OSN Selects Harmonic to Power MPEG-4 HD DTH Service in Middle East

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
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Improves Video Quality and Bandwidth Utilization for Entire SD and HD Program Lineup With Harmonic’s Market-Leading Electra® 8000 Encoders

SUNNYVALE, CA — Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) today announced that OSN (Orbit Showtime Network), the leading direct-to-home (DTH) satellite provider serving the Middle East, has deployed Harmonic’s digital headend solutions to power its recently launched high definition (HD) video service, the first MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) HD service being delivered to multiple countries in the region.

OSN selected Harmonic’s Electra® 8000 multi-channel universal encoder, the market-leading compression platform, to deliver the new HD service, as well as for an upgrade of its existing standard definition (SD) channel lineup from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4. As part of the network upgrade, OSN also implemented Harmonic’s ProStream™ 1000 stream processing platform for bulk scrambling and descrambling, and NMX Digital Service Manager™ to monitor and control the entire video service. Installation of the new systems was performed by GloCom, a Harmonic partner based in Dubai that handles Harmonic sales and local technical support in the Middle East. GloCom has been providing technical support for OSN’s existing Harmonic headends for more than five years.

“The bandwidth efficiency and outstanding video quality offered by Harmonic’s Electra 8000 platform enabled us to add new HD services in a bandwidth efficient way,” said Mike Whittaker, VP Broadcast Operations & Technology of OSN. “The multi-codec capabilities and support for SD and HD services within a single encoder are also very attractive features that give us tremendous flexibility as we migrate our SD services from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4.”

“Harmonic is committed to offering service providers best-in-class solutions for all of their stream processing needs, including the Electra encoders and ProStream stream processing platform,” said Jean-Christophe Morizur, Senior Director of Digital Video Product Marketing for Harmonic Inc. “The Electra 8000 has been rapidly adopted by many of the world’s leading operators since its launch in July 2009. This versatile platform is currently providing ultra-high quality video for more than 2000 channels delivered over broadcast, cable, satellite and telco networks.”

The latest generation compression solution from Harmonic, the Electra 8000 supports SD and HD, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), as well as integrated statistical multiplexing, broadcast quality up/down-conversion and other unique features such as Jünger Level Magic™ automatic audio leveling adjustment. Electra 8000’s groundbreaking architecture, featuring up to four channels in a single rack unit, significantly reduces operational costs with its high density and power efficiency, and facilitates the launch of new value-added video services.

The ProStream 1000 is the industry’s most flexible solution for a variety of stream processing needs, including scrambling/descrambling, re-encoding, bulk transcoding, statistical multiplexing, forward error correction (FEC), variable to constant bit-rate conversion, automatic audio level adjustment, and single frequency network (SFN) transmission over IP.