OSN Selects Harmonic to Power MPEG-4 HD Satellite Direct-to-Home Service in Middle East

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Improves Video Quality and Bandwidth Utilization for Entire SD and HD Program Lineup with Harmonic's Market-Leading Electra® 8000 Encoders

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.

About Orbit Showtime Network 
OSN – Orbit Showtime Network, is the single destination for exclusive premium Western, Arabic and Pinoy entertainment in the MENA region. OSN offers subscribers 75 channels through 8 packages delivered using state of the art High Definition technology with Dolby Digital Plus sound. OSN has the most comprehensive portfolio of exclusive rights from all the major studios including Warner Brothers, Paramount, Fox, Disney, Sony, MGM, Universal and DreamWorks and offers the widest range of entertainment ranging from News, Sports, Kids, Arabic, GE, Music to documentaries including leading television brands such as Disney channel, Sky News, Discovery Networks and National Geographic, to mention just a few. OSN Broadcasts exclusive premium international sports including the world’s most popular football league the English Premier League.

OSN has been the forerunner in innovation by launching the region’s 1st DVR, the OSN Showbox and the region’s first VOD service, OSN on Demand. In February 2010 OSN launched the region’s first High Definition bouquet. OSN also launched OSN Arabia, the region’s first western entertainment channel featuring the best Hollywood movies, drama and comedy series fully dubbed into Arabic. The Orbit Showtime Network Platform is owned and operated by Panther Media Group; a company registered in DIFC and is owned by Orbit Group and KIPCO.

About GloCom 
GloCom is a UK registered Broadcast System and Technology Integration Company with its operating head office in Dubai, UAE. GloCom has been operating in the Middle East for twelve years and is a Harmonic Partner and Value Added Reseller in the Middle East region. GloCom has been successful in providing end-to-end turnkey broadcast solutions to large scale Broadcasters, Service Providers and Telco operators in the Middle East and Africa. GloCom has a team of fully trained Harmonic engineers who provides 24x7x365 technical support to Harmonic customers. 

About Harmonic Inc.
Harmonic Inc. is redefining video delivery with the industry’s most powerful solutions for delivering live and on-demand video to TVs, PCs and mobile devices. Harmonic’s technical innovation and market leadership enable the company to offer a unique and comprehensive solution portfolio—including encoding, transcoding, content preparation, stream processing, asset management, edge processing, and delivery. Broadcast, cable, Internet, mobile, satellite and telecom service providers around the world choose Harmonic’s IP-based digital video, software, and broadband edge and access solutions. Using these award-winning and industry-leading solutions, operators can reduce costs and differentiate their services by offering consumers a higher quality, personalized multi-screen experience.

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.

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

This press release may contain 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: HD and upgraded SD services in the Middle East, OSN offering HD services in a bandwidth efficient way, OSN having tremendous flexibility migrating their services.

Our expectations and beliefs regarding the capabilities of Harmonic’s digital video technologies and the anticipated benefits for OSN 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.