рекомендациям Международного союза электросвязи (ITU), все страны, включая Азербайджан, должны полностью перейти на цифровое вещание до 2015 года.

The Ministry said that currently territorial plan of frequencies is being prepared to install equipment and provide frequencies for all channels of the country, on the basis of which, it will be possible to gradually transfer to digital broadcasting.

With regards to the advantages of the digital broadcasting, the Ministry stated that in addition to qualitative transmission, it will give an opportunity to broadcast nearly ten channels on one frequency.

Earlier the Ministry of Communications submitted State Program on Transfer to Digital Broadcasting in Azerbaijan to the Cabinet of Ministers. It comprises three stages. The first stage will cover 2007-2010, second - 2011-2013, third - 2014-2015.

Initially two packs of broadcasting with four channels per each will be launched in Baku, Ganja and Nakhchivan, and generally only one pack will be introduced in the Republic. As a result, 60-70% of the population will be included in the coverage of digital broadcasting.

In the second stage, one more additional pack is supposed to be introduced in order to expand digictal broadcasting in Baku, Ganja and Nakhchivan, and as a result, two packs will be in action, but two packs over the entire Republic. After this, the coverage of 60-70% will increase up to 90%.

Generally three 12-program packs will be launched by 2013. In the last third stage, there are plans to realize works on improvement of the quality of the broadcasting by installing additional sensors in order to cover 98% of population.

The Ministry considers that transferring to the digital broadcasting in Azerbaijan is both desirable and obligatory. If Azerbaijan lingers in this process, it will undoubtedly adversely affect the future broadcasting in Azerbaijan, especially the process of transferring to digital broadcasting has already begun in the world.

For the first time, the system of digital broadcasting started as a pilot project in Baku on 10 October 2004. Today nearly five channels have been transferred to digital broadcasting in the country.

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