XVD Technology and Service Helps Polar Bears International Deliver High-Quality Real-Time Video and Audio from the Arctic Tundra to Audiences Worldwide

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Roving 'Polar Bear Cams' chronicle the story of the polar bears, to educate and inspire audiences worldwide.The tricky part has always been compressing and transmitting the live digital video and audio signal across 35 miles of a wind-whipped sub-zero barren landscape to the receiving site in Churchill, without downtime or detriment to the quality of the signal. This was much easier and more reliable with the introduction of XVD technology and support.

Transmitting a reliable, high-quality live digital video/audio feed from roving "buggies" deep within the remote Arctic tundra (in -40 degree temperatures and 40 mph winds), to a global audience, is quite simply a bear of a challenge. XVD Technology Holdings Inc. joined with Polar Bears International (PBI) during the 2007 polar bear migration season to help make it happen, far more easily and with better results than ever before.

Nestled along the Hudson Bay at the mouth of the Churchill River, Manitoba's town of Churchill ("The Polar Bear Capitol of the World") sits squarely along the migration path of one of the world's largest polar bear populations. From early October through early December, bears in search of food move from inland out across the tundra to the freshly frozen ice of the Hudson Bay. While specialized "tundra buggies" enable a few hardy tourists and scientists to venture out and observe the bears up close in the remote landscape, Sony PTZ cameras mounted on the tundra buggies help bring countless viewers along for the ride.

"Our roving 'Polar Bear Cams' enable us to chronicle the story of the polar bears, to educate and inspire audiences worldwide," explained PBI President Robert Buchanan. "Capturing those images with cameras mounted on the tundra buggies is the relatively 'easy' part of the process. The tricky part has always been compressing and transmitting the live digital video and audio signal from the buggies, across 35 miles of a wind-whipped sub-zero barren landscape to the receiving site in Churchill, without downtime or detriment to the quality of the signal. I'm amazed at how much easier and more reliable it was this year with the introduction of XVD technology and support."

Partnering with PBI and organizations including National Geographic, Wildlife HD and the Tundra Buggy(R) Adventure, XVD provided pairs of XVD SD-TX100 encoders and XVD SD-RX100 decoders for the project, and provided 24/7 support to assist in meeting the challenge. The solution included mounting an SD-TX100 encoder inside of each tundra buggy, and installing SD-RX100 decoders and SD-TX100 encoders in each of three remote repeater stations that formed a "chain" of point-to-point microwave sites between the buggies and Churchill. At the receiving site in Churchill, an XVD SD-RX100 decoded and uncompressed the signal for distribution via fiber optic lines for live viewing on the Internet and cable television systems.

"The difference between the performance and practicality of the encode/decode units we used in the past, and the XVD boxes we used this year, is night and day," continued Buchanan. "The XVD boxes are a fraction of the size and much easier to implement, they performed flawlessly in severe conditions, and the image quality is clearly superior."

Economical and reliable compressed, streaming video over IP-based networks

The XVD SD-TX100 encoder and SD-RX100 decoder used in the Polar Bears International solution comprise the XVD™ Enterprise family of products, which offer end-to-end IP-based audio/video content acquisition and delivery in a wide range of applications that require streaming and recording of multiple video streams, including corporate communications, public safety, general surveillance, TV network confidence monitoring, security, distance education and more.

These low-cost, compact, and power-efficient solutions enable the streaming of SD content over Telco, cable, microwave and satellite IP networks at encoded data rates between 50 Kbps to 2 Mbps.

XVD™ Enterprise encoders connect directly to almost any analog video camera or other SD source. These efficient codec solutions compress analog (NTSC or PAL) video and analog audio for transmission over any IP-based network. Powered by XVD™ technology, XVD™ Enterprise codecs deliver DVD-resolution video at 30 Frames Per Second over restricted bandwidth networks, and are capable of providing full D1 resolution in a single un-bonded T1 (1.544 Mbps) link.

In addition to providing the encoders and decoders, XVD also provided round-the-clock telephone support for the project. "The XVD team was available to us any time of day or night, and helped us meet a critical deadline by troubleshooting a system problem wholly unrelated to their products," explained PBI's Buchanan. "Even answering 3:00 a.m. phone calls, they responded with superior customer service no matter what. Their technology and support helped us reach tens of thousands of people not only through the Polar Bear Cam, but through a multitude of educational programs that ultimately helped inspire, inform with fact-based information, and empower change in how to take better care of this planet."

Polar Bears International
Polar Bears International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to understanding and communicating all points of view affecting polar bears throughout the world. With an international mission of Conservation through Research and Education, PBI supports a wide range of research projects that benefits the world's polar bears, and provides a wide range of innovative educational projects collectively known as the Adventure Learning Program. For more information, and to see archived footage of the live Polar Bear Cam video feed from the recent 2007 migration season, visit http://www.polarbearsinternational.org.

About XVD Technology Holdings Ltd
XVD Technology Holdings Ltd (http://www.xvdth.com) is the pioneer of XVD next generation, advanced real-time compression technology. This patented technology is utilized in a wide range of software and hardware solutions to produce the highest quality HD and SD video and associated audio in real time for any given data rate or bandwidth availability. Applications include professional broadcasting, video conferencing, homeland and public security, video surveillance, SDTV and HDTV streaming, highly mobile applications, content distribution, digital signage, and many more enterprise applications.

For more information about XVD™ Digital Media Products and Systems, contact XVD Corporation; 10636 Scripps Summit Court; San Diego, CA 92131 USA; Tel: +1 609 678-0211; Fax: +1 858 635-9363; info@xvdcorp.com; or visit http://www.xvdth.com.


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