Harmonic Introduces Next Generation DiviCom Electra® 8000 Universal Broadcast Encoder

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Multi-Format, Multi-Channel Video Processing Platform Supports HD and SD, MPEG-4 AVC and MPEG-2 Formats; Lowers CAPEX and OPEX while Enhancing Video Quality

Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) today introduced the DiviCom Electra® 8000, the world’s first encoding and transcoding platform to support MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) and MPEG-2 codecs in standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) formats, up to full frame-rate 1080p 50/60. Providing superior video quality in a dense and power-efficient form factor—four channels per rack unit (RU) and using 40 percent less power than the industry average for HD AVC encoding—the Electra 8000 is the ideal choice for virtually any service provider. Cable MSOs can deliver up to four HD MPEG-2 services in one QAM, satellite operators can increase channel count per transponder, telco IPTV service providers can improve reach with constant bit-rate HD video at 5 Mbps or less, and ATSC stations can implement a cost-effective “station-in-a-box” with integrated HD/SD statistical multiplexing and PSIP re-multiplexing.

The Electra 8000’s native capability to decode and encode both MPEG-2 and AVC enables operators to accommodate both existing and future architectures using a single hardware platform. For instance, the Electra 8000 can be used to receive AVC content and re-encode in MPEG-2, supporting the growing trend toward primary distribution of content in AVC and HD formats. Service providers can also use the Electra 8000 to deploy SD MPEG-2 services today and then seamlessly transition to HD AVC.

“Harmonic’s customers, including the world’s largest DTH, cable, telco and broadcast network operators, continue to seek innovative technologies to enable more advanced services and significantly improve video quality while consuming significantly less bandwidth,” said Patrick Harshman, President and CEO of Harmonic Inc. “Our world-class development team continues to set the benchmark in real-time video processing technology, with innovative solutions like the Electra 8000 and the highly successful Electra 7000 and 5400 encoders. The new platform, with its unrivalled flexibility and broad feature set, meets operators’ current requirements and supports future applications such as full frame-rate 1080p.”

Key features of the new Electra 8000 encoder include:

  • A compact design supporting up to 4 video inputs in a 1-RU chassis, ideal for operators mindful of their carbon footprint, energy costs and rack space
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  • Support for either MPEG-2 or AVC encoding/transcoding, and a wide variety of SD and HD formats, including 1080p24 and full frame-rate 1080p50/60
  • An enhanced compression engine with a unique multi-pass architecture incorporating the latest ASIC and DSP/FPGA technologies
  • An innovative high quality second channel output, capable of delivering a variety of resolutions, from picture-in-picture all the way up to full HD resolution for switched digital video (SDV) or time-shifted TV applications
  • A built-in broadcast quality up/down converter for differentiated services such as an HD broadcast of the premium SD lineup
  • Integrated statistical multiplexing “in the box” with Harmonic’s DiviTrackMX™, or support for DiviTrackIP™ in LAN or distributed WAN environments
  • IP or ASI outputs, multiple audio format options, native support for Digital Program Insertion (DPI), and FLEX™ integrated decoding with IP, 8VSB or ASI inputs

    “Capable of being repurposed for different uses via licensing options, the Electra 8000 gives operators more freedom to add new and differentiated services while providing business continuity,” said Elie Sader, Encoding Product Marketing Manager for Harmonic Inc. “Operators concerned about capital and operating expenditures can confidently invest in a platform that offers best-in-class performance and efficiency, and whose unique design reflects the experience and expertise of the market leader in compression technology innovation.”

    Harmonic will debut the new Electra 8000 at The Cable Show, taking place in Washington D.C. booth #ES-56 from April 1-3, and NAB2009 booth #SU7209 in Las Vegas, April 20-23. First customer shipments are scheduled for June 2009.

    About Harmonic Inc.
    Harmonic Inc. is a leading provider of versatile and high performance video solutions that enable service providers to efficiently deliver the next generation of broadcast and on-demand services including high definition, video-on-demand, network personal video recording and time-shifted TV. Cable, satellite, broadcast and telecom service providers can increase revenues and lower operational expenditures by using Harmonic’s digital video, broadband optical access and software solutions to offer consumers the compelling and personalized viewing experience that is driving the business models of the future.

    Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT) is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California with R&D, sales and system integration centers worldwide. The Company’s customers, including many of the world’s largest communications providers, deliver services in virtually every country. Visit www.harmonicinc.com for more information.

    This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27(A) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21(E) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements related to: accommodating both existing and future architectures using a single hardware platform, seamlessly transitioning to HD AVC, enabling more advanced services and significantly improving video quality while consuming significantly less bandwidth, supporting future applications such as full frame-rate 1080p, and giving operators more freedom to add new and differentiated services.

    Our expectations and beliefs regarding these matters and the capabilities and benefits expected from the Electra 8000 may not materialize, and actual results could differ materially from those projected. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those more fully described in Harmonic’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its recent Reports filed on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Harmonic does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements.

    Editor’s Note: Product and company names used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.