Harmonic Inc

By: Harmonic Inc on May 12th, 2016

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The Most Beautiful Thing You'll See Today

The recently launched video “Aurora Borealis from Space,” was praised by Al Roker on NBCs The Today Show as “amazing” while the BBC called it “spectacular,” and CNN claimed that the video “may be the most beautiful thing you’ll see today.” But that was just the tip of the iceberg of how this video came to be.

The “Aurora from Space” video was launched simultaneously at the Harmonic booth at NAB 2016, on NASA’S YouTube channel as well as on the NASA TV UHD channel.

The video was produced by Harmonic exclusively for NASA TV UHD, the first non-commercial consumer UHD channel in North America, which was launched at IBC last September. Leveraging the resolution of ultra high definition video (UHD 2160p60), the channel provides viewers a front row seat to gorgeous views captured from the International Space Station (ISS) in addition to other current and classic NASA missions.

Harmonic provides the end-to-end UHD video delivery system and post-production services while also managing operations. Creating this much high-quality content and working exclusively in uncompressed UHD workflows created the ideal challenge for Harmonic’s digital media team, in order to use the company’s own equipment and solutions throughout the production and delivery workflow.

Joel Marsden, the Executive Producer of NASA TV UHD for Harmonic, supervised the construction of the channel infrastructure and content from scratch.

“We had to set up a veritable factory to create ongoing new episodes for the eight original new series, “ISS Life”, “Liftoff”, “Earth View”, “NASA Classics”, “Solar System”, “Development”, “Deep Space” and “Mars” that are featured on the channel, said Marsden. “This meant that we had four edit and render stations working non-stop from the same shared media storage solution.”

“We were extremely fortunate to get our hands on the new Harmonic MediaGrid 5840, which gave us an instant “half-a-petabyte-in-a-box” with its distributed, scale-out architecture, something you can’t live without if you are generating over 8 TB a day of new media and files during our peak production times.”

Between editing, archiving and heavy renders the pipeline was pushed to the very limit with rock-solid results. But MediaGrid is not the only aspect of Harmonic’s portfolio that was instrumental in bringing NASA TV UHD to the public.

All the finished shows are transferred to the Harmonic technical team in Atlanta led by Scott Woods, where the content is loaded onto Harmonic’s revolutionary Spectrum X playout server and interfaces with the Electra X3 encoder and ProStream processors hosted at a NASA facility, managed by Encompass Digital Media, home to the agency’s satellite and NASA TV hubs.



As the “Aurora in Space” video went live on NASA TV UHD and lit up Harmonic’s booth at NAB 2016, it also went onto NASA’s YouTube channel where it became one of the agency’s top ten watched videos in under a week.

The video and accompanying stories have been published in over 550 online publications in every region of the planet so far, to rave reviews. The Aurora video and NASA TV UHD prove that when the best combine, amazing video happens!

Now, take some time to enjoy the video.