Toonami Compressed to Impress

Turner Broadcasting’s children’s animation channel, Toonami, has joined the lineup on Video Networks Ltd’s HomeChoice, an interactive TV, video-on-demand and broadband service. The cartoon programming will be broadcast in the MPEG-4/AVC format, making Toonami the world’s first television channel to be encoded with advanced compression technology.

Video Networks worked in partnership with Harmonic to launch an initial video-over-xDSL service in 2004 using DiviCom MV 100 encoders configured with MPEG-2. According to Video Networks chairman and CEO Roger Lynch, the move to MPEG-4 allows the company to provide superior picture quality, while reducing the bandwidth required to transmit broadcast channels.

Paul Cackett, channel manager for Toonami, comments, “As the first channel in the world to be broadcast live using this technology, Toonami is at the cutting edge. The superior quality of Toonami’s programming will now be matched by the high spec picture.”

Toonami, which broadcasts such hit animated shows as Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z and Teen Titans, has been automatically added to HomeChoice’s kid’s TV package, broadcasting on channel 326.

Video Networks’ migration to MPEG-4 for its remaining broadcast channels, including Turner-owned Cartoon Network and Boomerang, is expected to be completed within the next two months. For more information on HomeChoice, go to www.videonetworks.com/about.htm.