Roberts Communications Network Launches First HD Horse Racing Simulcast Powered by Harmonic and Newtec

Monday, January 26, 2009

Churchill Downs Introduces HD Simulcast for Horse Races to Offer Customers Enhanced Experience

Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) and Newtec Cy N.V. today announced that Roberts Communications Network LLC, in conjunction with Churchill Downs, the world-famous racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, has launched the world’s first high definition (HD) simulcast broadcast in horse racing history. This landmark service is powered by Harmonic’s market-leading DiviCom® MV 500 MPEG-2 HD encoders and Newtec’s Azimuth AZ110 broadcast satellite modulators.

At the recent Churchill Downs Fall Meet, Churchill began presenting live horse racing in full 16:9 HD format, offering customers a more compelling and higher quality viewing experience. In addition, on-screen graphics and racing information are presented in high definition within the 16:9 format, allowing for additional and enhanced wagering information for both the on-track and simulcasting customer. Roberts Communications Network LLC is initially providing the service to select off-track betting sites across the country.

“The introduction of HD broadcasts for live horse racing is an important step in further enhancing the experience for customers at the track or watching via simulcast,” said Todd Roberts, President/CEO at Roberts Communications Network LLC. “Harmonic and Newtec offered us an ideal choice for HD distribution of live racing, with outstanding picture quality, performance and reliability.”

Roberts selected the Newtec Broadcast Satellite Modulator AZ110, and uses DVB-S2 for the transmission of the HD MPEG-2 signal. The combination of HD and DVB-S2 is the logical choice to minimize satellite capacity for a full HD feed.

“We are pleased to partner with Roberts Communications Network and Harmonic. Satellite communications technology is at the heart of Roberts’ daily operations, and we have been able to provide them with a solid solution without the need for extra satellite capacity,” said Serge Van Herck, CEO at Newtec. “Our satellite communications products are the perfect building blocks for Roberts’ network; they provide reliability, efficiency, flexibility, and scalability.”

Harmonic’s MV 500 MPEG-2 HD encoder, selected by leading broadcast and cable service providers, offers powerful compression, proven reliability and advanced features including LookAhead, integrated noise reduction and support for IP-based statistical multiplexing.

“Fast-moving horse races present some of the most difficult content to compress efficiently while providing superior picture quality. Harmonic remains committed to MPEG-2 technology, and we continue to enhance the capabilities of our MPEG-2 solutions such as the MV 500 encoder. As a result, we are able to offer video service providers best-in-class solutions for delivering top notch video,” said Nimrod Ben-Natan, Vice President of Product Marketing, Solutions and Strategy for Harmonic Inc.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track.

About Roberts Communications Network LLC 
Roberts Communications Network LLC is the world’s largest provider of simulcast horse and greyhound racing video operating more than 100 satellite uplink facilities around North America. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, their live horse and greyhound racing simulcasts are received by licensed receiving locations around the world.

About Newtec 
Newtec is one of the market leaders in Satellite Communications, offering highly reliable products and solutions including DVB-S2 modulators and modems, Digital TV & Radio Distribution and Exchange networks, IP Broadband Access Networks as well as software solutions for the optimization of Internet traffic to customers worldwide.

With its ambitious policy of re-investment in R&D, Newtec is recognized as a forerunner in several innovative satellite communication technologies, which have been published as industry standards (DVB, DVB-S2, DVB RCS and iSatTV Cenelec pr EN50478).

Established in 1985, and headquartered in Belgium, the company has regional offices located in Stamford (US), Singapore (Singapore), Beijing (China), Dubai (UAE) and São Paulo (Brazil). Newtec’s Tellitec® IP software products for Internet traffic optimization and data communication are engineered in Newtec’s research and development facilities in Berlin (Germany). Newtec’s subsidiary TurboConcept in Brest (France),develops Intellectual Property Cores for turbo and LDPC building blocks.

Visit for more information. 

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 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: further enhancing the experience for customers.

Our expectations and beliefs regarding the capabilities of Harmonic’s DiviCom® MV 500 MPEG-2 HD encoders and their benefits for Roberts Communications and Churchill Downs 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.