New digital compression bowed by CLI

Compression Labs Inc. is rolling out a new PAL version of SpectrumSaver, which digitizes analog TV signals, as well as compresses them for satellite delivery.

The San Jose-based company introduced SpectrumSaver last November for the U.S.’ NTSC TV broadcast standard.

The system lets broadcasters compress a typical TV signal when it is transmitted via satellite to as little as 2 megahertz of bandwith from 10 megahertz. By compressing the signal, broadcasters can significantly cut the expense of using satellite delivery.

CLI counts several multinational corporations as customers, and is in discussions with both telephone companies and cablecasters. It is also one of many providers of compression technology.

“There’s a number of ways to skin a cat,” notes Tom Elliot, vice president for engineering and technology at Tele-Communications Inc. the nation’s largest cablecaster. “There’s probably 20 to 30 players worldwide working on this.”

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