IPTV Pioneer Bell Aliant Selects Harmonic for MPEG-4 Network Upgrade

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
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Longstanding Customer Delivers Industry-Leading Picture Quality with Harmonic’s State-of-the-Art DiviCom® Electra® Encoding Technologies

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) today announced that Bell Aliant (TSX: BA.UN) has selected Harmonic’s industry-leading DiviCom® Electra® 5400 standard definition (SD) encoders for an MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) upgrade that enables Bell Aliant to enhance its Aliant TV video service for customers throughout the Atlantic provinces of Canada. Bell Aliant is one of North America’s most innovative IPTV providers and with this upgrade becomes the first telco operator in Atlantic Canada to offer an MPEG-4 based service. The IP-based Electra platform delivers ultra-high video quality at ultra-low bit rates, enabling Bell Aliant to further enhance the viewing experience. Bell Aliant was one of the first North American telcos to launch a commercial IPTV service, and has selected Harmonic’s best-in-class encoding technologies for use in its headend facility in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Bell Aliant’s IPTV service provides over 300 digital television and audio channels to major urban centers throughout Atlantic Canada, including Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John’s, Newfoundland, as well as Moncton, Saint John, and Fredericton, New Brunswick. With this upgrade, Aliant’s entire channel line-up is now operating on MPEG-4 technology. Harmonic is a leading provider of IPTV over DSL solutions, providing real-time and on-demand video delivery solutions to more than 100 telco operators serving over four million subscribers worldwide.

“By transitioning to an MPEG-4 network, Aliant is investing in a platform for the future which brings even higher quality video to our Aliant TV customers,” stated Kevin Hastings, Chief Architect of Broadcasting Services, Bell Aliant. “Bell Aliant is committed to offering its customers more value, choice and convenience, and our next-generation IP network gives us tremendous flexibility in achieving these objectives. This upgrade allows our customers to simultaneously watch Aliant TV on up to three TV sets in their homes, while enjoying a superior viewing experience. Given our aggressive near-term and long-term objectives, Harmonic was the logical choice for this network upgrade.”

“Harmonic offers a broad range of highly innovative solutions for telco operators, and leads the industry in pioneering highly efficient advanced compression,” said Matt Aden, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Service for Harmonic Inc. “Bell Aliant is a successful DSL-based IPTV operator and long-standing Harmonic partner. Aliant’s ongoing selection of our best-in-class digital video technologies is a reflection of their focus on delivering higher quality video services and our commitment to remaining at the forefront of IPTV solutions.”

Harmonic’s single rack unit Electra 5400 platform delivers up to four MPEG-4 AVC SD channels and simultaneously generates up to four low resolution services for picture-in-picture or multi-channel mosaic applications. Key benefits include ultra-low bit rate encoding and outstanding video quality, support for an all-IP infrastructure, and advanced audio format support. Harmonic’s NMX Digital Service Manager™–previously installed by Bell Aliant and upgraded as part of this project–delivers a powerful set of tools for managing digital video and audio services, greatly simplifying mass configuring, monitoring and automated redundancy, in both centralized and distributed architectures.